Friday, October 29, 2010

Animals: Dead and Alive

Bandit is camera-shy!

SUDDENLY WE SEEMED to have dead animals ‘all over’ the house. There was a dead mouse in a drawer. Eeeek! Then a dead-animal smell greeted my nose each time I went to the back door. I went sniffing all over the backyard but the carcass stink definitely came from the porch.

On inspection, Mr. Hubby spotted a cat limb protruding from a box high on a shelf in the back porch. He called me.

My first thought was: OMG! A cat has starved and died on my shelf! One chopstick-thin leg was all I could see of this unfortunate stray cat. It was like an index finger pointing at me, accusing me of a misdeed… an omission. It seemed to be saying: you didn’t respond when I miau-ed for food.

It was beyond help now. Mr. H offered to bury it in the backyard, under the lemon tree. He had to remove his small mountain of clutter—he hoards stuff just to annoy me—so he could get at the box sitting on my shelf.

Surprise! The ‘dead’ cat’s leg moved. Then the feline came to life, revealing itself as it jumped from the shelf, over the clutter and towards the fence. It was a scared cat and so starved, it looked like a punctured balloon with the air almost all gone.

I called it before it limped to the neighbour’s house, a dog haven. It took a while to coax the cat to eat the previous night’s dinner—fish cooked with tamarind—and to be convinced that I was ‘friendly’.

I’m not crazy about cats, you see. I prefer dogs. Cats have this habit of nuzzling against your lower legs and wanting to be petted when you’re busy. They rub themselves on your feet and get in the way when you’re in a hurry. They have an uncanny ability to know which way you’re going and they put themselves directly on your path and seem to enjoy making you trip.

However, when you’ve nothing to do and call them for company, they’d just stare at you as though you’re a total stranger. Then they’d turn their heads delicately, their noses in the air, to look at something more interesting than your face!

 Dogs never pretend that they don’t know you. Even before you call, they’d bound over to you, tails wagging and mouths smiling. They don’t have the cat’s wary stance which I interpret as ‘I wish she’d leave me alone. Can’t she understand this is me-time?’ Dogs are always happy to greet you and they treat you like you’re their best friend! If only they don’t regard shoes and slippers as chewable toys.

Not so skinny now...

What happened to the stray cat? It’s still around. See the photo? Taken a few minutes ago. Lunch was a fried egg, anchovies and rice.

It comes and goes as it pleases. I haven’t imposed any curfew. But I’ve asked it to scare any mouse lurking in the grass before the rodent even thinks of becoming a permanent resident in our house. In exchange, I’ll feed it (the cat!), pet it and listen to whatever tales it cares to tell. Fair exchange, yes?

PS. The dead-animal stink wafting from the back door came from two flattened cicak, house lizards, caught between the door and the doorframe. They shouldn’t have played hide-and-seek there. That’s all I can say.


  1. Hi Tina. Thanks for visiting my site. Now it's my turn to visit yours. You yourself have a very engaging 'writing voice'. I like it. I guess this means we'll be seeing more of each oter - virtually that is. Cheers.

  2. Thanks for visiting Lizee! Thanks for the compliment, too. You can be sure that I'll be prowling in your garden very often!

  3. he is fortunate to found someone who would feed him and gave him shelter. most cats that lucky. take care kitty. hope i can see him myself soon. =)

  4. Hi Angel, I think the cat likes it here. It's not scared anymore.