Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Love Affair with Cats

Note to readers: For cat lovers only. Non-cat lovers may find it hard to comprehend the posting.


We have 5 cats at home: Austin, Budin, Patsy, Footsy and Nemo. Austin & Budin are my cats (they came along with me after I got married) ; Patsy, Footsy & Nemo are MrNordin's cats. So, besides step children, I also have step cats.

My love affair with cats started in 1999 when I found this small kitten, all shrivelled and wet, near the lift of my apartment as I was returning home from work. It was raining heavily at that time. He was meowing loudly outside the lift and I felt sorry for him instantly as I thought he could be hungry or cold. I've never liked cats before that. I mean, we used to have several cats at my mum's house when I was younger, but these were mostly strays which just walked into our house and they overstayed. I've never actually kept a cat on my own as a pet before that because the thought just didn't cross my mind.

Anyway, with this small kitten, I was hesitant at first. I just left it there and went straight up to my apartment because leceh lah bela kucing ni, kan? Duduk kat apartment pulak tu. But as I was going up, I couldn't stop thinking of the poor kitten. When I got into my apartment, I still thought about it (Kesian kucing tu... Entah2 mati karang kena langgar kereta..). I thought about him all skinny and wet, and tak dapat makan.... kesian... So I decided, ok let's go down now. If the cat is still there, I'll take him in. But if he's not, then it's not meant to be.

So, I went down the lift again and as the door opened, I saw him there, still meowing out loud near the lift. And was he glad to see me! That's it! I must take this poor fella home coz otherwise, he would die. So I brought him up to my apartment, gave him some food, and from then on, I just fell madly in love with my new found furry friend.

I named him Austin because at that time, Austin Powers was showing at the local cinemas. He was a very active cat when he was young. He loved running around the house and liked to bite people's hand. And he was very manja with me but garang with everybody else. No one else dared to touch him! I don't know how he get to become so aggressive, maybe because he was all alone in the apartment with me, so he didn't like strangers. He doesn't like kids particularly because they make such loud noise. My friend's kids used to say, "Aunty BJ, your house is very nice but your cat is EVIL !"

Well, evil or no evil, he was still my darling. I always looked forward to seeing him waiting for me at the door when I came home from work. It's like having your own kid happily greeting you at the door. If I was late, he'd still wait up for me patiently at the door until I came home. If I had to go outstation, he'd mogok tak nak makan until I returned home. He was the apple of my eyes...


Austin & Me


After Austin, came Justin. He was a skinny kitten I picked up from a petrol station, on my way back to Ipoh. Again... kesian punya pasal, I took him in because the pump attendant told me his mother had abandoned him there. Justin was a sweet, adorable cat. He was very cool, and hardly caused any mischiefs. This cat, at one time, had jumped off the balcony of my 11th floor apartment to catch a bird, and it survived. It was a miracle! He was.... SUPER CAT! Unfortunately, Justin has passed on. He died at a clinic in Ipoh due to stomach upset after eating some poisoned food at the back alley of my mum's house in Ipoh. My mum was devastated.

(sorry, no picture of Justin because during his lifetime, belum ada camera phone).

After Justin, along came Budin. I found him at one of the food stalls in Sri Hartamas, running around from one table to another, looking for food. What attracted me to this cat was, he had no tail. It had been cut off (or so it seemed) because he was bleeding profusely behind. Oooh... I felt so sorry for him! Who could be so cruel to do that to him? Or maybe he has had an accident... I don't know. So I brought him back, thinking that I'd take him to the vet and later after the wound had healed, I'd return him to the gerai. After two weeks, the wound healed alright but the cat stayed on with me. He was my lucky cat because just after I took him in, I got a job with this current employer (after taking one-year off to study).

Why the name Budin? My mother wanted a Malay name for the cat so she senang nak panggil kucing tu. I thought Budin was a cute name. It is cute, just like the cat himself. Budin has OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). He can't stop licking his hair because he thinks it's forever dirty. If you touched him, he'll quickly lick that part clean. Kadang2 tu habis dia gigit2 bulu dia sampai togel! The vet said, he has mental disorder. This cat has had a tooth pulled out and he is so fat. He just can't stop eating! If we all went for a holiday and left extra food in the cats' bowls to last 2-3 days, he would finish them all up in one go (then the rest of the days, tak ada makanan). That's why when we all came back from our holiday, Budin would most definitely become fatter!


