Leo.

I never thought I’ll be writing this, and it pains my heart that I am. I was in the middle of my first pump of the day when at 10.18am I received a message from Mum. She said Leo is gone.

My world came to a pause. It didn’t add up to me, I just saw him this morning. I couldn’t comprehend HOW. She said he was most probably hit by a car, my brother found him in front of our gate as he went out to throw the trash, his body still warm he said.

Still warm I thought? Are you sure he’s dead? Mum then sent a few pictures of him. My heart. Shattered. He’s dead. It didn’t look like there was a scratch on him. He wasn’t bloodied. But Mazir said his left hind leg was broken.

Would he have been alive if we found him earlier? Could he have been saved? Cat’s have broken limbs all the time right? Internal injuries probably.

Mum texted again, she said they have to bury him and I won’t be able to say goodbye. I wanted to get up right away, stop pumping, I wanted to call Mazir and ask him to pick me up immediately. But I was also in the middle of briefing and I had to console myself.

I was angry at who could have hit him. How they could have not seen him. But then again, this happens everyday right? Cats/ dogs suddenly passing by. I don’t know. I just know we lost a family member and we are all heartbroken.

Leo.

I’m angry, I’m sad, I’m devastated. I’m sorry.

Only this morning I was about to joke and say ‘Can I say I’m late for work because my husband needed to protect my cat?’ We were going out, Mazir was closing the gate when he saw Blackie (a mean cat) walking behind Leo. We knew Leo was going out, to poop probably, he doesn’t do his business in the house compound, and Mazir was calling out for Leo to tell him Blackie was right behind him.

I was already running late but I found it funny that I was going to be late because of my cat.

“Dia tidak sedar oh si Blackie belakang dia. Kurang asam oh si Blackie tu”.

We don’t like Blackie. He’s a full black cat that has been picking on Leo since day 1, and would go into our kitchen to steal food we’ve already left for Leo. Leo has always been afraid of him and would run up to my mum’s room if he saw Blackie even from afar.

Leo is a kampung cat, but oh. He’s so smart. He is so human like. That’s what made everyone fell in love with him.

I was newly pregnant, about 3 months and my aunty (a family friend, that also happened to be my confinement lady) made something for me. We went over to her place and there were just so many stray cats! Some pretty, some very kampung looking. We haven’t had any pets for quite some time and I’ve been dying to get a cat -a scottish fold munchkin to be exact, but it was either the cat or I beranak at home.

We wanted a pretty one there but it was so hard to catch! But we obviously weren’t ready, we didn’t have anything. I told Mazir we’ll come back once we get some cat food, box and etc. But there was just this one cat that kept rubbing his head on our legs.

“That’s Moriarty”, said Aunty Len.

Hmm. Manja but not exactly what we’re looking for. Again we told Aunty Len, we’ll come back. We went to our car and this cat just followed.

“Nahhh. Mau ikut lah tu”, Aunty Len chirped in.

“Huh you wanna follow?” I frowned at this scrawny cat.

I looked at Mazir. He somehow found it amusing. I opened the back door and looked at the cat.

“You wanna follow?” I asked, unsure.

And this cat just jumped into the car! Aunty Len laughed. I was surprised, Mazir was set. I whispered to Mazir, are you sure you want to take this cat now? We haven’t gotten anything yet. And by that I actually meant, I don’t want this cat I want the other one that’s pretty.

“Ya ya. Senang saja bah tu. Nanti kita singgah LTS beli makanan. Atau Pick n Pay.”

Okay. Alright. We said our goodbye’s to Aunty Len and brought him home. Mum was on her Umrah so it was just us at home. We gave him a box to sleep in, I was afraid he would run away if we keep him outside but Mazir reassured me he’ll be fine. True enough, the next day he was still inside his box.

We was the voiceless cat. He didn’t meow. Everytime he tried to it was as if his voice box was rosak. That’s what we thought. We got him a collar with a bell so it was easy for us to know if he was coming. He was just meow to us for some time until Mum came back home and named him Leo. Mum naturally was annoyed we brought back a cat.

“Nanti berak tu merata-rate tempat! Our house is going to be smelly!’ says Mum.

“Eee. Kucing apa bah nie si Seri bawa balik. He’s not even cute” says Abg Tim.

By this time me and Mazir has already fallen for him. He was so manja, he just wanted to lie down on you. We was still so small then, he wasn’t allowed to sleep inside the house then. Until Mum had a rat problem in her room.

She made Leo sleep with her everynight, in hopes that Leo would catch this rat. Instead of Leo keeping an eye out, he ended up sleeping first. And sometimes would even want to cuddle up on her bed. He never caught the rat.

But oh he’s so smart. Everytime we come back home he’ll be at the door waiting for us. And it was only for us. I don’t know how he can tell who comes back home but he knows. He wouldn’t greet my brother but would greet Mazir or me.

There was one time I was arguing with Mazir, he came to me and licked my face. As if to tell me I’ll be okay. He was attached to me when I was heavily pregnant, he would follow me around, even teman me when I was showering; Mum was afraid that he knew I was going to give birth. Hahaha.

I wished we had more time together Leo. I wished you saw Naia grow up, I know she already started to love you.

Only 2 nights ago we bought your food. We’re sorry we took such a long time to get it, we kept forgetting and only fed you chicken. I know you were looking for your Whiskas.  Me and Mazir was just discussing about investing in a good cat food for you.

I’m sorry we never started earlier, that I kept forgetting to get the frontline, that we didn’t let you play in our room as much anymore, that you didn’t get to go on our bed, that I never approved of si Kurus.

We love you Leo.

I hope they serve you only Tuna & Tuna with White Fish over there and let you go on rooftops as much as you like.

You will be badly missed.

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