I was taken from my mum when very young and given to an older lady ‘for company’. This person was poor and fed me little. She lived in one room and I was never let outside to gain the social skills required to get along with trees, streets, and those large moving objects that weigh more than I do and which would squash me flat if I ever went too close to them. I was a sickly kitten and caught something called cat flu, which I don’t remember hunting but managed to catch anyway. I was taken to a vet and needed some medicine. The lady couldn’t afford to pay and threw me at the vet, who caught me and paid for the medicine himself before handing me over to a cat shelter.
Well, you can probably guess the rest. Julian saw me at the shelter and thought that a Buddhist cat would fit the bill perfectly and so took me to adorn his house. He had obtained another cat, a female cat called Gemma, a few weeks earlier from the same shelter.
I should tell you a little bit about Gemma, but not too much because I don’t want to stop you reading this book. I don’t want you to think, he’s exaggerating, cats aren’t like that, no cat could be so nasty, revolting, appalling, unfriendly, hideous, sneering, anti-social, villainous, and nasty again – all at the same time. Just a little bit about Gemma.
She’s a tyrant, she really is, she treats me with complete and utter contempt – me a Buddhist cat, me the kindest, neatest, friendliest, softest cat you could ever wish to meet. Me whose paws are always at 10-to-2 and pressed together touching each other, with no manspread as my mum taught me. I miss my mum.
Gemma is contemptuous of me, she says I am fraternising with the enemy when I purr if Julian or Marika strokes me. Or if I jump on their laps to find a nice place to sleep for sixteen hours or even sixteen minutes.
That’s enough of Gemma. For now.
I think she had some kittens when she was younger and they were taken away from her. Her previous family used to live in a house but when they moved to an apartment block, this place didn’t allow pets, not even cats, so they got rid of Gemma. She was rejected and she has taken that hard by the looks of it, but it’s not my fault, it’s not my fault, but she treats me like it is. I was rejected too, we have that in common, we could talk about our common experiences, but we don’t.
I think I am a resilient cat, but I know I lack experience in life. When they brought me back from the cat shelter, I was in the human world and it was bright, noisy, and full of people saying ‘What a lovely cat, what’s his name?’. I came back on the public transit system in a cat carrier and it was cramped. I yowled the whole time because I lacked experience about what to do. I yowl when I’m upset and then when I am upset about my reaction, I yowl some more. I yowled a lot in those first few days. But at least I didn’t poo myself in public.
My mum would have been proud of me. I hope she still is. I wonder whether I could find her one day. I know orphan humans can look for their real parents and I will have to investigate whether felines can too. When I was brought to the house where I live now. I was let out of the cat carrier and couldn’t believe there were places to run to, other rooms, there was an outside through the windows. They even let me go out of the front door, into the outside world, and I miaowed with happiness as I scampered down the wet front steps into the long green stuff they call a lawn.