Budin


Austin & Budin love to eat durian. Whenever we buy durian, they'll eat with us. Sometimes we'll buy some just to give them a treat. They can eat 3-4 ulas at one go, ok? And they know how to eat. Habis licin bijik tu! The other 3 cats, tak suka.

Budin is MrNordin's favorite cat whereas Austin was my baby (before Nizzar). The other 3 cats in the house are not so manja and they are quite happy minding their own businesses. Before Nizzar, Austin & Budin used to sleep with us. When we watched TV, Austin would sit on my lap whereas Budin would sit on MrNordin's lap. Memang macam baby betul lah! Everything about us at that time was the cats (besides the kids, of course). Every month pegi vet, sakit sikit, bawa pegi vet, demam sikit, bawa pegi vet. In my handphone, semua gambar kucing!

But now after the baby, the cats have become second class citizens in the house. I can't afford to manja them like last time anymore because i was afraid the cat's hair would cause allergic reaction to Nizzar. I know Austin is yearning for me to pick him up and cuddle him like before, but I just can't do it. It just doesn't feel the same anymore. Kadang2 tu, bila nak masuk bilik, he would wait for me at the door so that he could go in with me, but obviously I wouldn't let him in. Kadang2 tu kesian jugak tengok kan dia. Murung je muka dia.... the case of "kurang perhatian dan kasih sayang..."

I guess that's why Austin tak suka Nizzar. Dari dulu sampai sekarang, he doesn't like that little boy no matter how much he tried to make peace with the cat. Dah 2, 3 kali kena cakar dah. Every time he sees Nizzar away from my sight, he would quickly try to jump on my lap for a cuddle. Bila budak kecik tu datang balik, he would of course gets very annoyed. Talk about competition, huh?

Budin is more gentle. He'd offer himself to be bullied by Nizzar. At the same time, they make good friends. Sometimes I see when Nizzar was sleeping, Budin would go near him and sleep besides that little boy. Other times, when Budin was about to sleep, Nizzar would offer Budin his water bottle (just like how I would give him his milk bottle before he goes to sleep).

Cats... they are such adorable creatures. Sometimes I feel sorry for them now that I don't spend much time with them anymore. The most is, "Hi Austin!", "Bye Austin!" as I was coming in or going out of the house. I can't even remember when was the last time I picked them up for a cuddle. It's quite hard to juggle the time and attention for these cats when the little boy is ever so handful. Nanti dah pegang kucing, tak boleh pegang baby. Kena wash up and so forth, leceh...

I feel like giving the cats away, tapi tak sampai hati pulak coz they've been part of the family for a long time. Austin has been with me for almost 10 years now, Budin ~ 8 years. I have raised this issue before, but was met with silence from MrN and the kids. I know they don't want to get rid of the cats but they are not helping with the cat litter and clean up either. These days I noticed that the cats have been pissing incessantly around the house. On the cushion, in the study, under the chair... merata! Geram betul I! This has never happened before and MrNordin thought they needed attention.

Seriously, I don't know what to do with the cats. Kalau seekor, boleh tahan lagi. Ini sampai 5 ekor! Kesian pulak tengokkan diaorang. Has anyone been in the same situation before? Care to share your cat story with me?

26 comments:

Kmar said...

BJ,

I LOVE CATS!!!... could never ´live´ without them... sejak dari lahir, mesti ada kucing kat rumah.

When I was living in Holland, I adopted 2 cats. Dikkie (means fat in Dutch - Dik) from the RSCPA center. He was soooo ugly because he looked like ´ayam togel´ (hair shaved). Try picture this; a poodle without a hair!!! The Vet told me that he is mix breed, half Persian half domestic (long hair) and was given up by his owner. The Vet tried to convince me not to take Dikkie because he was ´super´ ugly and there were lots of other cats in that center to choose. I said, I will take the ugliest cat from the center no matter what!!! .. Close case.. he.he..

