Monday, October 02, 2006

Rain, Rain go away...

I wrote my last blog half an hour ago, and ended it saying I was going to bed...

Well, now it's raining really heavily... with strong winds blowing in various directions, loud thunder and lightning.. and now I can't sleep... Why?
Two reasons - Heavy rain, strong winds, thunder and lightining scare me.. I can't sleep with weather like this.. - The other reason is cause my two furball babies (Kira and Skitso) are not home yet..
Yes, I may be the host of Explorace, happily and willingly taking the opportunity to abseil down towers, free dive in huge aquariums.... all kind of things but I can't sleep in this kind of weather... embarassing huh!

And as for the cats, I'm worried they are going to get drenched in the rain, come back cold and get a chill, get sick and die... You may think I'm being over dramatic, but I lost one kitten before like that while I was still working at Istana Budaya. His name was Milago.

I wrote the following article one day, before I started blogging, just to tell Milago's story. It's never been published before. I invite you to continue reading to find out about Milago...

It was another typical day for me after work at Istana Budaya. It had rained heavily in the late afternoon and I was heading to the gym for a workout I wasn’t really looking forward too. When I arrived at the gym, I saw friend and owner of the gym, Terry having a drink at the coffee shop. Still debating the importance of a work out, I sat down with him for a drink and we started talking as we always do. There are always a lot of stray cats and kittens in the area, and it was always tempting for me to take one home, but as we lived in a small apartment and my mother doesn’t have a fondness for the cats, most of the time I just bought extra food at the coffee shop and fed them.

I asked Terry about some really cute white kittens that had been around and he said he hadn’t seen them so they must have left. ‘But I did see a little black one just now, but the workers put it outside near the drain…..’ Terry said. I decided to go looking for it to give it some food. I wasn’t prepared for what I was about to see. I found the poor tiny creature, absolutely soaked sitting in the drain, sitting very still. I thought it was dead, but suddenly, the cold thing shivered and miaowed. My heart melted for the little kitten who had been heartlessly dumped out in the rain and drain. I immediately picked him up and started to dry him off. He wouldn’t stop miaowing! He must have been so cold….

I totally abandoned all work out plans for the evening and started to wonder what to do. I drove to the SPCA but they were closed. I had no where else to go but home, and despite knowing my mum would freak out, I took him home anyway. My mum did freak so to ask for advice on what to do for the little kitten, I called my grand mother in Australia who is really good with animals. Not fully satisfied with the warm milk and blanket remedy, I convinced my sister, mother and friend to accompany me to a 24 hour vet.

When I walked into the vet and saw other cats and kittens in the waiting area, it was only then did I realize how tiny this little kitten was. “He’s chances are not good, you know…” my friend Yani tried to tell me. The vet saying the same thing didn’t dampen my determination to do my best for the little kitten to get him better. At the vet, we found out that he weighed 250 grams, had fleas, worms, hypothermia and a very low temperature. “Even adult cats have trouble recovering from trauma such as what this kitten has been through. Left out in the cold and rain for probably hours….” Said the vet. “I’m going to try anyway. Give me everything to make him better….” I said. For the first time in my life, I didn’t care how much something was going to cost me.

Besides the stuff from the vet, my sister, Yani and I stopped on the way home to buy a hot water bottle to keep him warm. We put the kitten in a box with hot water bottle and hoped he would make it through the night. He did, but then came the next problem of what to do with him during the day, when everyone was at work… My sister, brother and I took it in turns be at home in various parts of the day to feed him. I had to come home during lunch home to do so. After a few days when driving back home became too time consuming for everyone, I did something I never thought I would do. I put him in a box, still with water bottle, put his milk and syringe in one of my small make up bags and took him to work. I kept him under my desk, fed him throughout the day and took him for little walks outside in the sunlight during lunch break. I managed to do this for two days without any of my colleagues or bosses finding out. But then one day, my boss comes into my office with documents to find me with a kitten bundled up on my lap and typing at my computer. “What’s that?” Zue asks. “It’s a sick kitten I found in drain and he needs a lot of attention to get better so I brought him here” I explained, hoping that I wouldn’t get into trouble. She took a closer look at him, smiled and she says “He’s so tiny and cute. Hopefully he gets better. Here are the documents I wanted to give you.” With that, she walked out of my office. Phew!

