Saturday, January 30, 2010

If It Ain't Yours, You Can't Have It...

Nor own it.

This is a little Saturday story. Just a little story about a cat. A big cat. We call him BB which stands for Big Boy. Shaira gave the cat that name. And he's big because of us, we think. We "nourished" him a little too much.

He was not our cat, though we felt that he was, have been and will always be. After all these years, BB just never came back to us. Just stopped visiting.

BB began visiting us some years ago when he was outgrowing kitten-hood and at a stage when the world was his oyster -- that neighbourhood street where he must have lived and where my family and I still do.
I'm not sure, though, where he lived, or lives. It's still a mystery.

One morning years ago, I found this cat at the corner of my garage, just having a quiet stretchy moment. I was sure it was a male cat -- I'm quite knowledgeable about cats, having owned many when I was living with my parents, those single footloose and fancy-free (and cat-allergy-free) days.

When I saw him, I winked at him, as though it was the most natural thing to do to a cat.
He gazed at me, unperturbed. Must be sizing me up. Then he got himself up and together, and left. I thought nothing of it. He was not the first cat to have visited our garage, and I thought, certainly, not the last.

There must have been something that connected us, those few seconds. Must have been my wink. Because, he came back the next day.

"Hmm. Will you do this for the next 10 years?," I asked myself, smiling. He was a handsome cat. I could tell that he was going to be magnificent.

"But who do you belong to?," I wondered. He looked domesticated. A little scruffy in a handsome way, but clean and healthy.

Soon, he became a familiar appearance every morning. And we watched him grow bigger and bigger, and more handsome.

Friendly at first and then, familiar. But he never came into the house, for some reason. Perhaps he knew that we were all allergic to cats.

It was a strange but satisfying relationship that we had with BB. It was not that he was around the garage all day long. He'd be at his usual spot in the garage every morning, mosey about a while and then leave. He'd come again in the evening and then leave way past 10pm.
Even on rainy days.

Still, we were sure he had an owner somewhere.
Sometimes, as I drive around the neighbourhood, I try to look out for this handsome grey cat.

We'd never have to feed BB. He seemed well-fed.
I'd just talk to him, stroke him a little (despite my allergy; but I would quickly wash my hands after).
My kids would do the same.

There were times we were all away for the holidays. We never got to find out whether BB ever came over.

They were brief moments of tenderness every time we were with him. But it was an enduring relationship all these years.

One day, after years of warmth and, to some extent, love...BB simply stopped coming. We had wondered why.

"Too much love, perhaps.", I sighed.

"Or he's died." Shaira offered, morose.

"I hope not," I remarked.

Although, that, in a twisted way, would be better. Then, we'd know he will not ever be coming back.

Coming back? We forget that he was never ours in the first place. He never belonged to us. We'd known that the first time BB came over.

"BB was always just visiting. Perhaps he liked our place and he liked us a lot. But, now, perhaps, his owner has decided to really take good care of him. And he has decided to like his owner back. That is good for him," I told Shaira, as I tried hard to block out images of BB being run over by a car..

BB was never ours. So, you can never lose something that you never really owned.

"He doesn't have to be faithful or loyal to us. He doesn't have to be grateful to us. And you must never expect anything in return," I said. And...aah, have you also forgotten that BB is an animal?

There'll be other cats. Other BBs.

Shaira didn't find that comforting.

I know, I know. That's not the point.

Shaira is still hoping that BB will "come back".

"He must have loved us. Surely...", she said.

I'm not sure now, Shaira. But, we are here. He knows where we are.

Remember, though, that he can never be yours.

So, deal with it, my dear.

And don't be sad.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

mine is the opposite case.

i had only 4 cats, originally.

suddenly some 15 cats, all shapes and sizes, from nowhere came to our house and said ' we are yours, you can have us..

since then, they just seems to stick around.

not nice cats, not always big and fat.

one is blind, several are skinny and scrawny type cats, some have ears bitten off by each other. but they just claim that iam theirs.

one or two actually were from seven eleven and one from kfc. we went to buy stuff, and these cats simply jumped into the car and sit, at the front seat, waited to be taken home.

sigh.... what to do. when cats decided you are theirs, you just have to live with it...:-(

pakmat said...

..that's the way with tomcats,lady...:)..take it from an old tom..nothing is permanent or lasting..and nobody owns them..and as for your BB, not even his self-acclaimed owner..after a while they'll moved on..other garages, other lawns..he is yours for as long that he is yours..so lament not BB's absence..he might just turn up again, who knows?..

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Nuraina,
My heart goes out to BB. Wherever he is. Do you know that when you wink at a cat, it means you want to be its friend. That's why he kept on visiting you. Maybe his owner moved away and took him with them. purrrr...meow!

