My speech today is about Cats. No, not the award-winning Broadway musical. I’m talking about real, domesticated, cats. The 4 legged animal people either love or hate.
Our first feline pet was a little black and white kitten. We decided to train this kitten to do tricks. We would say words like “seat” while pushing its butt down so he would get into a seated position. There was no Google back then. The cat would look at us with his cute eyes and was thinking “what are you doing? I’m a cat.
One day and I remember this like it was just 40 years ago, my brother was again trying to teach the cat. He was always the more persistent one. He was seated by on the couch, the cat staring at him from the floor. My brother scratched an itch, and the cat thought, “Hey, now that is something I would like to do”. Slash! Cat took a swipe at my brother’s leg leaving him with a slash. And he cried.
“Well”, my parents must have thought, “this cat cannot be around anymore. He has had a taste of human flesh and could now no longer be trusted. So they got rid of him taking him out the door and letting him go. I know what you are thinking “What a horrible thing to do!”. But remember, this was 40 years ago. In the Philippines. There were so many stray cats back then it was like sending him back to his family.
Fast forward 20 years later. I had just gotten married, and we were visiting my sister-in-law. We left around 9 pm, and we walked down the dark street towards our car. I then heard a little noise. Meow, meow. The sound of little kittens. Cute like babies! We took a few moments to search left and right. My wife and I worried. I may not have mentioned it earlier but the number of stray cats in Manila also meant that the road kills are cats. I followed the sound until I found this kitten just lying next to flowing waters along the city street. No other kittens were around so I figured she either ran away from an abusive home or the parents sent her away earlier. We adopted her and took her home. To be honest, I wasn’t thinking of any feline-borne disease.
Back home, I have the kitten a bath, dried her with some paper towel and put her on the balcony. We could have kept her indoors but my wife is allergic to furry animals. Now how to feed her? We had powdered milk, sugar, and a medicine dropper. So I took her and fed her milk. As much as she would take. Then I left some in a saucer. We did not know if she would survive. But she did. I fed her every day until she was ready to try leftovers.
One day, my wife and I were getting ready for work, and I looked up towards the balcony. It felt like it was just a blink of an eye when we first found her but now, upon the ledge was a full grown feline mongrel. No longer cute or helpless. She was now a teenaged cat and would soon leave the house. I told my wife, “Once she leaves she is never coming back”. It wasn’t because either of us was angry at her for something she did, or she might not find her way back. It was because we lived up on the 4rth floor of an apartment building and I gave her the apartment.
She was gone that evening. And we never saw her again.
And she was the last cat I ever owned. Adopting that cat was a great experience. I learned patience, a trait I will use later with my own kids. But unlike the cat, I made sure my kids knew the house address.
The reviewer gave me an excellent rating.
One comment he had is he was a little confused about when I got the second cat. I would think that when I said “Fast forward 20 years later” that would signal a change. But that is me. Some people may not think of it that way. Overall, I view each speech a success because I get to speak in front of a group.
© 2017 – 2019, Norman Talon. All rights reserved.