Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Gone too soon

Tuah. 2015
She turned up one day and decided to stay. Winning over the queen of the house who is not really a big fan of pets. She won Mama by killing a snake and leaving it by her bowl. Mama started calling her Tuah, short for 'Bertuah' because she said Tuah saved her from the snake, and the name stuck even after we discovered that Tuah is in fact a girl.

A frisky gal that she was, along came a handsome tomcat trying to win her over and he too stayed, secretly sharing her food in the beginning, and hanging out with her, sharing the foot rug under the porch after a few days. Officially they seem enemies, hissing and snarling during each encounter with audience of us. And each time as I walk away, I catch them stealing kisses, I guess they think they must not let it on to us that they are quite a couple, the starcrossed lovers kind.

This morning I walked upon them in what appeared to be a lovers tiff and on top of the usual hiss and scratching, Tuah was  being quite flirty too, twirling and flipping her body. We finally put on the pink flea collar we got last night and she looks like she's showing it off to Thomas O'Malley. I even managed to record 6:30 minutes worth of her antics.

I started cooking at about 5:30pm, as we are making Mandy Chicken, there's no rush, so I took my time, even going upstairs to finish up some work while leaving the chicken in the marinate. I couldn't have been gone for more than half and hours. When I got down, Yuli the weekly helper keep saying excitedly, something about forgetting the gas. I said, no, I didn't leave the stove on. She said no, not gas, the gate. I asked what about the gate, she said my mom went next door to see Auntie Pat to alter her baju raya and left the gate slightly open and some dogs got in and bit the cat, which I assumed would have been Thomas picking a fight with the dogs. I asked if it's the black cat, she said no, it's the brown orange one.

I rushed out immediately, shouting, shooing the dogs. I saw a couple tried to rush out and turned back. So I opened the gate wide and started shouting to chase them out with a broom. I hear meowing and saw Thomas looking very scared on the fence, I assumed that Tuah must be hiding in the drain. I see the two dogs from just now and another two running out. There were four of them! At least two with collars if I am not mistaken, which means they aren't strays and are in fact left by their owners to run around and encroach on private properties.

Mama was leaving Auntie Pat's and she heard the commotion, so I told her what happened. Hussen rushed home too. I continued to look and call for Tuah. I still thought that she's hiding some place, scared out of her wits, as even Thomas was looking very scared.

I continued calling for him as I walked toward the back of the side garden, Hussen right behind me. And from about 10 metres away my eyes suddenly looked down toward the area where Hussen's birthpod was buried, and I saw her laying on the grass. My mind tells me she's slightly injured, but my heart knew something's very wrong as she doesn't appear to be moving as I called out her name. I saw something reddish pink near her head, and I know she's gone.

I immediately turned back and told Hussen to go inside as I hugged him. I looked into Mama's eyes and shooked my head, she too appeared surprised, no one thought that it'd come to this. She knows that I don't have the heart to go look. So she went to see. Yuli told me that she saw the dogs attacking Tuah, biting her and carrying her in their mouth, and she couldn't help as the dogs looks awfully dangerous.

So yes, Tuah is dead. Killed during the brutal attack of the dogs that have been left roaming our street, some with owners, the others strays that keep breeding and filling the street with puppies that will turn fierce mongrels in a few months time. And no, the reddish pink were not blood, it's her new collar. Mama said apart from some bite marks on her tummy, she appeared okay, just a bit wet.

Tuah was buried  wrapped in a white cloth in the garden like Mama did for Armani slightly over a decade ago. Since Armani, I didn't really want to have another pet, the pain of losing him was too much, as he was more of a son to me than a cat. And when Tuah came along I was still quite reluctant, but he sort of adopted us, and we couldn't resist such a good natured and 'manja' cat.

Good bye Tuah, thank you for reminding us what it's like to have a pet again. Barely 3 weeks you were with us, but you have filled our lives with much memories, especially  for Hussen and Qays. Hussen, the sensitive one seems to be taking it  quite badly, crying and really angry with the dogs. He learned the pain of losing a pet today, but still he managed helping with the burial. Qays is away, and I don't know how he will react when he gets the news, but I believe he will take it better than Hussen.

And Tuah, do tell Armani we still miss him to this day.

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