One year later, Blackkie (female) came along. She was a domestic cat. I went to visit a farm in Belgium and heard kittens ´miauwing´. I asked the farmer if there were any kittens around and he showed me 3 kittens (2 healthy fat kittens and 1 very skinny kitten) with the mother. He told me that he would like to give them away and if no one pick them up, he will ´kill´ them.. sort of!!.. Gosh!! I asked him for the skinny one. He was so surprised but I told him that the sick kitten (ignored by the mother) deserved a ´second chance´ in life. Blackkie can´t even miauw, full of mites and so skinny that I can feel every part of her skeleton!!!

When we moved to Spain, we have to make their ´passports´(pictures,immunisation, chipped... etc..). We also bought a special cage, flight tickets .. etc. Cost us a fortune but like you said, when a person is a cat-lover, money is not a problem.

They are having a very good life here, from the apt style to a house with garden. Dikkie with very thick hair (black and white) and Dikkie with very soft black carpet coated hair. We lost Blackkie 3 year ago (she was 9 years old). We made poster of her and my hubby went around the neighbourhood every evening for a month looking for her. It was 7th Apr 2005.

As for Dikkie, he will be celebrating his 14th birthday next month. He is fat, looks like a big fur ball. When he curls.. eem.. macam beruang hibernisasi. I do understand that cat´s life is at 12 ..erggh.. and Dikkie manage to make it through to this stage and still running around, chasing geckos, staring at birds.. ha.ha.ha..

Tips, about the pee-pee. Buy pasir kucing and before putting the sand in the bucket, put an old newspaper underneath it as a layer. Try to make the ´problem cats´ go for a pee there. Usually they will like it. Let the routine works until the sand can´t be used anymore. Take away the ´smelly newspaper´ (pasir tu you buang laa), and put it outside your house, at the corner that won´t bother you with cats ´stuffs´. Usually the cats will trace back to their ´urine smell´ and they will intend to do their ´business of pee-pee´ again at that dirty-newspaper. Repeat the routine a few times. It will reduce their habit of pee-pee inside the house.

Another thing, you can try to buy cat-grass (usually in pots) and put them next to that ´dirty newspaper´.

Goodluck BJ..

busymum100 said...

Argh!! I am no cat-lover but most of the time i find myself feeding them.
My no.2, Bok simply adores cats, and would pick any stray ones :-(
There was one who just didn't want to eat catfood - so i ended up cooking some fish for him (or was it her?).

The last time i had my own was way back in primary school. I called her Abu. Abu (female, yes!) gave birth to many more cats :-(
One day, Abu just disappeared and never came back. Org tua2 kata kuching kalau nk mati akan "bawa diri".

In short, i have a love-hate relationship with cats!

BTW, MrsN, how do you keep the house clean with cats around? ah, i forgot, you've got a maid :-)

Now outside my door i have a mum and daughter pair who are both ALL BLACK. Bok took them home least year and "sedekah" them to me :-P
Care to adopt them? LOL!

MrsNordin said...

Hi Kmar,

Didn't know you are a cat lover as well! Hey, you must post a picture of Dikkie lah... he must be very adorable!

Cats need passport if you brought them along on a plane? Strange.. never knew that one.

I shall try the trick with the newspaper. Right now, we put a plastic sheet underneath its litter and throw it away once dirty. Maybe the newspaper trick would do.

Btw, we don't have cat-grass here.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hee..hee..hee..you still remembered what Haris commented about Austin!

When I started to read your posting that was the first thing that came to mind. Kesian Nizzar..the 'evil cat' pun cakar dia, ya. Possessive betul Austin ni!

I think Budin and Austin are reaaaaaaly craving for your TLC la. That is their way of addressing you with their needs - kencing merata-rata kat rumah so that you would finally focus your attention to them.

Kalau they tak buat mcm tu, you tak layan them. Now you have to admit that their method works!

