The protagonist in this tale is NaNa, pictured below.
|Princess NaNa” reclining on the sofa|
NaNa started her life as homeless kitten in the Kota Laksamana Flats in Melaka. I do not know how she got there. On one fateful day, she decided to befriend Fiona, an animal rescuer. Seeing that the scrawny little kitten was too small to be on her own, Fiona brought her to us at the *Animal Birth Control (ABC) Clinic, Melaka.
When I first set eyes on this feline, she was barely big enough to cover the palm of my hand. However, she appeared healthy - no skin disease, wounds or fleas. And, she had the most glorious tail. Long and graceful, it curls and wraps around her body softly. I named her “Mini Fiona”, after her rescuer.
When Mini Fiona was older and stronger, I had her spayed. As she was a well socialized kitten, I set about looking for a good home for her. A friend who owns a wellness centre expressed an interest for a kitten in her saloon, although she had no experience in handling animals. But I figured that since I was a regular there, I would be able to see Mini Fiona and render any assistance that may be required.
In July 2011, at the age of 4 months old, Mini Fiona settled into her new life with a new name “NaNa.” My earlier concern about NaNa having to adjust to her new home was unfounded. NaNa has human slaves fawning over her. She has a wide selection of kitty food, kitty toys, kitty treats, kitty litter, kitty collars and kitty everything. Her mama even sews kitty pillows for her. This feline is very regal and snooty. She holds her head high and nibbles at her food daintily, thus earning her the name of “Gōngzhǔ mao” (“Princess Cat” in Chinese). Well, she does behave like a princess, except, during bath time.
When the first drop of water touched NaNa, she screeched so loudly that her new mama did not think cats were capable of. It was as if she were being murdered. I am sure she thought so too.
Despite her size, four ladies had to hold her down during her involuntary ablution. They did not suffer very much, only a few thousand scratches.
Over time, NaNa tolerated her floral bouquet baths. Her white coat is so clean that I am sure she will win the title of the most pristine cat in Melaka. Although I do not think she appreciated the efforts put in by her loyal subjects.
Having NaNa has made her mama and the rest of the ladies at the saloon more aware of the plight of strays and the importance of sterilisation (spay & neuter), which they were ignorant of before.
NaNa has come a long way from her humble beginnings as a stray kitten. Now, she is a wholly indoor cat, a mascot for the saloon. She greets the clients who walk in, now and then (depending on her royal highness’s moods). She is enjoying this peaceful and pampered life in her castle, commanding her devoted serfs with a flick of her expressive tail.
* Animal Birth Control (ABC) Clinic, Melaka – is a no frills, low cost clinic offering spaying (for females) and neutering (for males) services for cats and dogs. All cats & dogs spayed and neutered will have their left ear clipped to show that they have been altered. ABC strongly believes that spaying & neutering is more humane than culling, in order to reduce the over-population of unwanted animals.
Contributed by Siah Li Mei, Melaka.