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Saturday, December 10, 2011

My Cats - The Bitch and the Tuxedo

This is in response to KaryLam's note in, to share our loves.
The Blue Kitty

She was there before the house was built. She was there when the house was built. She was there before we moved in. She was there at the main entrance to the house when we moved in! Yes, right smack in front of the entrance. She did not run away but looked at us and give us a pitiful meow as if telling us, “You may stay and live with me”. With that she ran off.

By now you know who I was referring to. It’s a bluish grey neighbourhood kitten. As we settled in the house, she was always around, giving us a meow as if asking if we find her domain accommodating. Soon we fed her and she began to come into the house as well. We do not know if she has another person to scrounge off since she seems to a master of herself. Finally she decided that it will be us that she shall choose to live with.

We do not know what to call her. Our next door neighbour told us they call her “Squeak” because her meowing sounded like a squeak. However we did not like the name. We were not sure if she is a Russian Blue. She looks like one. So we called her the “Blue Kitty”. Later from the internet, she is a Korat a very similar looking one but her eyes are not orange. We really did not care if she is a Russian Blue or a Korat but her name stuck. She would be indignant if you just call her “Blue”.

She is standoffish, aloof and regal. She does not come to you when you call her. She simply stares and looks at you as if you are an idiot. However when the sound of the can is opened even though she is far away outside of the house, she will come pounding in! She has an amazing sense of hearing. She is the queen of the jungle backyard we have. You see I like to have a tropical garden with over twenty different species of bamboo and broad leaf plants. She rules with iron fangs.

One morning upon, opening the door, one of us screamed! She brought a gift for us to show us that we are welcomed – mind you, just a bloody head of a half eaten mouse. Of course she was indignant. “What’s the matter with your? Don’t you like my gift?” From that time onwards, she no longer shares her dainty morsels with us unappreciative blokes! Such royal temper. For one thing, she does keep the rodent population down.

We loved her even though she is finicky and only comes to you she has the time and your attention is wanted. However one of us even spoils her by buying a blanket with cat paw pattern for her to sleep in his bed in the cold nights. Of course guess who has to let her out of the house when she feels that she needs to go out to survey her kingdom at 3am! Yes, moi! Why we tolerate her nonsense is beyond our feeble minds!

This is the Blue Kitty for you. I shall talk more of her when the arrival of the Tuxedo into our lives.

The Tuxedo

A year later, we discovered that the Blue Kitty was eating her food more than usual. This is because we have to fill her bowl with dry food all the time. Then one day, I noticed a skinny black and white kitten eating from her bowl. It ran away when I tried to approach it. It was skinny and scrawly. It had a lip defect that it made it looks like one of those old cartoon black and white cat characters with a sneering smile.

Each time, when I ran off to a distance, I would call “meow meow” and fill up the bowl. About a month later, it began to warm up to me. I guess it knows that I am feeding it and hung around the place more often. Sometimes when I see it lying on the garden furniture, I would approach it slowly with the dry cat food in my hand and calling my now familiar, “meow meow”. Soon it would approach me cautiously and ate from my hand. After a few times, it was complete at ease with me and allowed me to pat it.

Soon I was cuddling it and scrounge its ears. It loves to be scrounged in its years. Since it is a tuxedo cat, we called him Tuxedo. Soon it because a fixture of the house. I never believe my cats to be indoor cats. I have a big garden and with its tropical theme, the cats adored the garden. However a great change came over the Blue Kitty. She was no longer friendly, even more aloof. I guessed she felt hurt as if we were taking in a second wife or concubine into the house. She would only come in to eat and then leave. The Tuxedo on the other was adorable like any favoured concubine. It would come over to you when you call or even when you are not calling. It would come and knead you on your stomach if you are lying down on the couch. Whenever you feed it, it would give you a meow first as if to thank you. It will not eat the moment the food is poured into its bowl. It would wait for awhile as if in deep thought of a prayer before eating. To me it seems to show gratitude. Well, I guess cats are like human beings too. The Blue Kitty is acting like the first wife! She knew though she is the rightful owner of the place, she refuse to eat from the same bowl as the Tuxedo and so we have no choice but to fork over our hard earned cash to buy a different bowl for her. Whenever the Tuxedo approaches the Blue Kitty, she would angrily swipe at him for its usurpation of the throne. The Blue Kitty will no longer let you touch her at all. She just comes in, eats and then bounces off. What a bitch!

Later we found that the Tuxedo is a tom cat. It would come and sleep in my room with me and purring away just to keep me awake. What can I do? I am just a sucker. There are many nicknames for the Tuxedo, he is known as the “Moo-Moo”, “Momo”, “Mochi” and “Mucho-mucho”. I adored the “Mochi” while the Blue Kitty seemed like an ingrate. Later I conjectured that he was from a family of tuxedo cats who lived in the upper hillock of our neighbour’s house. He must have wandered down from the slope and got lost. Whenever I had a broom in my hand the Blue Kitty would run away as if in fear. I suppose she must been abused as a kitten. However the Tuxedo showed no such thing. I guessed he must have a different life. An innocent one and not streetwise like the Blue Kitty. Sometimes naivety breeds pleasure. Once I used a giant broom to brush his body. He became addicted to it. He loves to be brushed. So each time he sees a broom in my hands, he would come over to me and plop down, expecting to have a body massage! Eventually I have to put him inside the house before I do any outdoor cleaning. What a mochi he is.

Whatever the case may be, he must be my previous life debtor. First of all I have to spend extra money on taking him to be neutered. The Blue Kitty on the other hand did not cost us a single penny at all even to this day. Even her neutering, someone did for us. One day she disappeared for a day and the next time we knew, someone had done a kind deed for us. Most probably because of his naivety, he was always being bullied by other neighbour cats getting into fights and received wounds. Each time we have to take him to the vet. So often that he became the Money God to the vet! We tried to keep him the house in the night but still incidents happened.

Then one day, after a particularly nasty wound, the vet told us that the Tuxedo has developed some kind of kidney problem because feline form of AIDs most probably caught from wounds of raccoons in the neighbourhood. This is totally different from the human type. We did not have the heart to put it to misery even though I was for it because he looks very healthy. To cut the sad story short of seeing him wasting away with injections or whatever not, in the end we have no choice but to put it to sleep. Of course everyone in the household was sad except for one. You guessed it! Her Royal Highness – the Blue Kitty.

Whether you believe it or not, the moment the Queen found out that the Tuxedo is no longer around, her character changed once more. She is now more friendly and reverted partially to her former self. At least she no longer runs away when she sees you now. It is like the first wife had forgiven the husband. Now once in a while, when she feels like it, she would come to you, starts purring and knead your stomach too. Perhaps she learnt a trick or two from the Tuxedo. However she is imperious as ever and this morning she is scratching on the staircase carpet to let you know that she is tired of staying inside the house and is out on an inspection tour of her realm.

As I am loading the picture of the Tuxedo Mochi, I can still feel a tear welling in my eyes.

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