Mar 9, 2011

Daily thoughts - Remembering isnt always warm and fuzzy

They say animals can get heartbroken when they are abandoned or if their owner dies. I believe this is true and it is with a heavy heart that I will share this story.

I was on a "cat love rebound" when Fishy was given to me by my then brother's girlfriend in 2006. Fishy was a blessing who helped me get over my Jakey. Jakey was ran over on July 25 2006 in front of our house. I never found out who killed him but I was really devastated over it. People who might think its just a cat, can use this analogy. Think of the most expensive and favorite item you have, be it a handphone, a car, clothes or shoes, and imagine someone discarding or stealing it. I honestly dont want to compare my cat to any material thing but I never really  understood either some people's attachment to the latter. In the same way, some people dont understand how much I love my cats. To me they are family and not just some disgusting furry four legged creature that can be shit factories and furniture annhilators who also happen to live in the same house as me.

image from this link
Some snapshots of my Jakey

Jakey passed out
Jakey at 6 months
Jakey and his weird sleeping positions
Jakey on my bed
Jakey laying on top of my belly
Jakey's favorite sleeping spot

Fishy filled that void in my life when Jakey passed away. At first I never considered him cute at all. He was scrawny, smelly and looked like Tilapia. That's partly the reason why he had the name. But it was really the series Prison Break that influenced me to name him Fishy.It was a moniker given by one of the main characters, Theodore (Tbag) Bagwell, to the new prison inmate Michael Scoffield (Wentworth Miller).

Me and my brothers were big fans of the series and although Pretty was another name that Michael Scoffield was referred to by Tbag, Fishy wasnt exactly pretty. It sounds mean but I am being honest. Fishy wasnt really cute at all the first few months we had him. Later on we did name one of the new cats Pretty.

Pretty and Tiffy
In the following months, Fishy became more sociable, playful and started to pack on some pounds.

fishy's first day at home

Dec 2006
Dec 2006

We also adopted 3 more kittens around December 2006.

Brittany and Tiffany
Around January of 2007I applied for a job in Singapore and luckily passed the preliminary interviews. It was around March 2007 that I was told that I will be leaving by early July of the same year. I felt excited and happy but also sad that I had to leave my cats behind.

the whole gang
Brittany, Tiffy and Pretty
I left the country in July 2007 and it was 6 months before I was able come home for a visit. When I did, I was shocked to find that Fishy lost a lot of weight. The two other ginger cats also died. It was very sad especially after I have been sending money every month for their food.

Shy fishy

Skinny fishy
Fishy looking really sad
My brothers also told me that when I left, the cats, especially Fishy, would spend days in front of my room. He would only go downstairs to eat then go back there and meow, then rest. Then after a few weeks, he would go downstairs to eat (if there was food) then stay all day and night by the door of my room and shit there too. Someone would clean it up but Fishy kept doing it until they had to put him in a cage at night.
When I arrived that day, I had 24 cans of catfood I bought and he devoured 3 cans in one sitting. I was so overwhelmed with pity and sadness when I saw how thin my cat was. I dont know if its true that he wouldnt eat well or they just simply didnt use the money I sent them to buy the cat food and dog food intended for the them. My short break finally ended and I had to go back to Singapore.

After 3 months I came to visit my family again this time with my fiance on March of 2008.

The good news was Fishy and Pretty hooked up and had a kitten we named PJ.

PJ flanked by Mommy Pretty and Daddy Fishy
The sad news was, Fishy seemed apparently sick. I brought cat food again but this time, he seemed indifferent to it. He was very affectionate to me though when I held him, but I had a bad feeling that whatever it is that Fishy had, it was serious. My mistake was, I didnt bring him to the vet, which is what I shouldve done and to this day I also regret. I was so busy during my visit. My fiance was with me and he was visiting the Philippines for the first time.Still, I dont think thats an excuse for me to not pay attention to my cat who really missed me.

Fishy and family
Fishy and family
PJ, Fishy and Pretty
Fishy close up

I also noticed that our dog Lazybone, who was healthy and lively a few months back, seem withdrawn and also lost weight.

Lazy bone in early 2007

Lazybone on March 2008

He was also full of ticks that I had to buy Frontline to get rid of it.

Our vacation ended around April and and me and my fiance went back to Singapore. I had this sad feeling that it would also be the last time I would see Fishy alive. True enough, on April 8 2008, I was told by my sister in law (the one who gave me Fishy) that he died. This was just a few days before I came back to Singapore. My heart was broken. I kept blaming myself and I knew I am accountable for it. I failed Fishy when I didnt bring him to the vet when it was obvious how sick he was.

I wrote a separate post a year ago about Lazybone. He too sadly passed away.

From this experience I can conclude that when I was here in the country taking care of my pets, I know they didnt get the best food. But they always had food. I did my best to make sure they ate well and that they were healthy. It seemed a paradox that I left the country for their lives to be better. It turned out, leaving them was catastrophic. I felt like the Fantine leaving Cosette behind to the Thenardiers. Except in this scenario, the Cosettes didnt live.

I dont want to ask anymore what happened to the money I sent which was meant for the pets but its obvious why they died. My pets were heartbroken AND neglected. I assume responsibility , partly for it. I regret leaving them behind, HERE in this house, under the "care" of people who I have overestimated I could trust.

And the lingering question thats been bothering me is whether my dad suffered the same fate because of that neglect.Three years ago, my dad was fine too. He was happy and healthy. When I came back last May 2010 for a visit (after not seeing him for a year), I was shocked to see his condition. He was not just sick but he was also miserable with the kind of treatment he was being given.

Because of this, I spent 2 weeks at home during that May vacation. Instead of going to the beach like what me and my husband originally planned, we kept my Dad company. We also cleaned the room he was staying at because it was filthy and packed with garbage and other old things that were useless.

My husband and I went back to Singapore around May 20 and we made a decision. I left my job last June 2010 and went home to take care of my Dad. Unfortunately, he died 4 months later. During this period, not one of my 4 brothers ever contributed for his medicine and his special milk supplement. I spent every cent I saved so I can support my Dad, my 3 cats and the numerous other pets in the house. My Dad's wife begged my brothers NOT to bring him to the hospital anymore after he was hospitalized for 3 consecutive times. She said she had no more money, but I doubt that. Some of my Dad's family have chipped in. Its futile to go back and be bitter about it. He is gone and at least he doesnt have to experience pain again.

It was however unbelievable how fast his health deteriorated. I say the same for the pets I have too.

As for the remaining animals here, I try each day to make a difference to their lives. I admit I cannot provide them with quality food all the time. But Im doing what I can..however if they are not adopted out before I leave this place, I am 100 percent sure, they will go down the same road as my cats, dog and my dad. What happened during that 3 years I was away? I dont really just seem that I lost more than my pets and my Dad, I lost a family who used to care.

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