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.


  1. That was very interesting, how different the cat was. It's unusual to find a cat that doesn't need a litter box. He had a long, good life and was a good friend to your family.

  2. I am so glad you posted this, Muhd. Bless you all for giving Alola such a special home, and esp the time he kept you company when you were home alone. They know so much, don't they? Our Tuffy had a "girlfriend" we thought, who he tolerated much more than other strays that would come around (himself having been one we took in) and she turned out to be a he also. We had called the cat Creamy or Creamer as it was a beautiful creamy white with just a touch of pale orange "points" like a siamese and had beautiful blue slightly crossed eyes. He came around for a year and a half to get food and hang out in our yard. He was so "Zen" sitting there with his little face up and eyes closed in the sunshine. His favorite spot was under either of our birdbaths! He was starting to trust us enough to come inside and he even slept flat on his back with his legs out in all directions ... and then we found out he actually did "belong" to some neighbors on the main highway who didn't treat him very good and had 2 big dogs who I think had probably been a little rough with him as I was always patching him up and cleaning his eyes with warm water, etc. We gave him respite and he gave us love and fun entertainment ... and Tuffy had a friend. Well, he didn't come for days and we realized only then that his owners were moving and taking him with them. It was so sad and we missed him forever! I hope he found someone else who was kind to him. I almost went to them and asked if we could have him, but I didn't know if he would ever stay. I am so sorry for that loss to your family but also happy that if he had to die, he did it where he was given love and that you know what happened. Thanks for this post ... I am honored to be here again.

  3. Hello Both,

    Thanks for stopping by.

    I have always had cats as pets since I was young. My whole family loves cats. We had many while we were living in the village before being resettled in the urban jungle.

    I had encountered many types of characters of cats. Some were very unique and unforgettable while others have already faded from my childhood memory but I can still feel that I loved them all.

    Many of my siblings have cats as pets in their homes but since Wifey has never been keen to have one as a pet and with her asthma, I can only feel happy looking at all the cats around our area.

    The best and most closest to having a cat as a pet was Alola. Although he was a part time pet cat, he was totally unique as far as my experiences with cats were.

    It would have been tough to see Alola die in our presence. The fact that he didn't came back to us all those weeks and the fact that we thought he either had been captured by the ministry of environment for culling or become road kill had dampened our grieve to some degree.

    To hear of his death and that he died at a cat-lover's home was closure and gave us some comfort to accept that Alola had finally left us. It was sad, nonetheless but not as bad as when we had our hammies died one by one due to old age.

    Those were the toughest times to go through. We loved every single one of those cute little rodents that it was like an unending anguish. Don't want to go through that road again. It was just overwhelming for the whole family.

    Then again, it is better to have loved than lost. I still dream of having a cat as the family pet. Sonny wishes for it too. But Wifey will always come first for us.

    The weekend is very near! Have a great one!

  4. It's so nice to read your words again, Muhd! Just wanted to mention that I have had asthma my entire life and for some reason, I haven't been affected by Tuffy. Perhaps it was the situation where he is like an angel given to us after my brother, cousin and dog Mandy died ... but he also goes out for at least half of the day, which isn't something I like but since he was a stray the vet said he would never stay entirely in the home ... so I believe there is much less dander which is the main allergen, and saliva, I believe. He also hardly EVER uses his litter box but goes outdoors. There are also hypoallergenic sprays to put on their fur to help reduce allergens, etc. I would not wish for her to be allergic to a cat, but as much as I have always loved them, I know there has been hope for the asthma situation with myself personally.......and the love I have for cats has won over. Yes, it was so much better to know that kind lady took care of Alola when he was ready. One other thing ... I think that I am becoming somewhat more immune to cats just by having Tuffy around ... and he occasionally "vaccinates" me - ha ha - with a little scratch here and there.....and a little lavender oil takes the swelling and itching right away and it diminishes. OK, bye for now ... please stop back and keep on posting! You are an important part of the blogosphere, my dear friend!

  5. Muhd, thanks for sharing the story of your fine feline friend. Sometimes we choose our friends, and sometimes they choose us. Alola was a treasure to all of you. He changed your lives, and you will always remember him. It's a blessing to have warm and open hearts like yours, ready to accept the friendship of a creature like this part time pet. I am moved by this story of your family and your friend. mp

  6. Hello Mompoet,

    Thanks for stopping by. Alola was indeed a special cat. And the time we had with him was of good memories that intrigued us even to this day. Cats do have their own unique characters too. Alola had his and it will stick in our memories even more. This blog makes his memory lasts even longer.

    Have a great weekend with your loved ones!


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Muhd Imran
PAL Blogger