We have been very fortunate that in all our years in Singapore, we’ve always had someone stay with our cats. This summer, we are fortunate to have a kind and responsible friend who will stop by each day to care for them and give them some attention. Still, in my heart I felt sad because our cats are very social. I knew they would be lonely.
Yesterday something wonderful happened. We found a wonderful playmate for our cats. One of Kent’s colleagues just moved into our condo complex. She has an elementary-aged daughter whom I will call E and a pre-school son. Her daughter is going to come over to play with the cats this summer.
Our first year here I was able to arrange for a colleague’s daughter to care for the cats when we were on short trips. My cats sleep around 18 hours per day, so they really don’t need someone here all the time. I decided I would pay her x amount per visit, and she could visit up to four times per day. It turned out to be a great deal for both of us. She was an animal lover who really enjoyed the time with the cats. Even my timid Kapas eventually came out from hiding to be with her. I am hoping this new arrangement will work out as well. I am thinking it will.
Last night E came over to meet the cats. As usual, Batu was hesitant at first, wanting to watch her a bit to make certain she was safe. Ella warmed up to her right away, especially when she brushed Ella’s coat. Ella loves to be brushed.
E was a real trooper. She gamely tried each different way we suggested of playing with Batu. Batu was clearly interested but not yet comfortable enough to play. Here E is trying to entice Batu to play by tempting her with a toy in her playbox under the coffee table. (Ella watches on from the coffee table.)
As you can see, she had Batu’s attention but Batu wouldn’t play.
Eventually, Batu did play for a few moments, much to E’s delight.
Later, E spent time with her in the bedroom. As long as I wasn’t in the room, Batu would snuggle with her. It’s almost as though Batu doesn’t want to hurt our feelings by being too friendly with other people. Or, she’s not willing to let us feel less guilty for leaving her.
E stayed for quite a while. Since our two cats don’t hang out together, E kept going from one to the other. Soon, they were following her. The best sign came when E left. We walked her part way home. When we came back in the condo, Batu was in the entry way. Rather than greet us, she was staring past us to see where E was.
E returned today with cat treats she had purchased with her own money. Batu really isn’t interested in treats, but Ella was delighted. She licked her lips with relish after each treat.
My heart is no longer sad. I am grateful that E, who took great care of her own pet bunny, will bring joy and comfort to my cats this summer.
P.S. E had been caught in a downpour which is why she is looking a bit soggy.