It is not easy dividing your time and love between your much-loved new baby and your much-loved older 'children', ie. Austin & Budin. But that is parenting...you ought not choose one child over the others.

Try and balance out your time at home so that the cats still get some love from you. Yes I know it is leceh but if you can sacrifice your time to send either Nadira or Nadim to their tuitions, etc., why can't you put aside some TLC time for Austin and Budin.

Tak yah lama - 10 mins pun cukup. They just want you to pet them and cuddle them aje..they need to feel that they have not been abandoned by their 'mummy' who has loved them for a long time before the baby came.

If that doesn't work, ha...kena la discipline kan sikit. Bawa them to the place where they have done their pee-pee, admonish them & then spray air to their face.

After 3-4 times hopefully they will stop peeing in the house. InsyaAllah.

Give both of them hugs from me!

Hope said...

MrsN

Ha ha...birds of a feather do flock together..I absolutely am crazy about cats too!

I used to have many cats in my life but the one I loved most was the one called Tito which I adopted when she was 2 months from RSPCA in Cardiff 18 years ago. She was a lovely cat and I took her back with me to Malaysia, lived through my marriage, having my kids until she died in 2001. I miss her dearly, she was like my baby and had seen it all that happened in my life then...

I had few more cats after Tito, but lost them all through adoption/give aways when I got divorced.

My cats are part of the things I lost from that other life and likewise still cuts deep when I talk about them.

Now I don't have cats anymore. I have streamlined and decided to travel light this time around :-)

No don't give them away. Cats are special animals and I believe they are with you because they have chosen you.

MrsNordin said...

Hi Busymum,

You are just like my mother. She complains about the cats, but still feed the ones behind her house with fish, everyday. And she now has several regular visitors.

I think Abu left because she has found a boyfriend. Or maybe because she was dying too... I don't know.

How do I keep the house clean? Yes, the maid. But actually, bukannya susah sangat pun. The cats are quite clean by nature. All she needs to do is just feed them twice a day and clean the litter box once a day. The other thing is the cat hair ~ on the cushion, sofa, carpet. But we have a special cat roller for that.

Actually, I think an all black cat brings luck (we used to have one like that before and he was so loyal). No thank you, just let them roam in your house compound. Tak apa lah... bela kucing ni banyak pahala. Kan kata orang, kucing ni binatang kesayangan Nabi. Cats know if you love them or hate them. The fact that they kept coming to your house means they know you care... :)

MrsNordin said...

Hope,

I didn't know you like cats as well! Ramai juga cat lovers kat sini ya? Great!

Your Tito was just like my Austin. He saw me through my heart breaks and bad times. He was there when I was crying alone in my room after a break up, he was there when I needed someone to talk to... that's why I feel bad about letting him go.

No, I think the cats will stay with us for as long as they live. There must be some ways to go about minding them. Thanks for your story. Lovely, indeed.

MrsNordin said...

Madam,

Sorry, I tertinggal your comment!

Of course I still remember what Haris said. He's the only one who calls Austin ~ Evil.

I shall take note of what you said. That's true, if can take some time to send the kids for tuition, why can't I spend some time for the cats?

Now that you mentioned it, maybe I've "abandoned" them way too long. I'm such a bad "mommy cat"!

Esteban is lucky coz he's the only cat you have. He was like Austin lah, before I got married. Pampered nak mampus!

Now my MIL also has one pampered cat at her house, Rexy (which was our cat before). Tapi staying with my MIL you tau lah, kan? Tak boleh keluar rumah, tak boleh mix with other cats. Now, he also has "mental" problem! Hee.. hee..!

Anonymous said...

Just to add my 2 sens worth of view - the prophet Muhammad s.a.w loved cats too. There is a story that there was a cat who slept on his robe and he didn't move for hours so as not to disturb the sleeping cat. The great prophet s.a.w loved his cats very much. He would even brought his pet cat in his pocket robe to the mosque. When one of his followers asked him whether one will find cats in heaven, the prophet says no, when cats die, they will go forever and we will never meet them again even in heaven. There will be other animals there (except pigs of course)even a dog but no cats. So the morale of the story folks, love your cats (if you have them as pets that is) to death bcos when they passed on, you will never meet them again even in the after life !

