“Is she blind?” I mumbled. She was perhaps one month old. She was born with the other four siblings that died earlier, and sadly they all weren’t able to open their eyes. Their mom, Pekong, was healthy and agile. She appeared motherly when she was calm. As she was threatened, she turned very aggressive. She growled and hissed horribly. She could be a real menace.
Cenil would tiptoe and grab the floor hesitantly whenever she walked. She would bump into a door, wall, or table leg when she walked fast. Sometimes she unsteadily walked out through the door, then touche the lower base of the floor, and darted out to the porch.
Cenil is a steamed traditional food. It’s made of flour, and served with grated coconut and brown sugar syrup. It’s chewy, cylindrical, and pointed at both ends. It’s appealing because it’s in various colors and wrapped in a banana leaf.
Cenil had cuddled on the porch for a few days. “Where did she go?” I muttered. She wasn’ there. I worriedly started a search. I rushed to an “It’s all 35 thousand” shop next door and asked the owner whether he’d seen a brown cat with black stripes. Then he welcomed me to look at the backyard. I laid my eyes on every corner of a long building with a few doors. It had two floors. The paint was light blue and all doors were closed. The search was null. Then I was headed about 50 meters to the south. There was a barber shop whose owner had a cat, too. She helped me to look at the backyard. I screamed loudly, “Ming, ming, ming!” That was how I “summoned” my cats for mealtime. It always worked, but not this time. I strode along the backyard, straight to the bushes, and looked thoroughly. Negative! She wasn’t there. I hopelessly went back home and began to think, “How will she find food? Might she be kidnapped?” If she had been, how might she feel when she knew she hadn’t been home? I sighed.
It was 3 am.
“Cenil!” I screamed excitedly. “Where have you been?” I squeaked. She was there in the diningroom, sitting all by herself and seemingly undisturbed. She’d gone for more than 24 hours.
Cenil was unlike my other cats. She had dark brown fur with black stripes on the upper part and white fur on the lower part, and a short stiff tail that wiggled like a wooden stick. She was fairly special because she was less “demanding”. She wasn’t fussy. At mealtime, she didn’t meow for food, but others did. She would just sit nicely, wait and cross her front legs.
“You’re smart, Cenil!” I exclaimed. She comfortably lay down on a doormat breastfeeding her babies. She had just miraculously delivered 3 beautiful baby cats! I patted her head repeatedly. “It was so unexpected!” I burst with excitement. She just looked up and seemingly blinked her eyes. Maybe she wanted to thank me.
Actually, I was quite restless a few minutes before her babies were born. Cenil kept tailing me and meowing strangely. There was one thought that bothered me: “How would she take care of her children?” She couldn’t see things. I was wrong and a miracle happened.
Cenil had become a mother, and yet she knew how to have fun. She strolled to get to the back yard, and there, her best friend, Nggutil, was anxiously waiting for her. She was ready to play ball!
In memorian: Nggutil
Thank you for making me laugh