With monsoon finally shifted into summer, so our battle with damp and wet monsoon comes to an end. And after all the bacteria and viruses and everything in between and whatever come with those, here is how things looks in Whiskers' Syndicate:
But we owe a lot of stories as answers to all those questions in our email, so we're going to write for a little bit more.
Perhaps starting with the end of last month.
With all of you cheering on us, patting our back, nudging our shoulders, and breaking fingers for crossing it too long, we break a new high on the Whiskers' Syndicate records.
Of five years of quest and adventure, this year marks our greatest success in the battle against sickness and death. We are able to save most of the kittens that came into our sanctuary during the bacteria outbreak. It means the number of cats that we must feed jumps significantly compared to December last year. It means after this, our burden is heavier, but we are still walking with our chin up; One battle won, we hope the war will be next.
We did ours, but not before mourning for all that passed the rainbow bridge before us. Although their number is significantly less, they are our friends, our family. They have the same right to live long and happy life, but it seems like The Rainbow Bridge management is open for recruitment, and they all qualify to be the next apprentice of St. Francis of Assisi.
One of the last two that departed is Tealca. The yellow and white daredevil kitten who stars Fry Me To The Moon. As special as Tealca himself, is the way he passed on.
I was visiting the vet clinic down town that day when I saw a very ugly, skin and bone, mange eaten, scar ridden, fur-less old cat walking across the clinic's parking lot.
At first I thought it was Sphinx cat, but then, why on earth would a Sphinx - a very expensive breed - wandering around on the street? It is possible that he is here because his owner want to cure that skin disaster, but still no breeder would have allow his/her expensive "commercial asset" to wander around unattended.
Since I was scratching my head on his path, he stopped and looked up. That cat has brown mask, brown legging, with white socks and blue eyes.
Similar to those of a Siamese.
I cringe. First I got Boo, a pure bred Persian who was dumped at (another) vet clinic, and now we have Siamese.
Bandung breeder must be very rich.
So I blow out a big sigh, grab the ugly cat, and bring him into the clinic with me, but the vet didn't look surprised to see him.
"Oh, Abba, what's with him?"
The vet shrugs. "He was thrown away from a speeding car. The parking person saw a black SUV swooshing by and when the car's gone he's standing on the street, confused"
"He looks very very ugly that time", she adds.
Wonderful how people here can make such a stunt to get rid of their unwanted pet, don't you think?
Then I explain to the vet about Tealca and the origin of his name, and show her the picture of the original Tealca, who has more or less the same coat.
The vet did asked me if I have some room left for him. Abba is not in good terms with the other two resident cats. He bully the older female, and is bullied by the younger male.
She also told me that usually, Abba doesn't like to be hold by a stranger, but he is OK with me. Abba usually went out from the clinic through the door, but that day when I found him, all door is closed and he went out through an opened window.
But then, I have Tealca and Monday still sick. I need to make a break so that a healthy cat won't get infected and potentially died because he entered a war zone (our house), so I am not sure I can give Abba the special care that he currently need. For a Siamese to be so badly treated to come to look like Sphinx with holes on his skin is no easy case.
So I left Abba at the clinic, with a promise that I will consider taking him in and will return with the answer in one or two weeks. Who knows that he will get better patron by then? Plenty of people would have want a Siamese cat.
At that time, I have a high hope that both Tealca and Monday will make it through, but after that fated meeting, Tealca is never better. He is slowly sliding out of life; and after living with antibiotics and medicine to sustain his health for over two months, he got better but when he's off the antibiotics his sickness is back again. I hate doing it, but I think perhaps it's time to open the door and have him choose which way he wants to go.
He chose the rainbow bridge.
I felt defeated, but I know it's time. A cat cannot live on antibiotics forever, much less a kitten. Sooner or later his liver is going to fail, or his kidney is going to fail, and he will be on more pain than before. I have to let go, and all the time when I feel I fail him, I keep reminding myself that even if my house is perfect, heaven is better.
