Fela Kuti, the cat. Not the musician.

30 Jan

Warning: Cat lovers, defamation of cats ahead.

A close cousin of Fela

A close cousin of Fela

Growing up, we had a poodle dog that loved my mum very much but would growl at us if we came too close. Later on, I convinced my mum to let me have a cat. Caramel was his name. He was a fat cat living in a flat, he never went out, hissed at anyone not carrying our family name and lived solely for his next meal (unless he stole the defrosting steak on the table). And yet, I kept a strange endearing love for cats – maybe encouraged by the thousands of cat pics on Facebook.

When we got married, Phillip and I decided to go for for a dwarf rabbit. Cookie the rabbit. Our sweet rabbit peed on our couch, nearly removed my husband’s finger and sprayed some weird smelling substance onto our neighbour’s cat. Cookie the rabbit turned out to be quite dreadful. During the slow metamorphosis of Cookie the rabbit into Chucky the rabbit, we also adopted our neighbour’s cat that we renamed Cookie. I know, we’re not very original in the ‘name’ department. Sadly, it got bitten by a dog and died. Then we had hamsters which we didn’t bother to name at all and in the end, they were so neglected that they escaped and drowned in our pool. RIP unnamed hamsters.

Today, we don’t have pets at home. None. Not even a goldfish. Can you blame us!

My husband and I  haven’t been able to agree on which creature to live with. I would totally go for a cat (sweet memories of Caramel stealing my food and scaring my friends maybe…) but Phillip is supposedly allergic to them – clearly a made up excuse, I mean, who complains about sinus infections… As for dogs, I’m allergic to their poos in my garden, their incessant barking and also their there’s-a-dead-rat-hidden-in-my-fur smell. Obviously a legitimate excuse. So far, we’ve reached an acceptable compromise and remained pet-free.

However, the fleshes of our fleshes are asking for a pet. Every other family has a pet, they say. This comparison trap will kill me. Do they compare when they get chocolate for breakfast and stay up until 10? Sigh…

So this week end, when my BFF asked me if we could look after her cat while she’s away on business, I thought it would be a great way to verify my husband’s fake excuse and see how the kids would behave with Madame Fela around.

When I say ‘looking after’, I realise now that I meant ‘stalking’. Fela the cat arrived on Sunday and, since then, had 3 mini humans following her EVERY-WHERE. When she sleeps, they pick her up. When she eats, they stroke her. When she goes out, they freak out. When she isn’t doing anything, they stare.

Fela looks so happy connecting.

Fela looks so happy connecting.

Needless to say, Fela is confused. The kids have tried to form a bond with her in a way that is radically different than the way Fela tried to connect with us, in her own cat way, displaying some of her great qualities.

#1. She is merciful. She looks at us warning us not come any closer for fear of scratching our eyes out.

#2. She is caring. When we want to stroke her, she arches her back very low on the ground, just so that we wouldn’t touch her and dirty our hands.

#3. She is independent. When we call her, she doesn’t even look at us.

#4. She is helpful and likes to share. Every morning, I find the remain carcasses of the insects she hunted, clearly wanting to share her bunty.

#5. She is communicative. One day, I asked everyone in the house to be very quiet and we almost heard a faint purr. Such a loving pet…

What’s not to love?!

Fela not making eye contact

Fela not making eye contact

Consider the educational opportunities we were offered on a silver platter: They learnt to give without expecting anything in return. They learnt that love is a choice and it hurts (so do scratches). They  learnt that – unlike their mum – Fela is not there to serve them but instead, they are here to serve her.

And so I ask, with tremor in my voice, why can’t we have a cat? But Phillip is not buying it. He has, with tears in his eyes, (due to his “allergies” he claims) won this battle. We will not have a cat.

I wonder, what are the educational benefits for the kids of having a fun pet like a dog.

Really.

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5 Responses to “Fela Kuti, the cat. Not the musician.”

  1. craigandkerry January 31, 2013 at 4:39 pm #

    Oh Ingrid I quite agree! You should not get a pet! I had to laugh as I remembered all your pets named ” cookie”! And the sad demise of Cookie 2 and the dog bite that you didn’t consider to be too serious! Our kids are also begging. We’re also using the allergy excuse. Perhaps you could tell them of our family to bolster your case. Fish are about teh most exciting animal we’ll ever get…I hope.

  2. Christelle January 31, 2013 at 8:41 am #

    Get th a Scottie! Phone me and I will tell u why xx

    • Ingrid January 31, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      Mmmh, a scottie? That’s a dog right??? A not so pretty one at that??!! Let me think….. no!

  3. panoramaofthoughts January 30, 2013 at 9:14 pm #

    ha ha. Cat or dog…pets are a must have…and great for kids too!

    • Ingrid January 31, 2013 at 9:01 am #

      I’m leaning towards a goldfish to be honest 🙂

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