Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Now In Technicolor

The more verbal, long-tailed Goldie Boy

The leftover cat food. The food and water bowls. The unopened cat shampoo. All of which were Alola's. Now that he is no longer with us. It all seems so strange just stored there in the cupboard in the service balcony.

A for strange cosmic reason, one awesome cat's demise is another cat's fortune. Well, two cats in fact. Months after Alola... this family was greeted with almost like twins in front of our door.

I first heard some faint scuffling sounds outside our front door. Then several loud meows. I thought the sound traveled from downstairs but it was kind of a surprise, when I followed the meows all the way to our front door.

The puffy, short-tailed Goldie Boy having his first dinner a our home

I opened the door to reveal not one but two white cats with orange patches. Both were looking at me with those big, adorable-looking eyes and tails raised high, they both meowed several more times as if in unison. The were unsure of my reception, but walked cautiously anyway towards me. "Wow!" I thought.

That adorable stare wins this
family's hearts
"Do you want food?" I asked as if these felines understand the human language... well, just for the fun of it. The two "Goldies" as Wifey named them eventually, responded with a meow. "Food?" I asked again. "Meow." They answered. "OK!" I replied, "Wait here."

They sat facing the front door. I looked at them amazed. Amazed that we just had our first conversation. Amazed that they were here, on the fourth floor, at our door among the many other doors on this floor and the many floors in this block of flat!

I took out Alola's food and drink bowls out. A bittersweet feeling came over me. I smiled as a picture of Alola appeared in my mind. I  filled them with cat food and felt excited all of a sudden. I just needed to give the food to the waiting cats outside and get Wifey to witness this experience.

The two cats stood up on all fours and started to meow when I they saw me approaching the door. I placed the two bowls apart from one another outside, at our corridor garden. The two cats took their places as if it was done many times before and started eating while looking at me briefly once in a while.

The long-tailed Goldie Boy resting by the staircase

I stood there looking at them and noticed that I had a smile on my face the whole time. I was just happy about the whole encounter. This could be a long and wonderful experience, I thought. The felines eat their fill and walked away from the bowls to the staircase. They both laid there, facing my front door and started cleaning themselves.

"You guys finished, huh?" I asked. They both stopped a while to look at me and continued cleaning their coat after their dinner. I took the bowls in and said "Good night!" before I closed the door. "That was nice." I thought to myself.

"Meow, meow."

The long-tailed Goldie Boy waits patiently
by the gate for his food
It was the day after. I quickly opened the door with delight, expecting the two Goldies to come again. True enough, they did! This time, they came just before noon on a Saturday. "OK. Wait here!" I said, as if they understood anything I had to say.

Two bowls filled with cat food for the two Goldies. Lunch was served. Wifey and I watched as they eat their fill. Once finished, they looked up at us for a brief moment and slowly left. "Wow!" I muttered.

"How on earth did they know how to climb four floors up and end up at our doorstep out of the many homes in this block of flats?" I asked this time, out loud to Wifey.

"Alola must have informed them of us." Wifey joked. I just smiled in delight and said "Now we have two... and with sound too!"

The last time it was without sound and in black and white. This time in color and in "stereo" too!

The long-tailed Goldie Boy having his first lunch at our home

Since then, Wifey has developed a keener sense of hearing behind our normally closed front door, of the "meows" or "we're here!" calls at lunchtime when I am at work. I have the opportunity to feed them in the evenings whenever I hear their calls. The calls are not noisy or incessant but only once or two short meows.

It has been going on almost consistently now for the past month and it has been wonderful.

We are now contemplating with the names we want to give each of these Goldies. One has a short tail while the other has a very long one. They both seem to be of the same age. Not sure if they are siblings and even more clueless of their age look like they are of the same age. My best guess is about 3, maybe 4 years old?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Farewell To Alola

Alola very tired. Too big for his bed.

Our family pet, Alola, had left us for good months ago.

Wifey named it Lola at first, thinking it was a female but changed it to Alola, to a more musculine-sounding name after my elder Sis' visit to our home one day and found out that she was a he.

Nonetheless, the very quite cat responded still to the sudden name change, since it almost sounded about the same to him. He came to our lives via our "cat magnet" Sonny.

Apparently, Sonny brought him up to our fourth floor flat with him when he was on his way back from school. He had been seeing, petting and feeding Alola many a times at the void deck. Noticing that Alola was different from the other strays around our block, he decided to show Alola to Wifey and I.

It was true! Alola was very different from the other cats that we have encountered since living here for the past sixteen years. He was quiet, not scared of people and he let anyone pet and even held him. He moved very slowly, like taking his time in his own terms. He was not as agile as a cat should be. He did not care much for catching a fluttering feather in front of his face. He just looked at it and did not budge. He was a lazy cat, we thought.

The most peculiar of it all, Alola did not make a sound. Never a "meow" from him. Never at all.

The most likable character we noticed of him was that he knew his place. He came every weekday at our front door at lunch time for food. Once fed, he would either sleep around the house or leave. He did his nature calls downstairs, never in or around the flower pots at our corridor.

He did not climb up onto furniture. Nor did he scratched any. He knew his place in our home. All he needed was food and showed his gratefulness by behaving very well around the house. He never snatch or stole food off our plates. We did not have a problem with him at all.

