I’m Being Adopted…and Remembering Ming Ming

There’s a ginger cat who wants to adopt me and our home. We heard him yesterday trying to get down from the roof of the outdoor storage room (our bodega). He was a ginger-colored one with white stripes and a nice long tail. But he was dirty and he smelled really bad, like he was sick or something. I wasn’t able to get a picture of him.

I’ve always attracted strays. The first cat that adopted me was Ming Ming. I know very little about cat breeds but in these parts we call them “pusang kalye” or alley cats. I was about 6 or 7 years old when Ming Ming adopted me. We lived in Brunei at that time, in an apartment building near the heart of Bandar Seri Begawan. Pets were not allowed. Somehow I managed to sneak her in (or she sneaked in without my help, can’t remember which now). Mama told me we couldn’t keep Ming Ming, but she wouldn’t leave. Even after she used my favorite dress as a litter-box and got Mama very very upset. I knew she was going to stay forever when Mama found her curled up asleep on my tummy one night.

The reason she wouldn’t leave was because she was pregnant with her first litter. Her first hubby must have had Siamese blood because 3 of her 4 offspring looked Siamese. Ming Ming was black with white patches on her neck and body and thin yellow stripes on her back and tail. Curly was a boy cat and my very first (aside from Ming Ming). Next were Shorty and Kitty. The last was Tiger. He was born without any eyes, or maybe they got scratched out, I don’t remember now. He was called Tiger because he  was black  with yellow stripes and white patches. He died soon after. It was the first time I experienced a pet dying. I never knew how sad it could be. But his siblings soon got my attention. The three cats grew up and grew old. Then they disappeared one by one. The last to go was Kitty.

Ming Ming then gave birth to her second litter. Some of these died and the others we gave away. We decided to get Ming Ming neutered. After a number of years Ming Ming herself disappeared.

Over the years I’ve had some cats adopt me, then leave me. I had one run to me for comfort when some cruel man cut him in the face. We tried to help the cat but the slash was too deep. The cat left us soon after. I don’t know what happened to him.

Now this young cat, not a kitten anymore but not yet fully grown, is trying to make our home his. I wish we could keep him. I would like to call him Ken. He looks like a Ken. But my 5 yo has sensitive lungs and we can’t offer our home to Ken. He’s from the neighbouring property behind ours and he managed to climb the high walls. The reason he hasn’t made it into our home is because he can’t jump down from the walls. I think he’s too weak and small to do it.

Ken is persistent but he won’t be able to adopt me. We’ll need to let him go if and when he makes it down from the walls. I hope he finds a home elsewhere, the poor thing. The Property Management of our community doesn’t like cats.


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