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...
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!
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?