My love for cats began since I was young. I'd feed stray cats at the back of my house, giving them whatever left-overs we had from lunch or dinner. Mak would nag me off, fearing the cats would make our house their permanent abode. Not wanting to defy mak, I didn't pursue this 'love' intensely, only doing my good samaritan act when mak was not around to grumble her dislike.
My interest in cats rekindled back after I got married as my late MIL was also an avid cat lover and had at one time took care about 7-8 cats of long-haired species. One of them was a family legend named Kitty, which had many percularities in traits and behavior. But of course, Boogey and iKelah are the better experts on Kitty's colorful past thus I shall not dwell on her further.
For many years when iFos and Aliah were small, they would pester us to adopt cats (Sarah initially had qualms being around cats but look at her now!) However due to many reasons of health and sanitation, we adamantly refused. Till one day, when a stray cat came and we hadn't the heart to turn her away. She came as a kitten and lived with us till she produced 2 litters of kittens. One day she simply disappeared and never came back. We were not that cat-savvy then and we didn't make an effort to give her a name. We just called her 'Mak Kucing' as she was the mother to all the kittens. All her kittens didn't survive except one which grew into a big chubby one. We called him/her 'Debab' .We weren't sure of her/his sex as she/he showed contradicting characteristics. It had genitalia of a male but we were shocked when it breastfed its own siblings when 'Mak Kucing' disappeared! Blimey!
Mayo and Pooty frolicking
Later, after Debab died of mysterious circumstances, we were cat-free for quite sometime till iKelah saw a cute and playful orangey semi-persian kitten for sale in a pet-shop (actually it was a kedai jual ikan-aquarium). That marked the day 'Mayo' came into our lives. From a very playful, cheeky lovable long-haired kitten, Mayo grew into a beautiful orangey semi-persian with a not-so-peeky face. In fact, Mayo does resemble Garfield in several aspects, her indifference especially :). When she was at her peak, she had a beautiful 'mane' around her neck, which according to the vet is a trait belonging to the Maine-coons (another cat species). So we concluded that Mayo is actually a cross-breed of Persian and Maine-coon. Being Persian, explains her indifference. She never establish eye-contact with us, no matter how hard we tried. She always put on a face that says " don't mind me".
Being half Maine-coon means that she also inherits some of its traits. One of it is being a dare-devil with careless attitude, fearless of heights and sitting on precarious spots. She loves climbing out of the bedroom window (risking fall) and laze on the air-con compressor, watching with great interest at the birds flying above but with no urge whatsoever to attack them!
Later we bought Pooty, an all-white Turkish Angora. Whilst Mayo displays an extremely indifference attitude, Pooty is a very loving cat that exudes warmth and friendliness. It is a true lap-cat. It loved being cradled on our laps and would purr with sheer contentment. Pooty would look into our eyes knowingly and I could swear that he could read our minds. At our old house, due to space constraint and fear of them getting astrayed, we caged them up, only setting them free into the house at intervals. Stray cats would come to woo Mayo and poor Pooty would observe with great distaste (literally!). He would 'jeling' and turn his face just to show his detest. Once my maid shoo-ed a wooing stray and Pooty let out an almost sniggering giggle! Fancy that!
Pooty is such a clumsy lad and would always dirty his pure white coat, leaving stubborn black stains, making it impossible for us to clean even with vigorous scrubbing. Mayo is the complete opposite and would lick herself clean all over with repetitive nodding movements (its amazing that she's never tired of doing this). So one day, on the vet's advice, we had him clean-shaved leaving just a small tuft at the end of his tail (just to let him know that it's his tail and not to bite it!) Anedra would have drooled looking at this bald sphinx-like cat! Sadly it was only few weeks later that he disappeared never to come back.
One night, a stormy one, unknown to us, Pooty left the house for good. We searched for him all over the village, on foot and by car. We left notices with pictures of him all over. But to no avail. According to the people here, in this village, no long-haired cats should be let loose lest it'll be nabbed. Now it has been 7 months since he was probably stolen and we still miss him sorely. Our hearts wrench each time his image comes to mind and questions like: are you eating well Pooty? Have your coat grown back as beautiful as before? Are you still alive? would play in our minds. We will forever miss you Pooty!
My children have inherited my empathy for cats and have, in fact, outdone me! iFos and Aliah would cry each time our cats die. They would show their dislike if someone mistreats any cats. Once we stopped at an R & R for prayers. After exiting the toilet I saw Aliah, red in the face with tears, at the surau entrance. Apparently a cat was splashed with cold water for wanting to enter the surau as it smelled food from within. Aliah was furiously guarding the cat, delaying her prayers, preventing it from entering again lest it'll get a second dose of shower!
Mayo has given birth twice and now she's pregnant again. And one of her offspring has also given birth to 4 kittens. I have lost track on their numbers! My plan: to make Mayo pregnant one last time with Nikko (another Maine-coon, a male stud, belonging to the vet) and then tie her tubes! At least insyallah this time, she'll give birth to long-haired offsprings like her, unlike those before, as she had gone for illegal mating all this while! Since the kucing kampung here, almost all, have kinked tails, so her offsprings' tails so far are not beautiful as hers! (kontot and patah!)
So that is the story of my feline friends who are almost human and very dear to my heart. Ada apa pada kucing? Lots, I daresay! Miaow!