Sunday, January 20, 2013

Her Nine Lives, All Used Up


Exactly a month ago, today, I had to bid my cat Misha a final farewell. She was the famyFamily kitty-cat for 16 years and approximately 7.5 months.

I had had her since June 1996. She was about 6 weeks old when I brought her home (my rented apartment) for the first time.

She was a darling since Day 1. A very playful kitten with a very sweet face, very manja and smart. Throw her a ball and she would chase after it and bring it back to you. Believe me, I am not making this up. I used to throw small fluffy balls (those pet toys) and she'd fetch them for me. My then apartment-mate, Suzana, i.e. Misha's mak angkat, used to throw paper or tissue crumpled into a ball just to get Misha to play "go fetch". It was amusing and entertaining to watch.

 
Misha: 7 weeks old

 
Misha and her "go fetch" ball

 
Exhausted, after all the "fetching"



Misha was not only my special pet. She was also my best friend cum first baby. But she was so many other things too.

When I was still studying in the US, she was my teman tidur (she slept with me on my bed) and my teman jaga (she followed me around while I do stuff in the apartment). She was my teman sembang (she listened intently when I told her stories or shared my problems) and my teman makan (she either gobbled up her food too or just lazed around in the kitchen). She was my teman study & buat homework (she kept me company while I worked on my assignments or did last-minute studying for my exams). She was also my teman tengok TV (I watched TV, she slept on my lap or on the sofa), my teman memasak (sometimes she'd sit and watch while I cooked) and my teman buang sampah (she'd be playing or running around outside when I took out the trash).

 
(Geeky) Misha: 5 months old

 

 
Recognize the blanket?


After graduating from college, I returned home to Malaysia. Misha travelled with me. She endured and survived the long flight from NY to LAX to KL.

Years went by. I got married and had Sofea. My priorities changed. *I* changed. As much as I still love having Misha around, I had other responsibilities and lesser time to spend with her. Then Aidiin was born (and years after that Nuaym came into picture), so most of the kitty-care related duties have been delegated to famyBoy, resulting in lesser and lesser interaction between me and her. I regret this part the most actually. But nasi sudah menjadi bubur. I hope and pray that she'll forgive me for neglecting to show my affections to her like before.

famyBoy and I decided to get another cat, Harry, to keep Misha company while we carry on with our busy lives. Unfortunately, Misha and Harry didn't seem to 'click', so a union between the two was totally out of the question. But at least they keep each other company, despite all the meowing, hissing, chasing and the ignoring.

The week before Misha passed on we were out of town for a short weekend getaway, per my cousin's invitation. Somehow, I think she'd waited for us to return from our trip before leaving us, f o r e v e r. My biggest regret was not noticing the "signs" earlier. She didn't eat as much as before. She preferred to lie down and sleep on the bottom-est level of her cage although her favorite spot is at the topmost one (i.e. tingkat 3). She looked tired, although she was a very healthy and active cat for her age. She seemed quiet and reserved, tak ceria macam selalu.

That fateful morning, after hanging out laundry to dry, I walked over to her cage to put cat food in her dish. That was when I realized she was nowhere to be seen. I started to panic and searched frantically.

I found her lifeless body curled up in a sleeping position (her front paws under her chin), in her litter box!! I was in shock and disbelief. Feeling helpless, I ran into the house and rushed upstairs to inform famyBoy.

"I... I, I rasa, I rasa... Misha dah... Misha dah mati."

"What??!!"

famyBoy jumped out of bed and immediately ran downstairs.

Minutes later I broke into tears and sobbed uncontrollably.

I stroked her soft fur (her coat still thick, shiny and no fleas; her ears free of ear mites) one last time before wiping her face and cleaning her body. famyBoy took an old napkin of Nuaym's to wrap Misha's body before we placed her in her little grave.

I got the kids to pay their last respects, i.e. say their goodbyes before Misha was buried. Sofea had tears in her eyes. Aidiin just stood there looking confused. Nuaym pointed to Misha and said, "Misha cat dah tidur."





I wanted to keep her collar as a keepsake but later changed my mind. So the flowery collar with the little bell was buried together with its owner.





Misha is gone. And this time, she's gone for good. That image of her, dead, is still vivid in my mind till today.

I pray that she is in a much better and happier place. One time, I thought I had already lost her, but Allah SWT had other plans and sent her back to me/us. Nonetheless, I still feel quite terkilan for not using that (second? third? forth? fifth?) chance to improve my relationship with her.

I still think about her and all the "what if(s)". I hope she knows that she will always, always have a special place in my heart.

I hope she knows that I loved her then (although I neglected to show it often) and I still love her now and that I miss her. We all do.

Misha was not only our pet kitty. She was also a member of the famyFamily.

Until we meet again someday, Misha, In shaa Allah. Till then, stay sweet as always...


 
Misha (May 1996 - Dec 2012)



** Other Misha-related entries and pictures under the Kitty-Kat Cat label.

4 comments:

It is the matter of heart. said...

Takziah to famy and family. Misha was well-loved and he is in a good hand now.

famyGirl said...

In shaa Allah... thank you IITMOH (panjangnya nama :)). Salam perkenalan... :)

Farahrina Ali said...

Sedihnyaaa cerita niee.. :(

I lived with her too walaupun tak lama masa kita kat Brickfields.. always remember throwing the small, bucuk-purple-soft ball for her to chase around. I think I still have all her photos dlm album2 lama, masa dia suka masuk dlm bakul baju, plastic bag, etc.

R.I.P darling Misha.. you are certainly an amazing addition to the family.

famyGirl said...

Fa: I still terbayang dia kat luar when I go out to jemur baju. :( We all still tersasul sometimes, sebut nama dia.

 

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