I was just chatting with my mom on the phone and my cats came up in the conversation. Mom has only met Slinky before, not the two young ones. At first, both my parents didn’t like the idea of Slinky the cat in my house, whom they only knew about when they came to visit me because I was very sick. Then, there was only Slinky. Mom moved in with me for awhile to take care of me while I was sick, and helped me take care of Slinky too. Eventually, Mom fell in love with Slinky, and told me just now that she misses her!

I think some older folks – parents especially – may be against cats in the house because they are viewed as dirty or eccentric. But my mom, while she complained about Slinky’s fur, doted on Slinks a lot even while cleaning up after her.

Parents. They may have a lot to say about furry animals, but given time, they may eventually still come to enjoy them.

Another example is Aswat’s mother who claimed to dislike all his animals. Even after much scolding and deterrence, Aswat still brought sick and stray animals home all the time. After some 17 years (he counted how long it took to ‘break’ his mom), she eventually came to accept all of them, even his dogs. She now even has her favourite cat, Belle.

Belle came to Aswat’s home as a stray kitten. During that time, his mom was nursing illness and stayed at home a lot, eventually coming to spend a lot of time with Belle, then the youngest. Before Belle, Aswat’s mom was hands-off about all his animals. But Belle would come to his mom, sleep on her, knead and suckle on her clothes. His mom even gave her her own nickname for Belle – Cucut, because she likes to suck cloth. Now that Belle is all grown up, she still does the same. In fact, when Aswat’s mom had to go to the hospital for two weeks, Belle missed her so much she slept on his mom’s sarong the whole time. Belle in fact is the only cat in the house that is allowed to go into his mother’s room. Now, when we talk about Belle with his mom, and also talk about how naughty she can be at times, his mom will say, “Tapi, (Belle) cantik!” which shows how much she loves this cat. Belle is really very beautiful – she looks like a Norwegian Forest cat.

I guess some of you cat owners out there might have to put up with family members that oppose cats. But given good housekeeping, integration and patience, they will come to at least tolerate them, if not love them eventually. It is hard for anyone to resist the companionship of a loving cat.

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