Kitten Smitten1 Apr 2012
The H Family is proud to announce a new arrival. Our four has become five with the recent addition of Jedi, an eight-week-old kitten. It’s nice having a cat again. We’ve always had cats until I moved first to the UK and then here to Malaysia.
So when Hubby heard about this kitten which needed a home, we agreed to take her in. Okay, there was a bit more to it than that. Our girl had been asking for a cat for weeks, requests resolutely and repeatedly turned down by Hubby, a man who has long claimed to not like animals. He doesn’t hate them. He just claims not to see the point of them. He’s anim-apathetic, I suppose.
I suspected his resolve might be weakening, however, so when they caught a kitten at school, our daughter (with just the merest hint from me) went up to him and pulled her biggest doe-eyed expression, “Daaaaadeeeeee?
Can I please have the kitten from school?” Even stone-hearted Hubby couldn’t turn that down out-right, although he made us wait a fortnight to ensure our daughter was behaving well before he would make a decision.
There’s nothing like the threat of not giving a present to stop kids being naughty. I sometimes wonder if Christmas isn’t partly so popular with families as it makes kids behave. But then after the fortnight, that kitten had been taken by another family.
It’s funny how these things happen, but, during that week the school caught another cat, Hubby had one brought into his work, and a friend also found one.
Everywhere we looked there were cats needing homes. In the end, though, it was a surprise when anim-apathete Hubby himself said he had found a moggy and maybe we should get it. I called the number the next day and 48 hours after that we were the proud owners of Jedi.
We were going to change the name but decided not to for two reasons. Firstly, we couldn’t agree on an alternative. I liked Kuching (Malaysian for cat, as I’m sure you know), our daughter wanted to go with Ziggy, and Hubby had a list of names as long as your arm including options such as Felix Leiter, Templeton Peck, Ferris Miewller, Agamemnon, Rectangle and Pappadom. He’s a strange man.
The second reason we stuck with Jedi is the story behind the name. When she was first born, she lived at a food stall, where she was trodden on and usually cats wouldn’t survive as long as she did. Therefore, the people who took her felt that “the force is strong in this one.” I like that.
So Jedi has a new home. The kids love her and she loves them. She’s still tiny and loves getting under our feet but she is very affectionate.
As I write this she is lying on my shoulder—yes, she really is that tiny—as I type on the laptop. I even went out to the lounge the other night and found her curled up on Hubby, both of them snoring away. For someone not that keen on animals, he seems pretty fond of Jedi all right.
To round off this heart-warming (or stomach churning depending on your point of view) tale, though, I want to share something that I was told by the lady who passed us Jedi. She often rescues cats and helps find them homes. She estimates, based on the six years that she has lived in Malaysia, that every single year something like 10,000 cats are destroyed needlessly in this country.
A large part of the problem is that many Muslim people feel that neutering their pets is against the Koran. Imams have clearly stated that this simply isn’t the case but no campaign has been run to spread awareness that neutering your cat is actually in their interests and would save thousands of animals being killed every year.
It’s heart-breaking when you think about it and so, while I never normally use this column for preaching, I urge you to do your bit by making sure that your friends know the seriousness of the situation regarding unwanted cats here and that the only way to fix it is by talking about it and educating others.
Okay, that’s my good deed done for the day. I’m off to remove this cute little lady from my shoulder.