09 December 2005, 8:38 AM
I remember that day seeing this cute kitten sneaking at our gate, rushing behind one of the pots when Ducky, our pet dog, came running after him. I hastily called Bam and Kim, “Dali, tignan niyo! May cute na kitten dito sa labas!” And soon my two daughters were out looking for the kitten in our driveway. Since I was in the middle of finishing a report at that time, I completely forgot about this.
A moment later, Bam and Kim came to my room carrying the sneaky and shy kitten, whom they have already nicknamed “Furball”. Both girls kept saying “ang cute niya Mama no?”, which of course simply meant - "dito na siya Mama ha? aalagaan namin siya." We already had three pets: 2 cats (Turkey, the black cat, Wabbit, the white cat) and 1 dog (Ducky - a doggie who came to adopt us - oh that's another story I want to write about).
And since that day … I couldn’t help but feel so much warmth and affection for the new “baby” in our family. We discovered that Furball had his way of communicating with us using different tones of his “meow” which sometimes sounds “wow” in different notes.
Whenever I am washing the dishes, he is there sitting on the side of the sink to strike a conversation with me -- him, with his meows and wow and whatever sound he creates while looking up at me; and me, talking with him the way I do with small kids. I enjoy these funny conversations with him. I guess, Furball also enjoyed it as much as I did.
It wasn’t easy for Turkey and Wabbit to get used to having another kitten with us. But as the days and weeks passed by, slowly, they became used to his makulet na presence, even tolerant of his distinctly different behaviors.
Wabbit and Furball became funny playmates. I could see that they love the same toys, claim for the same sleeping space in the shelf, and love for the outdoors. And it turned out that Furball was the bully to a bigger Wabbit, who was more than double his size.
Turkey became Furball's mentor and disciplinarian, teaching him where to pee and how to use the litter box, and maybe taught him many other things that we didn't care to know anymore.
And Ducky, our pet dog, became his best friend. I believe they were really close that Ducky knew something happened to his best friend when he made that very sad cry (bigla siyang nag-alulong) yesterday. True enough, when we got to the clinic we found out that Furball made his last breath at the exact moment Ducky cried out loud.
I really miss him so much. These were the thoughts running at the back of my mind while folding the laundry atop our double-deck bed. But while doing this I couldn’t help from bursting into tears for not hearing his “wow” for the past two days. When I turned my head, I saw Wabbit staring at me from down below and hastily jumped up to the “second floor” of the bed and gave me that “bite” in my arm, the way Furball used to do. Then he started rubbing his body on the pillow I was embracing as if sharing with my sadness and assuring me that he is still there to give me those funny habits we have associated with Furball. I embraced Wabbit and told him, “I know you miss Furball, too!” And he stayed beside me for a few more minutes, maybe also remembering Furball.
Then I started remembering another scene.
A few months later after adopting the kitten, Furball's mom, a stray cat fed by Bam when she saw her nursing several kittens, came over and stood staring at our door as if knowing that her baby is with us. Upon seeing her at the door, we brought Furball out to her mom. When the mom-cat saw Furball, she slowly walked away towards our neighbor’s gate. We noticed that she was treading slowly, hesitantly as if waiting for Furball to follow her. We simply watched through our window to see what was going to happen. Although Furball took a few steps towards the gate, we saw that instead of following his mom he started poking at the pot of plant that was a few feet away from the gate. Then the mom-cat walked through our neighbor's gate out of our sight.
Taking that as our cue that Furball made his decision to stay with us, we hastily got him back and brought him inside our home. We felt at that moment that the mom-cat also wanted to give Furball the choice, in the same way that we wanted to leave them by themselves to make that decision.
We had a restless sleep last night. Kim felt that Furball was actually with us the whole night. Even Turkey and Wabbit were a bit restless, too. In the middle of the night I saw Wabbit go up to the top of the cabinets, the place where he usually stays when he wants to be all by himself. And it was early morning when I felt Turkey creep to his sleeping area, on top of my malong, between my legs, while Wabbit slept beside me the whole night.
We woke up at 6 a.m. today because we wanted to bury Furball very early in the morning, before the sun is up. I wanted to hug him for some more minutes before placing him inside the hole Butch dug up last night. Putting Furball in his resting place was a very painful gesture on my part.
I started wondering if the three of us (me and my two daughters) shared the same feeling inside our heart. And so I asked Kim, my youngest daughter, if she also feels that pinch inside her heart. She said, “Ganon din ang nararamdaman ko, Ma.”
No amount of rationalization could remove the pain and guilt I feel in my heart after what happened. I can’t help but cry once more as I remember Furball finding his way to the CR, despite the pain and being weak, to pee. He even tried to find his way to the laundry area and use the litter box, as he usually did in the past.
It's sad and it's a mixture of many other things...ang hirap i-describe. basta.
... and we bid him good bye and au revoir very early this morning. I know it's gonna take some time before I stop crying about this. and it's okay. sarap magmahal ng ganito.