Your Pet Story: Cats are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole


By LC BEH

KitKat relaxing outdoors. — Photo: LC BEH

Do you have an interesting story about your pet that you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you. Tell us in 600-800 words (in Text or Word format), with three to four photos (1MB, captioned, in JPEG format). We reserve the right to edit all submissions. Email: lifestyle@thestar.com.my with the subject 'My Pet Story'.



While I was growing up with three siblings, we never had a pet. Hence, I am not a person who will take heed of cats that are loitering around.

I also never could understand how other people could love their pets so much and shower them with lots of attention and care.

All this changed in September 2017, when a female cat gave birth to two kittens and brought them to our garden.

Seeing the kittens jumping and prancing around the garden was so amusing, so I allowed them to continue to stay outdoors.

One day, the mother and the orange kitten left, and the grey one was left behind. It continued to stay outdoors and slept on our shoe rack. In December 2017, my daughter came back from London for her short study break and immediately fell in love with the kitten. She has been a cat lover all along but I was not keen to take in a pet.

When my daughter went back to London, I continued to take care of the kitten. However, it was allowed to stay outdoors only.

One evening, when I came back home from work, I noticed that she was limping and was using only three of her legs to walk.

I was kind of flabbergasted and didn’t know what to do as I was home alone that day. After observing her for some time, I decided to bring her into the house for the night as she seemed unwell.

Lining the sofa with blankets, I allowed her to sleep on the sofa. I checked her injured limb but could not find any trace of blood.

When it was time to go to bed, I had to carry her upstairs, made a small bed using a blanket and let her sleep in my room.

I never liked to touch a cat with my hands, but I had no choice. However, the kitten felt so soft, warm and nice.

The next morning, she was still limping but I had to go to work. So I put her in the room downstairs.

While at work, I was worried and even made a trip back home during my lunch hour to check on her. In the evening, I then decided to come back home a bit earlier and took her to a vet.

Upon examination, the vet found that there were three punctured wounds: She must have been bullied by an adult cat.

Luckily, the wound was not infected yet but she did have a fever.

So I had to take care of her and, from that day onwards, she became a semi-outdoor/indoor cat. I also had to give her a name. As she was still a kitten but still is a cat, I decided to call her KitKat.

Often, KitKat is bullied by a few adult cats and a few times she even peed and pooed while being chased.

One of her main characteristics is that she is very timid and not the very manja type. She would not come to us and snuggle but still allows us to carry and hug her for a short while.

When she wants to be near us, she would sit 1m away from us. I guess all along she already knew how to practise physical distancing.

As for the timid character, whenever there are guests or people coming into the house, she would straightaway hide under the bed or in a box.

Now, after four years of staying with us, KitKat is a permanent member of the household.

Because of her, we have taken care of a few stray cats – providing them with food and vaccinations – before finding homes for some of them. We have names for all these cats: Cadbury, Billie, Peaches, Marshmallow, Mike.

Billie almost died when she was about three months old, also due to being bitten by another cat. My daughter and I, with the help of our neighbourhood security guards, took care of her. She is now the darling of our neighbourhood. She does not have a permanent owner but she is very, very manja with everyone in the neighbourhood and comes to us every evening for a pat and food.

Because of all these cats, I have learnt that cats are quite intelligent. They would act stupid but in reality they do know what is going on.

I now find cats very cute and fun to play with and hold in my arms. I also understand how pet owners can get attached to them.

Having a pet is not an easy task and it does take a lot of effort to maintain one. So one should think carefully before owning one but the joy that a pet can bring is enormous.

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Pets , cats , cat behaviour

   

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