He started to go everywhere with either my brother or I. We got a little green basket for him and my brother took him out for dinner with friends at local coffee shops. I took him to a photo shoot for a dance production I was in at the same time. He attracted attention and melted hearts everywhere he went with his cute face and big eyes. The photographer at the shoot, Suzanne Lee took a whole heap of photos of him and us together. He even melted my mother’s heart and said we could keep him! We were amazed! No other creature had won my mum’s heart like that! Time for a name then. After several internet searches for a suitable name, I chose the name Milago, meaning miracle….
I took him back to the vet several more times over the two weeks that I found him. Everytime I took him, something bad was still ravaging his little body. Different kinds of worms, diarrhoea…. I just kept spending more and more to help.

He wasn’t getting any bigger, he was still the same size as the tv remote, but Milago’s personality had really started to come out. He liked to sit on dirty laundry, my father’s briefcase and my silver shoes. His photos were also admired by the dance production team because he just looked so cute. My family, friends and colleagues had really grown to love him.

My family were happy that he seemed to be out of danger. I stopped taking him to work and he started to eat semi solid food. The euphoria suddenly changed when one night when I came home about 11pm after rehearsal to find him in his little cage writhing in pain and gasping for air. I panicked and started to rush to the 24 hour vet, calling my brother and friend on the way. When I got to the vet, he said to me the exact words no pet owner wants to hear from their vet, “There is nothing I can do.” It seems his lack of immune system strength could not kick the various viruses in his body.

My brother arrived and burst into tears when he saw Milago on the vets table, almost dead by this stage. A few minutes after that, he took his last breath….

My friend arrived at the vet to find my brother and I inconsolable. My brother called my parents who were at a conference. My mum was devastated too.

Driving home with his little body bundled up next to me was the most painful drive I’ve ever had to make. My brother and I buried him at 1am that night near our apartment staircase.

The next day was a really long hard day for me at work. My office felt empty without Milago. I was also beginning to enjoy the maternal instincts I never knew I had…. I hardly said a word to anyone. When I told my boss Zue about it, she was so disappointed for me….

My family really felt his loss. My mother, so upset about his death imposed another ‘no cats’ ban on the family household… “I can’t go through this again!” she cried between tears. We almost agreed with her..

But life had other plans for us. Going to buy food for his cats one day, my friend found an abandoned kitten. He brought it home and as soon as I saw her, I adored her. White and black with big eyes, she was the feistiest creature I have ever seen. With my family moving to a new home soon, he agreed to foster her til we moved. She was named quickly - Skitso. How right I was!

My family moved to a house and my mum knew her children were going to bring home another kitten. After bringing Skitso over from my friend's house, I decided she needed a companion. So when I saw little Kira, he came home too…

As I write this, a photo of Milago and I taken during the photo shoot for my dance production is at the frame shop being framed up to hang in our new home. He may have only been with us for 2 weeks, but none of us will forget his brief presence. I am so thankful his presence has been documented in the beautiful photos taken by Suzanne.

Now with Skitso and Kira causing endless havoc in our house with their antics (somehow turning on the washing machine is just one!), we have a ‘no more cats’ ban….. but we’ll see about that… I would like a little tiger looking cat…..
Well, now rain has stopped. Kira is home. A bit wet so a towel dried him and gave him some food. He should be fine now. Don't know where Schizo is... Aiyoh! Stress me out I tell you... This must be how parents worry...
Now, let's try and sleep again...


darling8tabby said...

i cried when i read ur post... i'm a big fan of cats too..:)

p/s- u stayed @ hillside b4?

MsPea said...

I have a similar memory like you and Miligo...
My collegue brought Toby to me which he found wondering around my office garden looking for his mum of course, and he was about a week or two old that time when I decided to bela him.
All that while I had to bring him with me in the office to keep on feeding him for every hour or two..and it went for only 2 weeks when he died so in sudden, the vet said it was of the abnormal body temperature he had.
So heartbreaking moment for me losing Toby after a few days losing my other strayed cat, Ontot.
What I can say is, I will never give up bring home and bela any stray cats because for me they are just so a lovely and smart cerature to own.