Billie was just a wee fella of two months when she was left at our neighbourhood security guard post.
The guards are very fond of cats as they themselves have taken care of a couple of cats all along.
So they accepted this small fella with open arms. After a few days, they noticed that she was scratching herself all over all the time and her fur was falling out.
As the guards know that my daughter and I are also fond of cats, they informed me.
We then took Billie to a vet and she was diagnosed as having ringworms.
Medication was given and we were advised to bathe her using sulphur-based soap.
We took her home to bathe her and then sent her back to Kumar, the chief guard.
Over the next few days, Kumar diligently applied the medication and she seemed to be doing well.
The guards loved her and called her Bili (which means cat in Punjabi language). So that’s why we named her Billie.
However, a few days later, Kumar informed me that Billie had a big swelling on her back.
So off to the vet again we went, and this time, there was pus in the swelling. Billie had obviously been bitten by another cat. We could hear her scream when the vet was treating her. Fortunately, the pus has not hardened so the vet was able to flush it out by cutting a small incision on the swell.
And for the next few days, Billie had to be on medication again, this time oral antibiotics.
Kumar again came to the rescue and took care of that.
Now, after three years, she is a very healthy adult and is the darling of our neighbourhood. She does not belong to any particular household but she approaches all the kids and most adults by circling and rubbing her body against our legs.
She will then plant one of her back legs on top of our foot as a way of not letting us get away. That is her way of trying to get pats from us.
Every evening, she will loiter and relax around our garden and we will then provide her dinner.
She will also look longingly into our house. From her expression, you can really see that she longs to go into our house.
Unfortunately, we do have a cat of our own and they often fight and hiss at each other. So we are unable to have another cat in the house.
Billie somehow is quite happy being an outdoor cat. In the morning, during my morning walk with two of my neighbours, we often see Billie having her own morning activities.
She will be busy trying to catch birds (of course the birds will fly away when she approaches) and even chasing squirrels up a tree.
Billie has a lot of fans, namely the children in my neighbourhood. Jamie, a four-year-old girl and Jay, a 10-year-old boy love to interact with Billie.
Even though Billie is a stray cat, she is quite gentle with kids and allow them to pat her.
Once, while on an evening walk, a young boy who was afraid to touch her was encouraged to do so by his mother.
Upon touching her, his face lit up and said she felt as soft as a floor mat. Since then, every time he sees Billie, he is happy to give her a pat.
As Billie likes to interact with humans of all shapes and sizes, every year we take her to the vet for her vaccination. She also has been spayed so she is a very calm and cool lady.
Billie has indeed lightened up the neighbourhood and I hope she will continue to do so for many more years.