I love my cat Mr Bond! Like A LOT! So much I just have to write and gush about him.
What most people don't know is that he wasn't planned, as in I wasn't intending to keep him initially. In 2003, after losing my first cat, I swore not to keep another one because the pain of losing a pet was so painful I was left in depression for the longest of time. Nothing could take that pain away and it's so profound that I still bawl my eyes out thinking about it these days and it's been more than 10 years. You never get over the loss of pets and loved ones, period. It gets easier, but you don't get over that. So no, no more cats for me I announced.
Then one day, my then-boyfriend and I, innocently walked into a pet store along Thomson Road for fun and there Mr Bond was, looking all coy and way too cute in a little cage. There were a couple of black and white British Shorthair there too who happened to be from the same litter but there's no contesting that Mr Bond is the most outstandingly cute one.
It wasn't a "And the rest was history" story because firstly, I believe in adopting not buying. There are many kitties out there who could use a home, so why buy one? Cats are cats and they're all wonderful. Secondly, I just wasn't ready. But after getting harassed by my ex, I thought okay, no harm playing with him cos it's free, he would get to come out of the cage a bit and I could still say no and walk out. Only that Mr Bond was so horrified of people and refused to get out.
"He's cute but he's got personality problems, he's not fun and he's afraid of people. Get his siblings instead, they are more playful and fun, this one nobody wants him I'm quite sure, he's been around here for awhile already. Very long already in fact. Not that good to be honest," said the pet store guy, and the perfect sales pitch was made.
The "this one nobody wants him" bit broke my heart. Being a long supporter of the underdog, or under-cat, in this case, I softened. In fact, he was so unwanted that the store people couldn't wait to get rid of him and for a British Shorthair, he was a mere $250, a quarter of what a British Shorthair would cost. The fact that it was during the peak of SARS period probably made the prices of kitty cats dropped to its all time low too. My ex immediately whipped out his credit card and I didn't stop him. I haven't looked back since.
It's been a wonderful 8 years and I can't imagine not having him. Some months back, we both went through major trauma that had me crying for nights and burst out in tears in the office. We discovered he had both bladder and kidney stones. The bladder stones had been removed since through surgery but the small kidney stones remained. Our wonderful vet said we have to keep it under observation as the stones aren't big and we just need to monitor and keep it in control and hopefully, not have them cause any trouble.
If there's anything good that comes out of the health drama, it is that I'm reminded not to take him for granted. I haven't been the best pet owner before and there were times I've taken him for granted. The health issues literally grabbed me by my neck like a blistering hot tong and shook me hard. A little wake up call to appreciate the wonderful Mr Bond all over again.
I'm now going all out to get him healthy and I'm taking him to see a vet that specializes in Traditional Chinese Medicine to see if there's any way to shrink or even get rid of the kidney stones using herbs.
Friends tell me I'm crazy, spending so much on a cat when I'm not exactly the richest person around with big fat pay check. What they don't understand is that, Mr Bond is my family. Especially when I've been living alone for more than 10 years now away from my own family. He's family and is the love of my life.
Boyfriends came and went, but Mr Bond is forever faithful. He's here whenever I'm home, he snuggles up to me when he knows I'm sad, and there were a couple of times when he literally came up to me and licked my tears off my face. So yes, I'll give him the same I would give to any family members or loved ones. After all, it's just money. You can always make the money back.
Most important of all, he's really made me a better person and here's why.....
- He makes me a more compassionate person.
- I'm more dedicated and disciplined on being more vegetarian (I said "more" because I'm not 100%, at times I relent and give in).
- He always helps me re-focus on the things that matter in life (ie. things money can't buy).
- He's taught me of patience and perseverance when I deal with his health issues.
- He's made me a calmer person because my mood affects him. Pet owners project their emotions on their pets and they feel what you feel.
- He's made me more generous and helpful. Keeping pets can be expensive. It's heartbreaking to know not all animals get medical care because of cost and having struggled through heavy bills before, I understand the pain and pressure and now I donate to the cat welfare society regularly, especially to their special appeal. The money I save from buying a new outfit could make a huge difference to lives of both the animals and their caregiver and it's far more rewarding.