The first thing that I remember is home. Home smells like us. It’s a little crowded with the five of us, and even more so when mum gets back. We would always rush to mum for milk, and she would lay there until we had our fill. Then we’ll have our siesta, snuggling up to one another for warmth. Mum would usually have her siesta with us, before disappearing while we were still asleep. I always wonder where mum went. She has long legs, so she can climb the walls of home. We can’t. At least, not in our early days. But then we too learn how to climb out of home. The first time I went outside, it thrills me to see a world bigger than home. And I thought the world is only these four flimsy walls.
Sometimes big beings will come and look at us from above the opening of home. They are gigantic! I was afraid of them in the first place, but mum laid back like it was nothing. Then one day, one of the beings stretched their paws into home and carry me up into the air. I was so scared, I screamed for mum. But mum just watched on while still lazing around in home. The being then put her other paw on top of my head while making a high pitch sound. I don’t know what they were doing back then, so all I could do is scream my lungs out until the being placed me back in home and patted me on the head softly. Later, I learn that they are our caretakers. Or so, mum said.
When we were able to climb out of home, we were hysterical. There’s a stream of water near home, and then some land and grass and tall things on the other side of it. Mum could straddle the stream of water easily because she’s tall enough, but we had to struggle. It was Tiger whom first tasted the smelly waters when he fell down into the stream. He yelped for help. Luckily mum was around. She took Tiger out of the stream and licked him dry, then put him back into home. The others, including me, didn’t dare to cross the stream until the day Tiger leaped across it. After a few tries, we suddenly knew that it was actually easy to cross the stream if you leap! Why didn’t we thought of that in the first place?
Adjacent to home is a tall wall made out of stone. Home had flimsy walls that eventually tore down when we’ve grown bigger, but this wall is hard as ground. I tried jumping at it once, but it hurt my paws and it didn’t even budge. In that tall wall is an opening, which is usually opened early in the morning, then closed back by the caretakers, only to be opened up after the sun had fallen from its highest peak. Usually, the younger caretakers open the hole and play with us, pat us and rub our tummies. They call us weird names. That is how Tiger got his name. My sister was called Bella, while my other two brothers were called Johnny and Meimei. Later we realized that the caretakers were a family, and like us, they also have five siblings. They have a dad, which we don’t, and a mum too.
The mum is very kind to us. She always feed us chunks of meat that are super delish! Later, we learn that those meat are the stomach from fish, and fish is super delicious too! Everytime the hole, which the caretakers call a door, opens up we would rush to it and ask for more. But it is not like every day is fish day. Sometimes we get chunks of other meat. Mum said those are chicken meat, but we siblings laugh at the thought of it, because sometimes the chickens from beyond the fence also nibble on them. There’s no way those are chicken, unless the chickens are crazy to eat their own kind.
Oh, I forgot to mention. There’s a fence around this lot of land, and it goes round the home of the caretakers. Yes, the big hard wall is actually the caretaker’s home’s walls, and our own dilapidated home is just a box near the kitchen where the caretakers prepare their food. I usually hear the caretakers call this home of theirs a villa, especially from their mum and dad. Beyond the fence is a land not under the ruling of our caretakers, so we have to be very careful when we go outside. The chickens and rabbits next door are okay, but mum warned us about the other cats there. They may be rough to you. They may even come here and start a fight. You can’t do anything about that. So all you can do is be strong, my children. That was mum’s last words before she disappeared. I don’t know where she went.
Oh, and another thing that I forgot to mention is that each of us are taken care by one of the five caretaker’s children. Tiger has the male child who usually sits outside the back fences and smoke. He pats Tiger every now and then, but seldom plays with him. Meimei has the female one which looks like her mum, while Johnny is taken care by the other female child. Bella has the very active male child taking care of her. Such a difference, as Bella is usually quiet and doesn’t like to play much while her caretaker is very active, running around their home all the time. His second favourite is Tiger, since he’s active as well. They’ll play together in and out of the villa, and when Tiger is exhausted, he’ll sleep under the sofa near the big blaring box, paws stretched and relaxed.
My caretaker is the male child who looks much like his dad. But I seldom see him. He’s not usually around, but I can smell him when he’s coming back home. Like today. The wind brings his scent, so I’m pretty sure he’ll be here today. That is why I jumped through his bedroom window and lie here on his bed. I can’t wait to see him again, my caretaker. I wonder if he feels the same.
18th May 2016