Mr N

Kak Teh said...

Both my husband and i love cats. we have five. Our Jasper died last year and we have yet to get over it. All our cats manipulate our life. We never used to go on holidays together because we wouldnt leave the cats with strangers...and they are so so so spoilt.

MrsNordin said...

MrN,

Thanks for your 2 cents worth. I'm glad you included the story about the Prophet s.a.w.

I think from now on, I shall re-focus my attention to the cats. Maybe you can help me with the cats while I mind the little boy. Boleh?

MrsNordin said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Sorry to hear about your Jasper. I always wonder how I would take if my Austin died. Whenever that thought crossed my mind, I would surely cry.

Btw, did you bury the cat? What did you do with the body? I'm thinking of setting up a special burial place for the cats (after they died, of course) in our garden, with their names specially carved on stones. But some people said you cannot bury dead cats, otherwise they come back alive. Ya ke?

Kak Teh said...

mrs N, my husband did all the burial in our garden. I have blogged abt Jasper before buu just a bit as I couldnt bring myself to write without crying my eyes out. No lah, if Jasper had come back, i would sure write about it!:)
We have another one in the garden. He was knocked down by a car in front of our house one Christmas, and children from the neighbourhood came with flowers and a cross. My husband said, er, sorry, no cross. This cat is a Muslim cat.
I think they all are - semua tidur atas sejadah, most of the tme while we are praying, hehe!

Superwomanwannabe said...

Hi J
my four kittens are actually adorable.I am a secret admirer sebab outwardly i selalu suruh dia keluar....I m thinking of now buying them a cage in case the monyets at the back want to makan them...they are getting so fat and cute. Maybe I should jaga them better.

Sayang nye nak buang kan...

Superwomanwannabe said...

Kak tehs' comment about them being a Muslim cat is funny! Yalah, our cats kuching islam....

MrsNordin said...

Kak Teh,

So we can bury them in the garden? Good!

Muslim cat? I like that!! Kesian... bawak bunga segala, dengan cross sekali! Kids, kan... what do they know... :)

I shall look up for your posting on Jasper (if I can find it).

Have a nice day, Cat Woman!

MrsNordin said...

SW,

I think you pun sama with the rest of us ~ cat lover!

Yes, go and buy a cage, if you wish. But most importantly, don't let them play outside the gate, takut nanti kena langgar kereta!

But I think cats pun pandai jugak tentang road safety. Just hope none is a dare devil that likes to cross the street ~ itu yang bahaya!

What are their names?

Kak Teh said...

MRs Nordin, Now I feel I am showing off my cats..but never mind here goes:

http:/kakteh.blogspot.com/search?q=jasper

http://kakteh.blogspot.com/2007/04/gift.html
http://kakteh.blogspot.com/2007/10/growing-up-with-awang-goneng

With the last one you canjust scroll down for the pictures.

aaah, you got me going now. My children think I talk more about the cats than abt them.

Kak Teh said...

sorry the last one tak complete:

kakteh.blogspot.com/2007/10/
growing-up-with-awang-goneng.html

now i am really showing off. Sorry am hogging yr comment box.

Just now someone brought in a dead mouse. Present lah tu.

MrsNordin said...

Kak Teh,

I've seen the photos & read the postings. That cat who is a proof reader, what's his/her name? Is that Snowbell? She's SO beautiful!! How not to talk about them lah, kan? Go on, show off. I don't mind.

I like to see cats' pictures like that. They look so aloof yet adorable. And she's so fat too!

I suppose English tabby lagi cantik from our domestic tabby. But no matter how ugly they are (if they are "ugly" lah), our cats are still pretty in our own eyes.

Haah... doing this posting has reminded me how much I used to love my cats. I've forgotten how good it feels back then to have them at home.

Yah, why is it we talk more about the cats than the kiddos? I guess because they don't answer us back and they are not demanding. :)

Your present ~ that's showing off too !