Anonymous said...

Cats are sent to us from God.
They actually oversee us.
We never actually own them.
They own us more.
When they go for good,then, most of the time a new cat takes over.
Sure,we give them food and all but
they still own us.
God sent them to us.
We actually need them more..

Josh

el-Barokhas said...

You, womenfolk, are a sentimental lot, to the point of almost bringing out a tear in this macho guy with your cat anecdotes.

Reminds me of our Thomasina who was raised like our own child with own room and toilet. The house, the car were hers, first - ours second. Undestood our every vibe.

One day, arriving home from work, our Thomasina wasn't there at the door to greet us the way she always, without fail, did. Minutes later we found her hanging motionless at the 'v' of the trellis separating the house and garden, apparently strangled there while attempting to catch a grasshopper or something (we ruled out a mouse because she's the type that would not so much as dare confront eye-to-eye any reasonably-sized rodent).

To this day, my wife and I and the children (who never knew Thomasina except through our fond stories of her) managed to fend off enticing thoughts of having another affair with those gentle and lovable creatures of the Thomasina kind.

But each time we visited Alor Star we'd make it a point to pass by our old address where Thomasina was laid to rest some thirty years ago.

Retrogina said...

Kak Ena,

Love stories about cats. Warms my heart. Cats do have some sort of a 6 sense. Orang-orang tua cakap, kalau kucing shows up at your door, it's rezeki. I believe that.

May God protect BB where ever he is.

Your story title makes me smile Kak Ena. Still trying to deal with it ;-)

Anonymous said...

nuraina,

please tell shaira not to "mourn"...BB may or may never "come back". It is not the end of the world.

BB is an animal. they go by instincts.

let's hope he is safe at his "own home" and not killed or run over by a car.

it's a different thing if BB was a person.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@8:44PM,

admit it -- you are a cat lover!

you must be. and you don't discriminate -- skinny, scrawny, blind....

may God bless you!

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

pakmat,

thank you. that's good to know.

yeah...i'm just imagining BB right there at the corner of the garage.

:-)

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

C-I-S,

as long as he is safe and sound, wherever he is.

thanks for visiting..

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

josh,

really...cats own us?

hmmm....

thank you for that little ode..

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

al-Barokhas,

oh dear. what a touching story. and i am only all too familiar with cat stories like that.

in my dad's backyard, is actually a cat cemetery. all our cats were buried there.

actually, i stopped having a cat for a pet when my cat, Pixie (a mixed tabby/persian) was run over my my dad's driver in 1980-something. at that time, i was living at home (at my parents') and i had many cats, but Pixie was the only one left. she was a lovely, sweet-tempered adn very intelligent cat. i was so devastated and i promised myself to not have a pet, ever.
actually, she didn't die instantly. i had to take her to the vet, she was in pain. she had to be put to sleep, and i saw her close her eyes....

oh well...back to BB...hopeful he is safe and sound. come to think of it,he should be quite old already -- in cat years..

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Gina (retrogina),

wow. that means i have been given a lot of rezeki, Alhamdulillah because i am not called Ummi Hurairah for nothing.

Before BB, there had been so many cats stopping over. There were times, I'd find a cat on my car (front bonnet).

Years ago, when I first got married and was renting a house in one of the Lorong Rahim Kajai in taman Tun Dr Ismail, I had five uninvited "visitors", lounging in my living room.

You know that I wear contact lenses. But, I don;t wear them when I go to bed. So, in the morning when I wake up, I'd either go without my lenses, or grab my spectacles, depending on what I might be doing.

That particular mornign, I was already up (as usual for subuh) but decided to go downstairs around 7pm to have a quick breakfast before my shower and off to work. I was without my glasses. As I came down the stairs I thought I saw some cats in the livign room. I quickly went back to my room and grab my spectacles. And true enough there were 5 cats, happily lounging in my living room.

as soon as they saw me, they got a fright.

I speak to animals, you see. And i asked them "how did you guys get in?" they rushed up the stairs, past me and headed right to the living room upstairs and out the open window.

Itu-lah, cerita.

thanks for visting. and yeah...the title..:-))

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@11:44PM,

thank you. i am hopeful BB is somewhere safe and sound too, and not run over by a car, or killed in a cat-fight.

Kata Tak Nak said...

When I grew up we had many cats, many nameless except for 2. One was Tex Mackenzie who died of a snake bite and the other Manuel De Bastard, I don't know why I called it that but he stayed with us for quite sometime until one day he left. Yes, he left. Why? I don't know. I did come back many many months later but he was all thin and scrawny and died a few days later.

Now, I don't have cats at home coz the missus can't stand them and my 2 daughters are simply terrified of cats.

What a pity, they are beautiful creatures really.