When I finally get over the loss, after two weeks, I looked at the empty basket in which I usually carry the cats to the vet, and remember Abba. Then I thought that perhaps, it was meant to be that way. It might be a coincidence, but I don't believe in one. Being a Catholic I was taught to believe that God arrange every single thing that is best for us, and being a Japanese, I was taught that there's nothing such as coincidence, there's only hitsuzen; something that's meant to be. Perhaps my Tealca is a messenger, a bridge that connect us to Abba, or that maybe my Tealca is God's message to Abba's prayer for the betterment of his life. There were already so many coincidences when we first met Abba.
So, blowing a big breath once again, I change my clothes, pick up the basket, and went down town. I didn't call the vet first. I thought that if Abba was meant to be with us, he will still be there.
He is there.
He is still half conscious because the vet have just neuter him (another coincidence?) and that his scabies has just cleared out a few days earlier so aside from his bald skin that need time to heal, he is practically ready for a new home (yet another coincidence?)
When he finally wake up, I tried to convince myself for the last time. I call him "Tealca"
And that cat turned to me, and meow.
So he went back home to the Syndicate. He is still bald, and all that mange eaten scars made him even more unsightly. His marking is faint, and he is thin and crinkly.
He is about the saddest looking cat that I ever met in the past few months.
|Just gone out of the carrier and try to explore|
In the Syndicate he become Abba Tealca, though he doesn't resemble a father at the very least. He is just an Abba because of his age, but unlike Peta, who handles younger cats and his peers with gentleness, Abba went out to the back yard and pick up a fight with the biggest cat in the Syndicate regardless of his condition (is still bald, and just gone out a surgery).
He spent the rest of the week inside a cage, and I told him firmly he is going to stay there until he can manage his temper.
He is calmer after three days, and so I allow her to wander freely inside the house along with the kittens. I still watch him like a hawk, and never once fail to call his name whenever he is trying to do evil things. I know Siamese can be mischievous, but I never thought Tealca III can be that evil. He once tumbled a whole pot of soup and walked away remorse-less. He also punch a tooth hole on a bottle of earmiticide I used to treat his ear. (Thank God he didn't lick it!)
What helped calm him down is the other mobster's ignorance. They are so used to new cats come and go that they don't really care about fighting for their space. For most of the time, when Abba Tealca hisses on someone, they just look at him, huffs, and move on.
This greatly baffles him, of course. With that fur-less face I can see all the crinkles on his forehead, and that expression on his eyes says it all. He still tried to pick a fight by poking at the passer-by, but again, they just ignore him, especially when I am around. He just stare blankly seeing all 40 of us - human and kittens and cats - chasing one ball like there's no tomorrow, so the next few days I let him out of the cage, and let him watch from the side. I bet that when a ball pass in front of him he'd probably just play along, forgetting his "stranger" status.
And I won. Abba Tealca play ball and since then, become one of the Syndicate.
He is still special and spend the night inside the house, because it's still cold out there and he has no fur to defend him. He got special food with extra salmon oil and vitamin E to help his skin heal and his fur grow faster. I got him the ointment that my mother used on Charlie, but he is mad with the smell. I tried mixing it with coconut oil, which smells rather savoury, but he ended up licking on it all the time, so I put a cone on him whenever I give ointment, and he protested by ramming anyone with it.
I wonder how my Australian mother keeps up with her original Tealca.
Luckily it only ended for around two weeks. On super premium food, and extra care, his fur started to grow, and Abba Tealca give me a bonus.
I knew that his fur is suppose to be brown, and it's somewhat faint because he was malnourished, but I never thought that it's going to be so dark. A nice contrast with his other part.
But that's not the bonus. The bonus is his newly grown pot belly (see picture above), and he (looks) 10 years younger (haha).
Those people who went all through that stunt to dump him is going to be sorry.
Wonder how long and thick his fur is going to be? I can't wait to have his fur all grown back and bring him to the vet again to show him off.
|Abba Tealca, August 5, 2013. Sleeping at the back is Boo.|
Again, may he has the blessing of original Tealca, and and my passing Tealca to live a happy, healthy, lengthy life.
So help me God.