Saturday, May 17, 2008

Better now.

I sincerely love my cat. Having someone to take care of makes me feel less selfish in a life committed to avoiding responsibility and emotional attachment.

Ten days ago I returned home. Nothing unusual there, I return home every day. Well, most nights anyway. By the time I open the apartment door, nine times out of ten Kepab is patiently waiting while I unload my pack and then expects the usual hugging and free under-the-neck-and-scalp-scratching session that ensues.

Kebap makes friends. Or enemies. Not sure. Anyway, social networking.

That particular night he didn't come to the door, nor did he stir when the bedroom light was switched on and I threw off tie, shirt and trousers to change into short, T-shirt and sandals. I picked him up off the bed. He growled deep and low. I dropped him back on the bed and, as is my routine, got out the cafetiere, lit a cigarette and checked for new grey hairs in the hallway mirror. Kepab, I realised while butting out my Winston Light, still hadn't moved from the bed. Something was up.

It took me several minutes to work it out. His tail was injured, possibly broken. A journey followed to visit Alper Bey, my vet of choice because the previous one seemed indifferent to Kepab and my several hundred questions regarding the right choice of cat food for a young street cat. Alper, knowing Kepab to be rather, well, violent and a master of claw-in-the-face martial art tactics when the need arises, excused his inability to take an x-ray on the spot since other staff had left for the day. Kepab is not the kind of cute little cat that sits quietly on a cold steel table in the examination room while a vet sticks a gloved finger in places Pope Leo X enjoyed a tad too much. Kebap is 100% street feline. He don't take crap and he don't like to be touched by strangers. Alper knows this well.

Badly brought up or not, Kebap is my charge and I had to leave him overnight until staff arrived tomorrow and enough hands would be available to hold him down and x-ray his tail. I naturally inquired about his diagnosis and was informed that if the tail were broken there was a high possibility of its amputation. I didn't take the news well and slept badly that night.

Flirtatious behaviour in the mosque gardens. Inappropriate.

The following day I raced to the vet after work. Kepab lay forlorn in his cat basket. Something between Lion King pathos and Isabelle Huppert as Madame Bovary (deathbed scene).
I knew he wasn't happy. Alper had tried to telephone me without luck during the day. To be fair, what would I have known about removing a lesion from a tail anyway? He had carried out what needed to be done and told me that my baby would still be 'drunk' for the next few hours. Do we even have a specific word in English to describe the after effects of a general anesthetic?

Back at the house Kepab appeared less drunk and more just plain pissed off. Certainly in no mood to talk. He went back to the bed. I had ten days' worth of antibiotics to administer. That sounded like a lot of fun. Kepab looked comic and pathetic a la fois with his bandaged tail and purple plastic Elizabethan collar. Kind of like Paris Hilton, though unlike her my cat is not a useless slut.

Now it's Saturday, ten days post-operation. The course of antibiotics has finished and we've angrily revisited a surprisingly calm vet who had changed and re-changed an ungrateful Kepab's bandage. Today is the first day of real, proper summer weather in Istanbul. Kepab and I are in the garden of Cihangir Mosque, affording a wide view of the Bosphorus and making me fall in love once again with this metropolis. Kepab is less interested in watching ferries ply the waters than I am. He enjoys scratching his head against plants more than I do. He enjoys socialising with others of his species. I do not.

We're both happy and relaxed. It's fine time to be in Istanbul.

Kebap a la plastic ruffle. Tres chic, tres aujourd'hui. Le must de Cihangir pour le chat de votre vie.


Caco said...

Please say 'get well soon' to Kepab.
Sorry, English is not my mother-tongue, but why not 'sedated' instead of 'drunk'? ;-))
We have two things in common: Taksim (I once stayed in this neighbourhood) and Cinema Paradiso.

Very pleasant reading indeed.

Cheers and enjoy your weekend.

James said...

I knew it! Sedated. Thank you. English may not be your mother tongue but as I wrote in a previous entry, my vocabulary is slowly diminishing...

Thanks for dropping by.