|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.|
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.