Saturday, June 25, 2005


Few days ago I was on the way to home at about 8pm. It is my habit to walk past the void deck of Blk 703 as there are normally 2 to 9 stray cats hanging about, waiting for their regualar feeder. I normally say hello to them. Then I thought I saw Pretender, a black and white tom from our block. He was named such as he resembles our Malay neighbour's tomcat, Hitam. Both has similar colorings and the mask like appearance except Pretender has a shorter tail, cockeyed and a Hitler-like moustache. In other words, a less handsome version of Hitam. I had been feeding him for the last 9 months at least. He was always very shy and awkward, and screamd at me even after feeding. But he recognised the sounds of my keys and my voice, and would follow me to a designated spot to eat. He hated tuna, turkey and chicken and would only eat the smelliest canned fish. Only recently he allowed me to tocuh him or he would bump into my legs gently.

I was rather surprised to see him as this block is separated from our block by a very busy 2- laned road, and I wonder how he managed to get there. I was partially relieved as before that, Pretender had been missing for a few days. I called to him, and when he saw me, I could see the look of recognition on his face. Out of habit, he jumped up to follow me for his feed. Of course I didn't have any catfood with me and even if I had, it would not be enough to feed all the other strays hanging about. I explained to him that if he wants food, he would have to come back to my block. He followed me for a short distance and I was worried that he would not be able to cross the road with me. Luckily at the edge of the block, he sat down and looked at me. I waved at him and wished him all the best. The food may be scarce, the competitions strong, but at least there are more female cats for him to romp with and there is a huge open field further up the road. If he changes his mind, he can always come back. Other tomcats has been known to haunt this spot eg Merah2 which belonged to the Malay nenek at the opposite block.

I still see Pretender from time to time on my way home, once he was sleeping so soundly that I thought he was dead. He didn't follow me anymore, but I think he still remembers me. I hope he finds what he is searching for and stay safe.

As for Hitam, he left home six months ago and was not seen since. His owner claimed to have spotted him at Blk 906, but I thought it rather far fetched.


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