My story begins twelve years ago, with a cat called Bambi.
She had been eight when we met. I had taken Bambi in when her human mum left Singapore. I had no experience handling animals but KL had owned cats, way before Bambi’s time, and so, we were all in good hands.
I had taken an instant liking to Bambi. She had an angelic face and a quiet personality. I expected our friendship to be a short one because her mum had wanted her back after a two-year stint abroad. I had thought, by that point, I would be quite happy to return the cat. As it turned out, and happily for us, Bambi had given us her love, companionship and loyalty, in her remaining years.
She was named after a deer in a Disney classic, and the name suited her excellently, for she had the same wide-eyed look and was endearing in her own way. The cat was a beauty with a shy disposition, anxious at meeting new people. I still remember, how she had shivered in fear and cowered in a tiny corner of our bathroom for several hours, on the first day she arrived at our home.
Photo credit: Sylvia Wee
After she became familiar with us, Bambi was amusing, naughty but in a lovable way. She rarely got into mischief but she would drive us crazy with her waaaahhhh!! at 6.30 am daily on schedule without fail (it never ceases to amaze us how she could have gotten the time so spot on each day), throwing up over the floor when she pleases, chomping on my new plants and chewing on plastic bags when our backs are turned. Still, we could never get cross with her for long. She had a spunky side and was feisty, especially with strays who unwittingly crossed her path. For the most part, she was sweet as sugar.
Bambi had round doleful eyes that looked like she was carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Your heart would melt under her melancholy gaze. I had forgotten how large, furry, and beautiful she was, until lately, when I looked at her old photos. Bambi was not affectionate by nature but her quiet temperament suited me well. Her mere presence had been a comfort to us all at home. I would often talk to her, and though I am certain she had not understood a word, she would gaze at me.
We were inseparable at home. She would quietly snuggle up and wait for her human slaves to stroke her. Our favourite activity, the three of us, had to be curling up watching TV together. Bambi did not like loud sounds. She had a disdain for football, particularly when Liverpool is playing, because her man slave would scream and thump his fist in celebration when his team scored a goal, and that scared her terribly.
This fat cat had a big belly. It often amused me, to see her scurry off for food with her belly jiggling. She was not adventurous with food and stuck with her usual diet. She had a weakness for potato and tortilla chips, but her humans only gave her crumbs on the rare occasion, because her belly was bigger than her head.
And so, Bambi had become family. Even my mother-in-law, whom Bambi was in awe of, had a soft spot for her. Bambi had been a common conversation topic at home and that, surely improved family bonding with the old lady.
Until she had come along, I had little interest in animals, but this has all changed. It is because of her that I love cats, have more empathy for strays, and learned to enjoy the simple things in life. There is a reason she came into my life.
Finally, Thank you Bambi, my angel. You brought us joy and taught me about living and loving. I am forever grateful for the time together, and the wonderful memories.
Bambi was born in Brisbane on August 1997, and passed away in Singapore on 28 February 2018, at a ripe old age of 20 years.
Photo credit: KL