For his wonderful demeanor, Wifey made a more comfortable place at his usual sleeping corner for him... a basket tucked at the corner under the living room window where there is a nice breeze, hooked with a tiny bell and always fresh towels and rags as bedding for his catnaps. After his meals, we would hear the tinkering of the bell, telling us he was taking his nap. Another tinker will mean he was ready to be let out. An ingenious idea from a once, ailurophobia lady.

Alola would came back most evenings at dinner time, only to feed and then have his nap before he would sit patiently, facing at the closed front door without making a hint of a sound. Once a while, he would turn back to look at whomever was at the living room, making eye contact, and then looked at the door. It was his "ESP" way of telling that he wanted to be let out.

Alola would come by very early in the mornings just to go to Sonny's room and watch him sleep. Sonny would wake up and gave him a good pet and held him for some time before he let himself out. It was intriguing to just watch a cat watching Sonny sleep.

The routine went on for a little over two years. Alola was our part-time pet cat without the need for a litter box to be toilet trained. He came pre-trained by nature. To get food and give love in return.

Wifey was once scared of black cats. Not because of witchcraft or any superstitious connotation associated with black cats, but because she was scratched once on the arm when she as a child. From then on, she was petrified of cats going near her and actually hates them because the dander is known to aggravate an asthma attacks.

Alola taught her to rid of her fear and a little more... Wifey fell in love with cats all over again.

Alola touched me too. Once Wifey and Sonny was vacationing at her mother's place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for a week. Alola came for dinner as always but stayed the night. He did not sleep in his basket-bed, but on the floor beside my bed. I thought he wanted to go out when I saw him entered my bedroom, so I let him to the front door and held open the door for some time. He stopped short at the door but did not leave. He followed me back to my bedroom and slept beside my bed when I climbed into bed. Alola was still sleeping at the spot when I woke up the next morning.

Wifey's BB for Alola. A good sleep after a heavy meal.
Alola was keeping me company for four night out of the six days that Wifey and Sonny were not around. It was just incredible! People may think its just outrageous and I may be exaggerating but it is true and I am very happy that it happened to me!

I thanked him for that. Yes, I thanked a cat for its kindness to me. To this day, I thank The Almighty for that once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Wifey once asked me to look for Alola downstairs because he did not come home for lunch or dinner for two nights in a row. She even searched for him downstairs for a while that day. She kept a look-out for him around the vicinity of our block whenever she ran errands on weekdays. Alola had made her feel concern for him whenever there was an uncomfortable gap in his "visits" to our home.

"Alola did not come home today." Wifey would lament during dinner time whenever that happened but Alola never let us down. He would show up and did his routine.

Our concern for Alola became grave and one fine day, Sonny came back bearing sad news. He chanced upon the cat-lover Malay auntie, our second floor neighbor, as he came back from school. He asked her about Alola and was told that he had died at her home. Alola was quite sick with coughs and runny nose. He died a few days later.

We were devastated by the news but we got closure, at the very least. I remember telling Wifey and Sonny that if Alola were to come back, we will bring him to the Vet for all the injections and grooming, whatever he needed for his well being but it was not meant to be! Alola had gone to a better place. He died in a home of a cat-lover. He gave love and received love to the very end.

Thank you Alola, for being a part of our lives. For being can extraordinary being. For your love and lessons in life you showed without even uttering a single sound. We miss you and will always remember you.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Time For Me

Wow! Where do I begin?

I have not been here as often as I should. I have not updated anything as frequently as my life passes me by... maybe a little too fast for me to catch up and reflect or narrate. Maybe just too many distractions, with other stuff, with other electronic interfaces.

Facebook is a big thing for me initially, but I have never been an avid status updater ever since I started it. Maybe I feel a little too old to update my well being to the masses of virtual friends... even to my own family and close friends contacts too. Maybe I have become too lazy to do this...

That is it! I have become too lazy to update anything that is happening in my life nowadays. Sigh!

I want to start the momentum all over again but like most times, it has stalled too many times and I ended up skipping my blog site all too often.

Apart from checking my personal emails and those from work, the only times I spend on my iMac were downloading pictures of Raya celebrations and editing them to post to Facebook... just because my family members want them shared. There! That is about it. I have lost much interest in blogging.

I believe I lost my "Passionate About Life" when my late Dad's health deteriorated acutely toward his last days and until finally left us after about an intensive year fighting his battle with lung cancer.

I thought I would write about my grievances until I become much better after going through that phase in my life, but then I had to be strong and available for Mom who suddenly became a lonely "other half" of a wonderful couple of almost 60 years.

Finding that suitable solution for Mom and to work out our lives back to the new norm, now without Dad, was tough for everyone... for my siblings, for me and for Wifey too. I am fortunate that I have Wifey who understands and stayed strong for me throughout. Now, more than a year later, we are still coping with Mom's adjustments to daily living without Dad in their home.

With a maid as her companion, and all other matters like finances, bills and groceries taken care of by her children, what she needs most is our companionship as often, if not everyday.

So free times are spent talking over the phone to her during lunch breaks at work and being at her home on weekends or at the start of the month to give her some spending money. Between listening to her complaints of the noisy neighbors upstairs and taking her to her schedule medical appointments, her happy times are seen and expressed when her children are round her.

Sigh... there is just so many things to say, to vent out, to express, to release. But is there time enough to spend blogging about it. Time for me to be happy, somewhat to escape, to write happy thoughts, to reclaim my "Passionate About Life" again...