Katz Tales: Neighbourhood raiders of the furry kind


The monkey helping itself to some veggie. Photos: Ellen Whyte

Our vitamin C disappeared. We have a stash of those snazzy tablets in a tube that fizz up in water because they are a great way to pack a punch when you're a bit run down or if you've been around a tonne of people, some with suspicious sniffles.

It registered vaguely that we were whacking through them but we thought it was because of the pandemic. It didn't occur to us that they were pinched by a small furry looter.

Frankly, we should have guessed because of the wildlife traipsing through the house. Aside from chitchats and bearded lizards, and the random zebra dove and koel Inkie drags in from the roof for catch and release, we have a steady stream of bees, bats, toads and the occasional cobra.

The most insouciant, though, are the tupais.

Usually they become over-excited when playing wild games in the tree and barrel into our house via one of the roof windows. They're hyper at that point so they rarely think, slow down and retrace their steps. Mostly they run along the walls and bookshelves until they find an exit.

But a month or two ago I was online, talking to a client, when a small shape darted down the fibre optic cable that runs from the roof into the indoor garden.

A tupai was making his way in, playing with the tree, I thought. But then the louvre window in the hall rattled. As I watched, Target raised his head and stared intently.

Very slowly the rattan screen moved. A tiny black furry nose and two shining eyes peeked in from underneath.

I expected Target to read the riot act. But my senior executive snoopervisor yawned and lay down again.

Target was unperturbed by the presence of the tupai.Target was unperturbed by the presence of the tupai.

Meanwhile, the tupai conducted a confident home invasion. He slid in, waved his tail in triumph, and strolled across the corridor and down the steps into our bedroom.

Thankfully, Inkie and Tic Tac were downstairs. Deciding to leave well alone, I went on with my call.

When I finished, I went to check on him but he'd vanished. From the scattered soap and dental floss he'd climbed the bathroom rack and exited through the window.

As my mum later pointed out, if Target wasn't bothered, it means that tupai is a regular visitor. Thinking it over, we remembered all the times we accused the cats of messing with our stuff. At least sometimes our furries were innocent.

But it still didn't click that our interloper was on a mission or that he had sticky paws. That revelation dawned about a week later when we found an empty vitamin tube in the indoor garden. The locked indoor garden. The one we can't get into without considerable effort.

Reconstructing the crime, we surmised the tupai walks in through one of the many windows and rifles through our bathroom rack, dressing table and Tom's desk for consumables. As the vitamins are sweet, they must be prime contraband.

He extracts the loot, withdraws to the safe space on the roof and enjoys his larceny. Maybe he is feeling a bit rundown but we suspect he’s attracted by the sweetness. Either way, he's a cheeky soul because he dumped the evidence in plain sight.

We resolved to secure our things more carefully but as tupais are small, and the rest of the beasties are civilised, we weren’t too worried.

However, when we opened our front door last week, there was a macaque sitting on the garden wall.

Target strolled out before I could stop him. Knowing monkeys can be bad tempered, strong and lightning fast, I prepared to launch a spirited defence of my pet.

Thankfully, the monkey simply observed our senior cat. Still, I watched him with private trepidation. I wasn’t the only one.

Usually, Inkie and Tic Tac make a fuss about Target's garden walks. They wait by the door, pacing impatiently, and the second he's back, they sniff him all over.

Inkie growled nervously upon seeing the macaque.Inkie growled nervously upon seeing the macaque.

Our young cats took in the monkey and they were petrified. Tic Tac flattened her body, puffed up her tail and ran upstairs to hide under the bed while Inkie hid on the sofa, growling nervously. The monkey ignored them completely, contemplating the tree, the roof and our neighbour's altar.

As Target patrolled the ferns, the macaque swung casually over a five-foot (1.5m) gap, bouncing soundlessly over our neighbour's car and into his wall garden. In swift succession, he inspected and consumed some green veggie.

Although he seemed peaceable, I collected Target and brought him indoors. Then I had to cuddle Tic Tac and Inkie, both of whom had the horrors.

Over the next half hour, the monkey helped himself to our neighbour's harvest, ate the berries from our tree and soared up to the roof. He then disappeared, moving swiftly and in the kind of total silence that ninjas yearn to emulate.

Seeing him go, I worried a little. He's welcome to our berries, and honey if the bees return, because we have clearly invaded his space. However, I hope he decides to stick to the tree and the garden wall. Or that he makes his home by the nearby lake.

We can live with raider tupais but the cats believe that macaques trooping in and out is a step too far.


Adopt Me

Tam-Tam and Tikus are looking for a home. Both kittens are five months old, neutered, vaccinated and dewormed.

Tam-Tam loves to cuddle. Photo: Billie TanTam-Tam loves to cuddle. Photo: Billie Tan

Tam-Tam is a sweet boy who loves to cuddle. Tikus got her name because she was so tiny and skinny when first rescued that she used to sneak through tiny spaces. She’s an adventurous girl with tonnes of curiosity but she’s also a cuddle bug.

Tikus is adventurous. Photo: Billie TanTikus is adventurous. Photo: Billie Tan

Interested adopters can contact Cyndy in Section 17, Petaling Jaya through WhatsApp at 016-322 6212.

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Cats , pets , cat behaviour

   

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