We started with one. Then came number two.Third, fourth and fifth came within a short span of period as the orang asli kept on phoning us to buy his ‘miniature leopards’. Wanting to breed Bengal cats, hubby brought back a suitable feral he chanced upon in Tioman, aptly named Tioman. But it was not to be, when Tioman was found dead, one night, most likely poisoned by a cat-hating neighbor whom we named the cat-killer.
When number two began mating number one, he started to mark his territory by pissing all over the house. It is said that by castrating a male cat, this habit will subside. Thus poor number two lost his only chance for any off springs. Then number one began her ‘illegal mating’ spree and ended getting pregnant so frequent that almost immediately after giving birth, she’d be ‘singing’ her cat calls again.
As number one was busy breeding, her matured off springs too started mating and producing their own batches of kittens. At one point, there were possibly more than ten of them, altogether! Fortunately (or unfortunately, which ever way you perceive) one of them had the habit of eating her young ones thus helped curb the number down.
When their number sky-rocketed, we began giving them away. One managed to come back, not once but twice! And she even tried to impress us by putting on her best behavior in an effort to prevent us from dumping her once again! Many died of suspicious circumstances. If you were to plow through our yard, there’d probably be more shallow graves than those found in the house compounds of serial killers!
Beloved number two went missing one day and never returned. A year later, exactly on the same date, number one, too, followed suit. But not without leaving behind four lovely long-haired, just like her. At this point, there were 3 adult cats, 6 newborn kittens, 4 long-haired kittens and 3 leopard cats. They were such a handful that we had to dump 2 adults in a nearby eatery, an unbearable act that had made the person doing it, shed sad tears and vowed that should they return, he would keep them for good, come what may!
When hubby came down with his illness, we decided to call it quits and sent the 3 leopard cats to Zoo Negara. A good Samaritan willingly adopted the 6 kittens and brought them back to Dungun. In between, the long-haired, one by one, began dying mysteriously, leaving behind only one, called Tempang, so-called because his right front leg was maimed by one of the leopards!
At that point, we were left with Tempang and Whirl (a stout orange fellow with whirled patterns). Good Samaritan, whom by now has shifted back here, borrowed Whirl to mark territories at her new abode, in a futile effort to prevent strays from mixing with Labu and Inteb (the only 2 living from the original 6 kittens). Whirl went missing, overnight, probably lured by the strays.
So we are now left with Tempang, whom I am now calling Mayo, in remembrance of number one, his mother. The latest I heard, Labu has been missing for 36 hours. So Good Samaritan too, is left with one, Inteb.