Soon after Amir left for his studies at Boston University, our menagerie of cats expanded quite considerably. Bundle gave birth to three kittens. Gucci and Gizmo were black with a thin streak of white running down their faces and two white paws each. They looked like twins. Both had long, silky black hair and bushy tails. Their sister was more like their mother, small and firm with short hair, but she was tri-coloured – black, white and orange.
I had left her at the vet to be neutered and when it was time to collect her, I decided to take all our other six cats for their annual vaccination. I packed them in the car and, with Aida and Aris in tow, drove to the vet’s.
What a commotion they made, screaming and shrieking in chorus all the way to the vet’s. Lady wet herself and made a mess on one of the rubber mats. She then leapt onto Aris’s lap and sneezed right into his face. Aris made a sound like he was going to pass out!
Cowardly Mushi disappeared under Aida’s seat. He had to be extricated and dragged out when we arrived at the vet’s.
Aida borrowed a large cage from the vet’s and we piled them all in. When they were comfortably installed inside, who should saunter in but a huge Alsatian. He barked at the cats which immediately bristled and scratched with rage and made as if to attack their enemy. The dog’s owner promptly removed it to the back portion of the room and after a bit, everything was quiet again.
The vaccinations, when they were administered, were almost an anticlimax. Each cat calmly subjected itself to the needle before retreating back into the cage.
On the way back to our house, we placed the neutered cat, which was in its own small cage, on Aida’s lap. She started to shriek and scream. She stretched her little paws out through the spaces of her cage and wildly scratched at everything within her reach, including my shirt sleeve and Aida’s bare knee. It was then Aida’s turn to make herself heard. She did, and loudly too!
One Sunday morning several months later, while we relaxed at the dining table reading papers, minus Aris who retired to his room immediately after consuming two pancakes with maple syrup, I saw fat Max shuffling in and heading straight for the TV room. Before he could “spray” the furniture in there, as he was in the habit of doing, to establish territoriality, I chased him out shouting, “you naughty little monkey!” Samad was disappointed I didn’t throw something at him, “to teach him some manners”. Do you think calling him a monkey would frighten the wretched creature? he scoffed.
And so the battle raged on, on several fronts. With the lordly Max, almost a permanent resident, and scaring the living daylights out of them, Lady and Mew spent most of their time indoors, skulking and cowering in the deepest, darkest corners of the house.
Where, one might well ask, did they conduct their “business”? One day, I returned from work to find a wet, smelly circle on Samad’s bed. Gina, our trusty helper, was kept busy removing offending “deposits” that appeared in the most unlikely of places. “Throw them in the cage!” was Samad’s way out of the messy state of affairs. “It’s cruelty to humans living like this!” he moaned.
Then Gucci attracted an aggressor, a wiry, orange cat. Aris heard him shrieking and went to investigate and found aggressor and victim in the drain locked in combat. Gucci looked close to being eaten alive. Aris sprang into action and minutes later, aggressor released victim and beat a hasty retreat. Aris had emptied a bucketful of water on him!
Several years after all our cats had sadly passed on, a new cat appeared which changed Samad’s life. But that is another story.