Monday, September 11, 2006

Remembering my Long.

I still remember that September day when Long, my first Siamese cat, died.

I remember because I had my air conditioner turned off because of the rain so it was cold in my room. I distinctly heard Aling Conching's shrill voice asking my nephew Dominic to leave the kitchen. It was uncharacteristic of Aling Conching to raise her voice at my nephews, only when they were harassing my beloved Siamese cats and kittens. I really didn't think it had anything to do with my cats so I hurriedly got up and proceeded downstairs. At the last step, I saw the maids through the open kitchen door looking in the direction of the dirty kitchen. My nephew Dominic was with them, clutching Ate Icha's arm and looking forlorn. I saw Ate Icha look at me with these sad eyes, and Aling Conching, blocking the way to the dirty kitchen with the same dark eyes as Icha's.

I knew something was terribly wrong.

They were all quiet. Nobody dared tell me the truth when I asked what was going on. Just Dominic's eyes darting to the dirty kitchen made me inspect what was outside. Aling Conching immediately got out of my way. Big Foot and Buster, my sweet full-grown Siamese males were sitting near a plywood propped against a wall and as I stepped nearer, they both started wailing this deep, throaty growl. I kneeled down to rub the area underneath their chin to calm them down when I saw Long's beautiful tail from the back of the plywood.

And I knew.

I stared and I knew. And it broke my heart.

I blinked back the tears that were threatening to fall. I stroked Big Foot and Buster and then turned to go inside the house. I asked the maids not to touch her until I say so, then I went upstairs. I went to my parent's dressing room with the intent of going to the bathroom, but I couldn't hold back my tears. I didn't even bother to turn on the lights.

I cried because I lost not just a pet but a family member. I cried because I lost something I treasured and loved. I cried because I lost a best friend. I cried because I didn't get to spend much time with her when I started working again. I cried because she was, aside from my mother, so atuned to my every feeling and emotion.


Here's Long trying to hide. My mom was going to give her a bath kasi. Hehe.

I had her for 11 years.

For most of those years, she slept in my room. She was my constant companion at home. If I went out on a gimmick, she'll wait for me at the top of the stairs, or I'll find her sleeping in front of my bedroom door, waiting for me.

I fed her, bathed her, cleaned after her, groomed her, clipped her nails, cleaned her nose, un-waxed her ears, took her to the vet, took her to the mall, took her to the park, kept vigil when she was sick, cried when she went missing once.

Her devotion to my dad is legendary: My dad loved Long, tolerated her scratches on his chest with just a hearty laugh, wouldn't move an inch when he finds Long sleeping beside him or on top of him, even if her butt was in his nose. My dad would sit in the sofa to watch TV if Long was in his favorite lounge chair. If it was me or my kuya we would definitely be asked to remove our ass off it. It was Long he looked for when he arrived from work. If I was my daddy's girl then she was definitely my dad's cat. During my father's wake which we held in our home, Long took it upon herself to guard him by staying underneath his casket the whole 4 days.

I miss having my cats around. Buster and Big Foot have died of old age too.

My mom once said having cats was good training ground for us because it was no different now that we have 3 rowdy kids running around the place.

I couldn't agree more.
**********
It's four days late but happy birthday to you. You know who you are.

6 comments:

Quentin said...

*sniff*

... beachfreak said...

@quentino: I still miss her. *sniff*

mitch said...

ate sofia! :) you're a cat person pala.

I also cried when two of my dogs died last year. bathroom scene nga din yun eh. I didn't want to be dubbed shallow and childish about crying over my pets kaya I hid. pero I couldn't hide that I cried like hell.

it's okay to have an emotional attachment to our pets. makes us appreciate the simplest things. :)

... beachfreak said...

@mitch: Yep, cat person here!

I've learned so much from my pets. And I agree that they do make you appreciate the simple but worthy things in life: how to have fun without hurting anyone, good grooming, how to take care of another living being, unconditional love, etc, etc, etc.

=)

eventuallypretty said...

ako din naiyak when my bunnies died. And I wasn't even there to bury em. Hay. My granny in Bulacan, who took care of my last rabbit (kasi i had to go to Manila to work)said wag ko na siya dalhan ng kapalit kasi masyado masakit sa puso mamatayan ng pet. Huhuhu.

Long time no bloghop ako sis. Hi! :)

... beachfreak said...

@sis patty: Sobrang sakit talaga sa puso. I haven't had a pet for the past 2 years. My work schedule is a killer so kawawa naman if I get a pet and hindi ko naman siya maalagaan mabuti.

But I have my heart set on getting a pug. =) I'm sort of, er, getting restless, but I'm holding it off kasi there are so many changes right now with work and home so I'm just waiting for things to settle before I get one.