Before I begin, I would like to point out that I don’t care what people think of me. But I do like constructive feedbacks. Which brings me to this article. Now I know there are some people out there who can be quite the cynic (and I believe you are not one of them). I’ve seen people bombarding cold and cruel comments on Facebook when someone posts or writes about their cat, new marriage, new gf and etc. Thankfully, even though a little part of me wants to be a cynic, I hold back most of my comments. Because deep down, I’m an optimist.
However, I shall not digress further and will continue this story. A simple story about love. A story about my kitten; that left too early but was loved unconditionally.
I found and fell in love with Chiko (short for Cekodok. A Malaysian delicacy) immediately the moment it slept in my palm; that was about one and a half months ago. He was about 3 months old; had black ears, black nose and some of his paws were black as well. As if he was wearing black socks! Overall, Chiko was white in colour; how odd that my car, my phone and my laptop were all white as well. I guess this was meant to be.
Chiko snatched my heart when I was visiting my grandma in Datok Keramat. It was raining heavily and it was also the night before my sister’s wedding. He looked lost when he walked up to me. It must’ve been looking for the mother. My heart skipped a beat; because as much as I wanted to keep Chiko, I couldn’t bring myself to do so. My experience with cats had been quite…depressing. Which is why I try to stay away from cats. I don’t hate them; I just don’t want to disappoint them. My heart can’t take it.
But God had plans. And you follow THE plans.
When my girlfriend placed Chiko in my palm, he tried his best to snuggle up. The poor runt must’ve been looking for a warm place to sleep. I don’t blame him since it was raining heavily. And weirdly enough, Chiko was not the only one feeling the warmth; I was feeling it as well. Chiko was now comfortable - face down, body relaxed and one of his paws were dangling because it couldn’t find a place to cuddle up. He couldn’t be bothered to.
My girlfriend begged me terribly to keep him since I had my own place and all. She thought it would be a good idea since Chiko can be a great company when she’s not around. And plus, she knew I can’t be alone. So adopting Chiko had many benefits – to me.
I resisted. Over and over. And before you know it, we left my grandma’s place and left Chiko on the cold floor. Once again, he scurried away to find the mother.
Before my girlfriend and I head back to my place, we had a quick dinner at Ampang Point. Even though the food was good, Chiko was still lingering in my mind. And my girlfriend couldn’t stop talking about Chiko. There were so many “what if” going through my mind. What if I kept Chiko? What if something happened to him? What if a car hit him? I hated these thoughts. It pushed me further and further towards the chances of keeping him. But my pessimistic side brushed it all off. Problem solved. Hooray for negativity.
When we were done with dinner, I had to take the same road to my place- by passing by my grandma’s house. In the car, my girlfriend said, ‘Let’s take care of it, together. I will bear the burden as well. And I will visit him often.’ I kept quiet. My heart was shouting louder than my brain. ‘As long as you love him, feed him and all, he will be fine,’ the heart said to me.
‘Dammit, let’s do it,’ I said to my girlfriend.
We stopped by my grandma’s place and found him sleeping on the floor. He was half wet and looked pathetic. The poor kid was shivering. I asked my youngest brother to find an empty box and took one of his mini towels; placed the towels nicely in the box and then Chiko in it. He was still sleeping; unperturbed by the people carrying him. Unperturbed by the fact that he was about to find a home, with two loving souls.
I drove carefully, not wanting to wake the little fella up. He was sleeping soundly. The air-cond was turned off because I didn’t want him to catch a cold. Wow, being a parent was tough.
Once I reached home, I set the box down on my balcony. It was quite spacious; Chiko will be able to move about. Next, I needed a litter box, bowl, pooper scooper and etc. This was going to burn a hole in my pocket. But at least my heart was filled with love.
So my girlfriend and I went to the nearest Tesco and bought all the stuff. It came up to RM300 plus! But both of us were happy. It didn’t’ matter to us because we wanted Chiko to have the best home and care.
Chiko woke up quite early the next day. He looked dumbfounded (instead of shock) when I walked over the balcony. And since there was a glass door, Chiko was scratching and knocking it in order to get acquainted with his new found “parents”. I opened the door, and Chiko hesitated to come in. First, he sniffed the floor, then the door and finally my feet. How odd. I guess cats do have security issues. Just like humans.
After a few minutes with us, Chiko looked much relaxed and comfortable. He had a home! And a good one I may add. He was happy and excited. But that feeling was about to go down in flames.
Because the first thing on the agenda was…a….bath.
I had experience of cleaning my cats; but Chiko was on a different level. He may be quiet, but the little bugger managed to get my gf and I soaked! And you don’t want to know the aftermath. He looked pissed and decided to stay away from us. And me being the stern “father”, I kept on holding him to dry him up. At the same time, I was also trying to kill all the ticks.
1,2,3,4 and 5 ticks died that day. There were more but I decided to give Chiko a break. And a little treat. I gave him some wet tuna and he went at it like a hobo who never had a decent meal in his life. I also prepared a place for him to poo; but when I tried to put him there, he ended up eating the sand! So I placed him back near his food and let nature take its course. Let things happen naturally.
The first day with Chiko was quite a handful. I didn’t know taking care of someone beside myself was this tough. And the love towards him was immense. It was unexplainable. It was troublesome and costly.
Yet, I was still smiling from ear to ear. My heart was content. And it was worth it. Something inside me grew. And it was good. If only Chiko can understand my feelings at that moment. If only. But somehow, I think he knew. Because even though I gave him a bath and all, he tip toed to me and demanded a tummy rub.
Yeah, he knew I loved him.
End of Part 1.