By Dr. Celeste Leiden G. Gruezo
Yeah, sex is cool but have you ever earned the trust of a cat?
Mr. Gray is a stray that magically appeared in our yard (as strays are wont to do since time immemorial). He appeared ala Scar and always had catfights with our resident cat Tiger boi scratchy cat (the Simba of this story). Mr. Gray walked around our yard like he came here first and owned every inch of the land. Even if the yard was big enough for him and Tiger, the two of them would always engage in a Feline Fight Club. All hiss and claws until Tiger suffered from an inflamed left eye that alarmed me of a future spent in the dark if Tiger becomes blind if I don’t put a stop to all the aggression between him and Mr. Gray.
I decided to buy a cage with him in mind, to put Mr. Gray in the cage (he is the sampid cat in this story after all) and my cat Tiger is the one suffering from the fights. I tried to catch Mr. Gray. He had a penchant for lying on top of the aircon unit outside my father’s home office and curling up on the big potted plant near it. I set the cage/trap up, putting a tasty morsel of fried fish as bait inside the cage. But Mr. Gray was a wise cat, as he sensed my evil plans towards trapping him. Instead of falling for my trap (get the fish by directly going inside the cage), Mr. Gray cunningly goes to the side of the cage and stretches his long limb to successfully claw at the fish. He outwits me by getting the fish and his actions prevents me from being able to trap him. I tried and tried until the day came when I gave up and opted to put Tiger inside the cage instead = no more Feline Fight Club. It’s literally a bright future for Tiger as this prevents him from becoming totally blind and lets him keep his vision with his pretty cat eyes.
Okay, problem solved with a Plan B. My next ulterior motive was to make Mr. Gray trust me enough so I can put a giant bell collar on him. Tough since Day 1 he had made it clear to me that I am his slave and I only exist to feed him. No touching him or making a pet out of him. He is Scar after all, and a collar would ruin his tough villain image. He only allowed me to feed him and take pictures of him lying on top of the aircon unit or curled up on the big potted plant. My sometimes sneaky and poorly calculated attempts at trying to pet him was always met with a quick paw clawing at me and a glare that says “Stop it hooman! I’m not interested to be your pet !”
But in recent days, during mornings when I am set to feed my cats (two lady cats Snowbelle and Melon in a cage) and Tiger (in a cage no thanks to Mr. Gray)... Mr. Gray would silently walk up to me and rub against my leg. At first, I was afraid he was planning to bite and scratch me. But no, he was just rubbing against me. I took this as a sign that he wanted me to be more snappy in feeding him, so I always gave him his food first before my other three cats (see how bossy he is for a stray cat). Many days of this ritual of ours (Mr. Gray rubbing against my leg...as if telling me to feed him first, which I did... hooman slave that I am to him). Until, one time, I thought of maybe trying my luck to touch and pet him. Miracle of miracles! He let me touch his neck and rub him behind the ears!
After some more days of this, I decided to try my luck if he would let me put a collar on him. What I thought would be a procedure full of hissing and clawing actually turned out pretty benign. After a second attempt, I was easily able to put a giant bell collar on him. So what happened? Did Mr. Gray suddenly wake up one day and decided he wanted to become my pet? Did I put something in his food that miraculously made him all tame and maamo (and dare I say submissive) towards me? Who cares? (I do). But for now, I am reveling in the fact that Mr. Gray allowed me to put a collar on him and gave me the honor of becoming my pet.
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