Tuesday, July 10

scaredy cat

I'm really not a cat person. And by that I mean that I hate cats. They scare the shit out of me. I don't know why, I can't explain it, but when I see a cat all I think is "run" and when I catch a cat's eyes I get shivers down my spine...

Now my Parisian lives alone in a big apartment on the ground floor of a building in the middle of Achrafieh, with a garden and a balcony that both connect to the streets. A few months ago, he saw pee and excrements on his father's bed --which has a door that opens into the garden, that he must've left open. This happened on more than one occasion. Cats were constantly roaming through his garden then, and he kept trying to scare them away.

Then one day in May, we heard miaowing coming from the garden. It was small, young sort of miaow.  The garden was pitch black and we could barely see a thing, but we kept following the sound until we found a newborn black kitten entangled in the bushes. My Parisian helped it out, trying not to touch it with bare hands so that his smell didn't rub off on it. Once freed, he put him down and we waited for the mother to collect it. Sure enough, a few minutes later, the mother appeared with two other kittens by her side, and they were reunited.

The next day, my Parisian went to Paris for a few days. When he came back, there was no sign of the three kittens or their mother. I was relieved, as I really didn't want cats constantly around me seeing how much they scare me. On a Sunday, as he spent the afternoon cleaning his garden, my Parisian saw something odd in the small fountain: there he found the three kittens, who had drowned.

The very same night, he heard a noise coming from his father's bedroom. He went in there to check, and there he found a female cat who had just given birth to three kittens. In the bedroom! The mother panicked as she saw him and fled the room. He carefully put the kittens on a pillow and placed them outside in the garden for her to collect them, and closed the connecting door.

One morning a few days later, we were walking to the kitchen when we smelt a horrible stench. We looked everywhere for what we were sure to be cat excrements, and finally, after about 10 minutes, hidden under a pillow, was a huge pile of shit on the couch. It was so disgusting I almost threw up. We cleaned up and closed the windows, as it seemed cats came in from everywhere.

Later that day, he heard a sound coming from the living room. And sure enough... there were the kittens! Two of them, not three. Behind a big trunk. Again, he carefully placed them outside, and barred all the doors, all the windows, once and for all.

Now the family of three took refuge in the garden. The two kittens never seemed to leave the garden and the mother come and goes. My Parisian, being a born animal lover, couldn't help but feed them, giving them a box of tuna every morning, and some milk.

This morning, at about 7am, we awoke at the sound of a kitten, miaowing and miaowing and miaowing. We ignored it and went back to sleep. Then, later, when my Parisian went outside to give them their morning tuna, he couldn't find them anywhere. Until he saw one of them completely flattened on its stomach, and the other with an odd foam coming out of his mouth, both looking dead. Or almost. He called the vet and they both concluded that they must have been poisoned, although they don't know how. He carried them in a cardboard box and drove them to the veterinarian, but both of them died.

Kind of disturbingly weird, isn't it?

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