Sunday, May 13, 2012

14. Adopting a cat

Sorry, dears. Life has been a haze for the past few days. I'll tell you the story one by one. But I'll start with the major story of my life.

My birthday wahoo. My friends got me a cat for my birthday. Adopted from SPCA. Now, I would not recommend anybody giving a cat as a present for anyone for a birthday. A cat is a big decision to make; you might think that all you need is to feed it and change his/her litterbox BUT factoring in the reason that he/she might get sick; toys; bla bla, well a cat is not just a hasty decision to make. Food & litter is not cheap here in Malaysia. I recently bought Science Plan for Maximus which was around RM 45++ for just 28 days worth of food.

My friends knew I have always wanted to have a cat but I never really had one because of sinus problems/mom's wrath. Now that my brother and sister-in-law left to study in UK, and that I'm staying alone, my friends thought it would be a perfect time to get me a cat. My parents, of course, FREAKED OUT when they found out about having a cat.

You can't even begin to fathom how scared I was about keeping Maximus. My work keeps me busy; it's not a regular 9-to-5 job as recently, we started a project; I might finish work at midnight, or 8 pm. I was afraid that I could not take care of an animal who depends solely on you to feed him, or I would not be at home and I'll return to a house full of ruins. That and the fact that I have never ever had anything furry to take care of (had tortoises but that was it).

I googled information on how to keep a cat. The first day at work, I kept him in his cage. And I read that it was cruel to cage a cat; that if you were gonna cage him, you didn't deserve to have a cat in the first place. So I let him explore the house (I live in a condo); watching him like a hawk and preparing to sound him if he was going to do anything naughty like bite wires, scratch furnitures or jump off my balcony.

When I took him in, he was 2 and a half months old, around 400 grams. He was sick with feline fever at that time, and it cost me RM400+ for boarding, feeding, consultation fees & taking care of the furry bugger. I cried when the doctor informed me that Max was emaciated and that there was a slim chance for recovery.

But now, five weeks later, he is 1.5 kg and healthy. I've never loved a furball as much as I do for Max. I love that he waits for me patiently at the door when he hears my keys rattling at the door. I love that he waits for me patiently at my feet as I hang my laundry. I have even come to love him biting and scratching me as I feed him his antibiotics and bacteria shots for mammals.

My most dreaded moment was going off to Singapore for a 3-days-2-nights vacation; I had just picked him up from the vet; he was just recovering from his fever and he was doing alright. My friends had promised to look in on him, and feed him. It was such a relief when I came back and he was still purring and eating.


He is now very healthy (and a bit spoilt). In the beginning, I let him sleep with me in my room; but I developed a cough and cold the same time he started to develop symptoms of feline fever. I was also allergic to his fur. I had to "sterilize" my house when he boarded the clinic for his feline fever. So now he sleeps out in the living room. He is my alarm clock, as he will meow very very early in the morning to let me know he is hungry. He knows not to jump off the balcony. 

Maximus is a very playful cat that basks in attention. He loves silly games like chasing your hand (you place it under a blanket and move it around). Sometimes when I'm resting he'll walk across my head. He loves to disturb me when I'm reading or doing work (plonks himself in front of my book/laptop). Having a cat forces you to be more clean and attentive (keeping anything wiry after you're done with it, throwing away anything like lint, strings etc).


But it is all worth it. He knows I'm his master and there's no feeling like it when he curls up in your arms and purrs like a lawnmower. It's the best feeling in the world and I'm grateful to have Max around. I love him and I plan to having him stick around for the rest of his cute, furry life. To others, yes it is costly to keep a cat - the doctors said that there was an epidemic from cats adopted from SPCA so it really is up to you where you would adopt a cat from. I rather adopt one than buy one that was bred at a shop anyways. They are lovely creatures who are actually very independent. You will be rewarded with companionship & furry warmth at the end of the day.