A Cat and Three Myths

BismilLah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim

I have a history of attracting stray cats. I don’t deliberately look to bring home stray cats but I often find myself in situations where the only options left to me were;

  1. rescue the stray cat/kitten
  2. walk away knowing I could’ve done something to save the cat/kitten

Of course, I always go for option 1. And they were always rescues. Kitten very sick/ cat half-eaten by a dog/ kitten in a drain (2, maybe 3 of those…)/ kitten almost getting run over by a car/ kitten run over by a car and dying/kittens in my car engine (after having spent have the morning travelling from Ampang to Subang and back again!).

A few days before Eid ul-fitri last year, I was walking to my car from my sister’s house when I clearly heard a kitten meowing in terror. Sigh…Even though it was over 50 metres away, yet I could hear so clearly so I knew it was meant to be for me to rescue it. Alhamdulillah, I  found it behind a street light and went to the houses across the street to ask if anyone had lost a kitten. Being so close to Eid, most residents had already left Kuala Lumpur so I drew a blank. I took it home and thus we gained a new member of the family (on top of the rabbit and 10 goldfishes…).

Our kitten, whom we still haven’t confirmed it’s name but call it Gentle or sometimes Meow-Meow, settled nicely into our lives and began to blow apart every pre-conceived notions/ myths we had about cats!

Myth # 1: Cats hate water

Water running down kitten's ears and he's still sitting there!

Whenever our kitten is quiet or not in sight, the first place I will look is in the bathroom sink. And true enough, there he is, trying his best to get himself wet from the tap! The sink is his favourite hang-out and sometimes, I let the water trickle down so he could drink from it or play with the water. He loves his weekly baths in our big bathtub and once I actually found Adam and Daniel teaching it to swim in the quarter-filled tub! He was fine…

Myth # 2: Cats love live fish

We have an open fish tank with several goldfishes in it and in the beginning, I was worried the kitten would try to eat the fishes. Once he was able to jump up to the shelf housing the fish tank, I began to train him to NOT eat the fishes. I would let him sit next to the tank and let him watch the fishes, even letting him drink the water but whenever the fishes came close to him (you would think they would swim to the other side??), I firmly said no to him and took him down. After while, he got the picture so now, when I come home, I’ve stopped counting my goldfishes to check that they’re all there!

The view the kitten gets when he puts his head in the tank!

Myth # 3: Cats don’t eat spicy foods

I don’t know if this is really a myth or not but growing up with cats in the house (at one time, my mother kept over 20 cats!), I’ve never seen any of the cats eat spicy foods. Our kitten on the other hand, given a choice between a piece of fried fish and sambal sardines, will choose the sambal sardines EVERY time! My husband was amazed to see the kitten eat pasta with sauce (I made it hot). I’ve eaten dishes where I’m gasping for a glass of water after and our kitten nonchantly  eats everything up with barely a quiver of his whiskers…

Though I am writing about our kitten but this post is truly about not being quick to accept everything at it’s face value; sometimes things are not what we expect it to be. I had expected our kitten to be like any other kitten we’ve had or seen but it has really shown us that there is more than meets the eye. This can be said about many other things or people in our lives; someone we thought was aggressive is actually kindhearted. Someone we thought was strong and confident is actually hiding sadness and fear in his life. A child who is shy and stutters can actually be the one to come up with the best ideas in class. Think about it yourself and I’m sure you can come up with your own examples.

Waiting for someone to turn the tap on...

I really have to thank my kitten for showing me why it’s better to get to know something first before I make assumptions about what it will turn out to be. He’s helped me gain a better perspective in life. Now, if only I can make it stop chewing my hand all the time…

Surah Al Baqarah, verse 164, ‘ Behold! in the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for profit of mankind; on the rain which God sends down from the skies; and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (here) indeed are Signs (ayat) for a people that is wise.’

Gentle and Simba getting to know each other.

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About Sharena

My experiences as mother to Adam and Daniel, wife, daughter , teacher, trainer and friend has enriched my life to the fullest. Life is a journey of small steps through love, tests and contentment; fulfilling our role as khalifah makes it even more challenging and satisfactory.
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