Anonymous said...

nuraina,

saya tahu sangat perasaan Shaira. Saya pernah bela se-ekor kucing, dari ia kecil sampai dah dewasa besar.

but, one day, he just left home and never came back.

saya sedar bahawa, kita ni tak-lah important to him as he was to us. sedih. tapi, apa nak buat...asal bukan manusia yang perangai gitu...

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

kata tak nak,

cikgu -- terror name kucing2 cikgu.

your cat -- manuel de bastard (adoi, nama dahsyat nya!) macam one of my cats. I can't remember the name but he disappeared for two weeks and came back all messy and skinny, with wounds, as thouhg he'd been in a fight. and then he died, despite having been treated by our vet.

sorry to hear that none of your family members like cats. i know many people yang takut atau can't stand cats.

thanks for visiting, cikgu.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@12:53AM,

betul tu.

that's probably true. while we had been kind and giving (of our love) to BB, he was just being a cat. you are right, maybe we were not as important to him. but then, he's a cat.

tapi, in human world, ada ramai perangai gitu.

Anonymous said...

My sister had a harrowing experience,however.. not cats but human..

They had this Indonesian maid working for them for the last 8yrs.. 3of her sons grew up with her.. and the youngest, only 4yrs old, inseperable..must see Bibi before going to sleep.

She decided to go home for a 2weeks holiday, insisted getting her a plane ticket, she refused saying she would like to follow her PATI friends on a boatride... and news, the boat overturned.. and she was one of the casualties.. never to be heard again.

It pained the whole family, my sis out of guilt, the kids just kept asking for her.. on for almost 1year..at he mention of her name, tears flew freely around..

My husband and me went to Muara port Klang for some seafood. As we were about to order our food, heard a waiter tending to the next table.. order makan apa bang.. voice sounded so familiar...

AND THERE SHE WAS, THE LOST "CAT" THAT WE ALL THOUGHT WERE SO DEAD FOR THE LAST 2yrs...

Cats are like humans too.. they seek greener pastures...

Bonda

patriot jawa johor said...

this reminds me of the wonderful studio ghibli's film - whisper of the heart. of how a big fat cat brought togather two persons by just being there.

Anonymous said...

kak ena,

a good advice to shaira -- and this is a life-long advice about life.

never ever have high expectations -- from a cat or a man or, a woman.

obviously, we would expect such a thing from BB -- a cat.

but guess what? people do that too. peope have short memories, kak ena.

in friendships, in relationships.

you know how much you are loved by someone during critical moments or moments that matter.

you will know how much someone loves you by how much he or she gives back or how they appreciate you.

sometimes it seems all too one-sided..you do the giving and he/she, -- the taking.

now, we're talking about a cat. BB will come back when it is convenient for him -- if he isn't dead already. he could be really too old and infirmed by now...in cat years.

so, tell shaira -- que sera sera...

but with animals -- it doesn't really hurt so bad, does it?

Anonymous said...

Even you give me thatr pussy, I don't want it. Dirty, smelly and used.

aminah said...

kak aina,

mungkin BB got something better? macam manusia -- kalau dah naik sikit, dari segi apa saja, dia dah lupa shaira dan kak aina.

tak kisah-lah kalau shaira dah belai dia dengan kasih sayang -- mungkin yang tidak pernah di berikan oleh owner dia...mungkin sekarang, owner dia bagi makan "steak", dan beri dia special treatment, macam anak raja...kot, dah sedar, BB selama ni menghilangkan diri...

binatang pun macam manusia (haha -- bukan manusia macam binatang).
dan manusia ramai lagi teruk dari binatang.

betul, tak, kak aina?

yvonne said...

to shaira:

the message is clear, dear shaira (and nuraina) -- BB no longer needs you -- or your "nourishment". plain and simple.

you are right. cats go by instincts.
whatever he needed before, he is getting it now, from wherever and whomever. could be his owners, or new friends like you.

or HE HAS FOUND A MATE! HE MUST BE OLD, RIGHT. BB is a dirty old cat. meowwwwrrrrr.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@2:42AM (Bonda),

what a cat! yeah, yeah - greener pastures.

patriot jawa: really? i did google it. Thanks.

anon@10:37AM: we hear you! :-) thank you.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@10:58AM : kesian kamu, ya. very the pengecut....:-)

Loken PaL-aNi-SaM-y said...

