I've been missing home very much so I thought I'd do a post on one of the reasons why its so hard being away.
This is Maskee, one of the community cats at our home in Singapore. From what a feeder told me, Maskee first appeared one rainy night during the Hungry Ghost month. She was a kitten then and had some burnt marks, most likely from joss sticks. No one has any idea where she came from. But no one questions, everyone's just glad that she has never left.
I first met Maskee two years ago during one of my trips back home to Singapore. Maskee was very skittish and always ran away from people. Yet, at the same time, she seemed to want some company. She'd look at you with such intense longing, give the gentlest mew, take a step towards you and then run away in a flash. Encounters with her were always bizarre - you never knew if you had just made progress, or if your heart had once again been toyed with. Eventually, after much admonishment from her about the right food to offer her majesty, she accepted my friendship and we walked for a good while together that night.
Now, Maskee is always waiting by the carpark entrance to welcome my family and I whenever we come home. You can always see her running out of her hiding place whenever my dad's car comes driving into the carpark and she'll wait by the entrance, ears pricked in excitement. In return, the first thing I'd always do whenever I got out of the car is call out Maskee's name, and she'd come bounding towards us, and stand on her hind legs for us to pat her, as I chat with her in questionable mews and her always replying most politely and patiently. Even my dad who was never a cat-person before, has had his heart won over by her. From his previous incessant grumblings whenever we cuddle the community cats, he now allows them to rub themselves all over his trouser leg, and he even strokes and talks to Muskee!
But of course, like any masked avenger, Maskee has her quirky side. You can pat her head anytime, but she'll only let you properly stroke her when we're at a specific void deck. She loves seafood and will only accept Science Diet kibbles. She only drinks water collected on drain covers, no matter how well presented your bowl of water is to her. Maskee also MUST be greeted and stroked FIRST, above the other cats or folks in the neigbourhood. Once we made the dreadful mistake of not greeting her first when we got home, and for 2 weeks after, she was still giving us the coldest possible treatment. She would slink away from our every attempted touch like we were lepers! Still, being the ever compassionate queen (she has granted many subjects property rights in her kingdom), she'd sit/walk/lie down beside us but no matter how we tried to stroke her, she'd always manage to avoid our touch by simply, and calmly, arching or curling her back while walking away. I have still to come across another cat who is able to walk with their underside completely flat against the ground, and what's more in an elegant manner! It was like chasing your shadow - close but no cigar.
From what my family tells me, Maskee still greets them at the carpark every night. I miss her terribly and I'm still contemplating: what would be the best gift for her when I return?
What do you think?