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. At one time tu we have 13 cats in total. Semua kucing datang, tak de sekor pun yang beli. Tak sampai hati nak buang, kasi makan n bawak vet everything. Yang kencing merata tu kena grounded kat luar, tak kasi masuk, but tetap kasi makan and usap-usap kat luar rumah je. Yang meninggal tu, tanam kat garden belakang. But cats are very smart, if they feel that they have enough of us, they will leave us. Bukan mati, tapi hilangkan diri, entah ke mana. I remember masa kecik dulu my mom buang two of cats kat hospital. Sampai hari ni I cannot forget the incident. Sampai hati... I was thinking, masa suka kita bela, masa tak suka kita buang pulak. Cuba buat kat manusia cam tu, macam manalah kita rasa. Sob!Sob!Sob! Hai, kalau nak cerita pasal kucing ni, I can open a blog bercerita pasal kucing je. Nantilah, one of these days.

OK Mrs Nordin, ta-ta.

Cats are for keep, not only for good times.

Cats lover

MrsNordin said...

Hi Anonymous,

Betul kata you tu, memang tak sampai hati nak buang kucing2 tu. They are like human too. We take care of them, in return they provide us company, they make us happy... bila dah tak suka, tak kan nak buang, kut? That's why people say, bela kucing ni is a life time commitment.

So far, we've never sent any of our cats away. Either they left or they died. Kucing2 kat SPCA tu, kesian, kan... esp. yang dah tua2. Tak de sapa yang nak. Kalau ikut kan hati, nak adopt semua, tapi keadaan tak mengizin kan.... :(

Thanks for your story!

Eta My said...

Alamak Bj..me totally the opposite...not that I hate them..but simply.."ggeeeliiii"..

Used to have a black female cat masa I std 6 dulu..kasi makan, mandi dan segalanya..cuma tidur kat luar je la..each of my siblings ade kucing sendiri masa tu..but nak dijadikan satu hari kucingku itu 'keguguran' and she was mad before that berlari ke sana kemari..masuk almari baju..punggah sana- sini..and she ate her own flesh..I tak tau kenapa all those had made me feel srange..and she disappeared after that and I kena marah teruk dengan my late mum sebab tak kemaskan 'perkara2'' kucing tu..

My hubby wd never comprehend kenapa kalau ade kucing lalu..peel aku berubah...and kekadang sesaja menyakat aku..kalau ade kucing lalu especially kat stalls..

all my girls love cat tapi i je tak kasi depa bela until they are big enough to take care of the cats..shian my eldest ade once dia bawa balik kucing dari sekolah..aku bebel-bebel..(sambil berlari-lari mengelak kucing tu gesel2 kat kaki)..pas tu start kereta..itu jam gak suruh my eldest letak balik that kitten at her school canteen..

Sorry..aku horrible!..yet I know our prophet s.a.w. blessed whomever love cats like he does....

Bj, the cats know how u feel..and my late dad cats and chicken all disappeared when he'd gone too...

sob!sob!ta ta

MrsNordin said...

Eta,

Aaahh... so sad, your story.

About kids and cats ~ yes, you must make sure they take some shared responsibilities if ever they want to bring cats home. If not, you'll end up feeding them and cleaning the shit! Bab tu yang tak larat tu.

Otherwise, cats are fine. It's good that your children love animals. They'll be gentle people.

Btw, I tak boleh buka your blog lah. Why, ah?

Kmar said...

BJ,

What is your email address? I nak hantar gambar si Dikkie. Btw, I think kucing K.Teh is so gebu.. gerammm... dari mukanya.. pure spoilt!!.. he.he...

Your Austin is like my father´s cat. My mom selalu kata, kucing-kucing kalau tengok muka my father, semuanya nampak bayangan ´ikan´.. ha.ha.ha... my dad always feed the cats!!!

MrsNordin said...

Kmar,

My e-mail add is noorhaya@celcom.com.my. I look forward to seeing your Dikkie!!

Your parents pun suka kucing, ya? I can imagine dua orang cikgu pencen bela kucing kat belakang rumah... just like my parents! :)