22 June 2009

In came Tanya

A scrawny black cat walked through the narrow bars of the gate easily and nervously looked behind her before approaching the person who was cleaning the porch. With a barely audible mew, she called softly as she moved slowly towards the unaware person.

EJ turned round and could not believe that this was Tanya. Tanya looked very different. When younger, she was round and cute. And very, very haughty. Now she looked miserable, thin and sparsely furred. With a bulging rounded belly, EJ knew Tanya was pregnant. Tanya was promptly given food.

Having known that Tanya had owners, owners of Tommy who lived a few doors away, she was placed in cage with its door permanently opened at the porch. This was to allow her to walk back to her owners when she wanted to. But Tanya never went back and her owners never looked for her.

Two weeks later, on 16 April 2001, five cute kittens were born. With the help of EJ's niece and nephew, the kittens were given hilarious names - Wig, Rug, EyeShit, ForeHead and the last born, Tortie.

09 June 2009

Tommy the Retired Don Juan

EJ had a pleasant surprise, a visit from a gang of four white and red kittens, more than 10 years ago. It was not known whether they were born in the house or was brought back by a young couple who lived a few doors away.

Occasionally those cute kittens would sneak by for a short visit. As they grew, they were allowed to roam. Though Tommy was not the best looking or cutest of the lot, he was the most recognisable as he was the fattest. It was found out later that he was the fattest because he was the greediest.
First the kittens roamed the neighbouring houses but still along the same street. Slowly the roaming became farther and wider. And they gradually mixed with other stray cats and made friends with them.
Before reaching adulthood, two of Tommy's siblings succumbed to diseases picked up from the strays. One almost reached maturity but was killed by a speeding car. Tommy was the only survivor.

On reaching adulthood, Tommy continued his wandering ways and covered several housing estates. Being in the prime of his life, he was strong, solidly built and good looking. He had countless girlfriends - everywhere.

To confirm that it was Tommy, EJ on the way to work in the mornings, taking a short cut through several housing estates, yelled his name from the car. Tommy responded. Sometimes Tommy was seen with his stray lady friends. At other times he was alone walking probably seeking out his friends. But he still went 'home' and dropped by EJ's house for a quick hello and treat.

There were times the quick hello would be longer when Tommy needed help for his wounds probably from the fights to win and prove his worth for his lady friends.

Then one Chinese New Year, Tommy came. Hardly recognisable, he was dirty, continually sniffing from a runny nose, sneezing non-stop, had teary eyes with numerous wounds on his body and extremely thin - so thin that the biggest part of him was his head.

Tommy mewed for help. Now how could one turn down such an appeal at this sightful plea? So off he went to the vet. On the consultation table at the clinic, Tommy purred obviously enjoyed the amount of attention he got.

He purred even when given an injection much to the amusement of his doctor. Tommy was confined to an enclosure and took a month to recover. Through several visits to the vet, medication and care, Tommy began to fill out.

He was never allowed to roam again and never allowed to return to his 'owner'.

Now the biggest part of him is his belly.

01 June 2009

Cinders - 15 soon

Cinders turns 15 on 30 July this year. In human years, she will be 77 years' old. She still has all her teeth intact - an indication that she has not had a tough life as a stray fighting for food or eating leftovers in the rubbish that could cause injuries to the mouth.

Cinders came with her cross-eyed brother, (the late) Cookie when they were 3 months' old. They were given by EJ's then colleague, Jackie. The kittens came in a special package promotion - take (adopt) one, get one free! Cinders was the free gift.

It was just as well as EJ's lived-in school-going niece and nephew each get to name the kittens. Cookie was so named as EJ's nephew who was in primary school explained that he could draw Cookie's crossed-eye dots on the 'double O' in that name. EJ's niece who was in secondary school took a longer time to decide on an apt name. She decided that the name Cinders was most appropriate as it describes the colour of her mottled fur. It is also short for Cinderella.

So how does a 15-year-old cat behave and look like? Cinders is not as frisky as before but still alert. She minds her own business and does not disturb or tease other cats. Just like matured human ladies, Cinders' body shape changed a bit, subjected to the pull of gravity and hormones. Her armpit area and rump sagged.

Now as her age advances, Cinders has been given more chance to be a 'lap cat' at the slightest request.