Wednesday, April 02, 2008


Pre-attack Turkish-English strategic planning session.

After skimming through the Australian Quarantine and Something Else Service site yesterday I am reeling in horror at the discovery that Australia won't permit the import of any live animals from Turkey, no exceptions.

A highly responsible cat owner, I am having to reconsider the thought of returning home at all. There is simply no way that I am leaving without the psychopathic bundle of fur that is my best new friend.

I thought Rome was a town for cats. Istanbul is the town for cats. Millions of well-fed overweight moggies endlessly trawl daily through refuse bins in search of that savoury morsel, scrambling up and along the walls of the neighbourhood mosque, gorging on piles of cheap diarrhea-inducing dried pellets scattered in front of apartment entrances and generally living high life alla Turka.

Kebap was just a wee young lad when I espied him pining away in the street last September. Neighbourhood watch later informed me that the mother has passed away and his brother's whereabouts were lately unknown, so I took the exceptionally small and energetic bundle into my care.

Faster, pussycat, faster.

It had been some time since I'd been responsible for any living creature other than myself. I first named him Abdullah since I've always considered it a solid masculine Muslim name. Neighbourhood watch duly informed me calling my cat after Mohammed's father was clearly improper - I reside directly across from the mosque and calling the cat in each evening for dinner might upset a few local souls. More scarily, an unfortunate English woman teaching in the Sudan had been incarcerated after designating a teddy bear Mohammed earlier the same week. As always, I'm lovin' the radically under-educated.

A friend suggested Tarçın, Cinnamon. Nope.

Kebap is Turkish.

It's all about the love. And possibly a dash of bewilderment.

Naming over, we've spent the following six months understanding that neither one of us is particularly easy to get along with. No-one alerted me, until it was far too late, the need to discipline a cat. Kebap likes to bite, especially my face. And especially between the hours of three to five am, when I'm apparently not expecting it. I've recently learned to sleep with no trace of hand or foot peeking out from under the duvet. Any sighting is good cause for attack.

Kebap drinks only the freshest water from the shower basin, obsesses over paper and plastic bags, and sadly, prefers napping on the flatmate's bed than curling up on mine. He takes more than his fair share of the pillow in the early hours of the morning and doesn't understand that jumping on my face is not the way to get more food, now.

He is obsessed with my ink-jet printer and takes immeasurable pleasure from it.

As with any ward, guardianship entails numerous duties. Good food doesn't come cheap and my otherwise handy Turkish teacher's card provides no discount for vaccinations. After much anguish I've decided against sterilisation. The vet informed me that castration keeps the cat calmer during those heady days of spring; however, I'd need to watch his diet for the remainder of his life, as a tendency to put on weight is the most notable side effect of feline vasectomy. He also informed me that Kebap would turn into something of a balcony-potato, preferring inactivity to mad minutes of insane inexplicable movements through the apartment. The last thing I want in an animal is laziness. I'm Protestant. There is no greater sin committed than that by the idler.

So Kebap will remain intact, just as nature intended. He may well add to the city's feline population in time to come, but as a handsome cat I think he ought to reserve the right to act upon a few carnal urges from time to time. Only ugly things shouldn't reproduce.


Simone Walsh said...

So now when you say 'bite me' somebody actually does! Nice work.

Peldyn said...

My gorgeous boy Skitty is still "intact" but that will change soon as he has started spraying my house. It is pretty bad and there is no other resort but to see if the snippage will stop it. Since I am a seamstress and jewelry designer this is something I can not tolerate as it affects my business ( he really likes my fabrics and beads and finds a way in to spray them no matter how hard I try to keep him out, LOL!
You can see him on my page here: