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Janice Jadedeah Shiu

© Copyright 2000 by Janice Jadedeah Shiu

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This is the only cat story in my life and I believe that there are peopleout there like me who are too blinded to see the rest of the world becauseof cat - blindess. To all of you out there, take time to notice the cats who come into your life.

In the whole twenty-one years of my life, I only had one pet - a dog and NEVER, NEVER a cat. I became cat-blind because of this. Whenever a cat appears in our house, I simply ignored it. So after seven years up to this day, I could never put into words my feelings when a cat suddenly appeared out of nowhere and adopted me.

Being the young mind that I was, I did everything to make the cat leave - literally throw her out of the house and scream among other things but the cat would not go. She ate my food when I was not looking, she made that purring noise when I was eating and she also made scratching noises at night. She made her presence so obvious that my cat-blind defense was torn down in a few days and so; she was never named because of this.

I so hated that cat that I took pains to make sure that she will never get into my room. The rule was everywhere but not in my own room. I was wrong because soon enough she was sleeping in the room with me without my knowing it. It was funny because she would suddenly leap out of open closets and open drawers when I entered the room. Sometimes, I had to tell her to please get out of my closet because I did not want my clothes smelling of her when I use them and so she would give me that “how dare you disturb my nap” look but being the insensitive human being that I am, I’d be firm and pick her up out of where she happens to be.

One day she gave me the reason why she came to my life in a very fashionable cat style. I usually had full days ahead of me back then so it was a surprise to me when I came home and found my underwear drawer full of newly - born kittens. She had given birth to her litter in my underwear drawer! I didn’t know if I should laugh or scream at the sight. My undergarments were all bloodied and bunched to form a mattress of sort but there lying in it were four or five young defenseless kittens. So, I ended up transferring the litter to a box and placing them out of my room.

But it did not end there. After a day, I could hear soft meows in my room and I go, “oh - oh” as I look at the source of the sounds. And there they are, AGAIN! I really don’t know why she loved that drawer but I just finished washing all the undergarments the day before and that made me feel really bad. Her litter was a different story; they just melt my stony heart. The process of transferring the kittens then had to be repeated. After that incident, I made sure that all my drawers were closed after using them because even if it is slightly open, she could find ways to use it to incubate her kids.

After a while, the kittens became bigger and she was rarely seen around the house anymore. She did not need us anymore. One day she just left, I don’t know if she even said good-bye to the kittens but those kittens only stayed with us for a short while because I generously gave them to the more caring hearts in our neighborhood.

The memory of orange and black patches over a white feline body will be with me forever. It is not because I still hate cats but because she found a way to make me see the things I would have ignored before. Not that I now learned to close my drawers and closets but because she made me realize a lesson in life. No matter how despicable it is to us, we need to learn to coexist with the other beings in our lifetime to survive. They may have a reason for coming into our life. So today, I have to say thank you to my unexpected feline visitor. MEOW!

My name is Janice Jadedeah Shiu, I am part Filipino and Chinese . I was raised in the Philippines where I finished my college education at the University of the Philippines. Still single at 21 years of age, I decided to come to Southern California to finish my Master's degree in Applied Women's Studies at Claremont Graduate University where I expect to finish my degree on the Fall term 2001.

I write about things that have profound effects to my life and I believe that this is the best way to reach out to the people who read my articles. I also have a featured article at right now that won second place in a writing competition. Anyone can go check it out.

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