Nice story and comments....welcome relief from all the politics

u probably can speak to cats...some ppl just have it....lol..gbu

lorelei said...

seriously, nuraina,

BB could have been coming to your home because there was another male cat in his own home.
perhaps, that male cat is now gone and BB can now stay there peacefully.

sometimes male cats can get along with each other, but sometimes they cannot. when they cannot, it is serious. they will hiss at each other and get all very disturbed by each other's presence.
it is also a territorial thing.

but, you and your family have been very good to BB. i'm sure he is very grateful, though he cannot say it in human lingo.

shah said...

ena,

what a refreshing change from the political issues.
anyway -- on BB. i have this to say. animals and humans no differnce. same.
opportunistic, greedy. except that animals dont know how to deceive. if they do, then not in the way humans do that can hurt emotionally.
BB was opportunistic and greedy. imagine a human -- a man or woman -- in that circumstance.
you cannot say BB is a coward for staying away -- whatever the reason. they don't react the way humans do. if a cat will not attack a mouse, he goes by his instinct. cats do attack mice because they are small. but may not be rats. its instinctive.

humans -- think. most of the time, not. thats when they use their heart.

people do things for different reason. if BB was a human, let's say a man -- he was having an afair with you guys when he actually has a home.

you gave him all that he needed that he was not getting at home.

something happened at home now. or he has to do something for which he has made some serious consideration -- and decided that his own home won, over you.

sorry, lah, ena. shaira and you dont mean a thing to him anymore.

greedy? cowardly? go figure.

i say, it's beastly. :-(

tun teja said...

nuraina & shaira,

cari lah kucing lain...:-)

mimie said...

kak ena, jangan-lah layan bitch2 macam anon10:58AM.
tak payah nak publish komen dia.

to anon10:58AM : go f... elsewhere-lah. kak ena is right. you are a pengecut!

P:S: mesti this anon is a betina. jeles dengan kak ena?

Anonymous said...

Dua tiga kucing berlari
manakan sama si kucing belang ...

Kucing lazimnya tinggalkan tuannya bila tiba waktunya untuk mati. Tabiat kucing. Tapi kalau anda bukan tuannya BB, mungkin ada sebab lain.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

aminah & yvonne: yep..anything is possible.

loken : just a change for saturday.

lorelei: hope so.

shah : haha... i'm sure you are right.

tun teja: don't think so. emosi sangat-lah nanti. dah sayang-sayang, lepas tu, dia tinggalkan kita. but then..u never know.

mimie: alahai...occupational hazard.

anon@3:50PM: banyak kemungkinan.

Anonymous said...

Jangan bersangka buruk pada BB. There must be a reason. Like anon 3.50pm says.. kucing kalau nak mati, dia akan menjauhkan diri dari org yg sayang dia.

We had this one visitor in the office. Everyday she would wait at our doorstep. Sometimes she would be found lazing at the restaurant. My brother would tell her to go and wait at the office and we would bring fish for her. She did just that. After having our lunch, we would found MANJA (we name her that) right infront of our office.. She even had a chair of her own in the office. We bought biscuits for her and sometimes canned fish.

Two times, she got stuck in the office during weekend as the last person leaving the office did not notice that she was still sleeping inside.

When I came back on Monday, she was waiting to go out. Never wee wee or waa waa in the office and didn't even skretch any of the files or papers.

One day she just disappeared. We didn't know where she went. Hopefully someone else is taking good care of her.. The whole office missed her so much!

Anonymous said...

i have 2 cats, one male and one female, but they r from the same mother. when they were younger they played together, one can't be without the other, but as they grow older, they male one want to start to explore the surrounding. He start looking for other she cats as my female is neutered and does not seem interested in you know what.
But one thing about my male cat, he always come home, even when he did find a girlfriend some where.. how i know, he;ll go off for a day, but will always come back home, the longest he'll go off is around 3 days. cats do not find other owners if they love their homes. true they'll dissappear for couple of days, but they'll always come home. They don't forget the people who cared for them, coz as far as my cats are concerned, despite leaving them alone at my home for months with daily visits from my parents to care for them, they remember me and i am truly blessed to to have them loving me as much as i love them.
So my conclusion is, cats are not like humans. They are more loyal to you as long as you treat them with love.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe that we have reached the point where technology has become one with our society, and I am fairly certain that we have passed the point of no return in our relationship with technology.


I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets cheaper, the possibility of uploading our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I daydream about almost every day.


(Posted on Nintendo DS running [url=http://knol.google.com/k/anonymous/-/9v7ff0hnkzef/1]r4i dsi[/url]NDSBro)

Keanorlinsya said...

Aunty Ena,

I read a story once about a woman who had daily visit from a dog. Up to a week she wrote a letter and clipped it to the dog's collar.

"Im wondering if you know your dog have been at my place everyday for the past week. He'll come in the morning and leave at night. Im just curious where did he come from as he always come over to sleep in the same spot"

The next day a letter arrive with the dog.

"That's alright. He must be there to catch up on his sleep. He lives with a family of 5. We have 3 children, all under the age of 2. Can I come with him tomorrow?"

Maybe that is the case for BB too! =D