Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Sonja is dead. She was Rix’s cat.
Rix, being Rix, can’t resist bringing home strays every so often. She once brought home a boxful of kittens, which she gave away to her cat-loving friends in school. She also wanted to buy and bring home three ducks she saw in Philoca, since she pitied them strung up on a pole by their webbed feet, but she couldn’t figure out how to commute home with them. So when Rix found Sonja, half-drowned in the canal near our street, Rix naturally took her home.
Sonja was the ugliest creature we had ever seen. She was so tiny, small enough to fit in your palm. She hardly had any fur, and what little she had was clumped together unattractively, standing on end. Her tail was cut off, and her eyes were crusted shut by pus. We didn’t think she’d make it through the night.
But she did. We kept her in a rag-lined shoebox, feeding her milk via dropper. A few days after, she was crawling out of the box, and insisted on sleeping on top my PC’s AVR. She couldn’t have been more than two weeks old.
Rix was supposed to give her away when she was old and strong enough to eat without a dropper. So for a month-and-a-half, we just called her The Cat, because if we named her, we’d have to keep her. But all her friends were already loaded with Rix’s previous rescues. So she stayed, and we decided to call her Sonja (pronounced with the “J” as in “jeep”).
Sonja eventually outgrew her ugliness and became a pretty black-and-white-spotted cat. In fact, there was a time that she became so fat that if you looked at her from above and behind when she was sitting, she looked like a soccer ball. And when she slimmed down a bit, she still resembled a cow of some sort. She was a massive cat.
We were mortified when we finally took Sonja to the vet, only to find out that she was actually supposed to be a Sanjo. The vet found a tiny pair of balls that we missed. Sonja had always been a “she” to us, and so that’s how we always referred to her. But I guess it explained why Sonja often snuck out of the house, and always managed to return home un-pregnant. The last thing we wanted was more kittens, given the fact that our circle of cat-lovers was saturated with cats.
From the start, The Boo was fascinated with Sonja (although in typical Boo fashion, when we first let him smell her, Boo put Sonja’s head right in his mouth. I suppose, just like a shark, having no opposable thumbs, that’s how he gets a feel of new things). He kept close watch over her, especially her first few days. He left the box only to eat and go to the bathroom. When she was walking around, he’d trail her around the house. Initially, Sonja would hiss at Boo and lash out. He once took a clawed swipe to his nose. But that didn’t keep him away. Eventually, Sonja learned to tolerate him, and I guess they became friends.
In months, Sonja was taller and much, much quicker than The Boo. And that’s when the fun began. She’d stalk him from behind the tables and from the top of the chairs. She’d pounce on him when he’d pass by. He’d chase her around the house, around and up and down the furniture. Of course, Sonja always had the upper hand. And she picked on him a lot, even when he was sleeping. She actually bullied him. But she was always Boo’s ally. Once, when The Boo and Chloe were having a spat, Sonja came out of nowhere, and for no apparent reason, took a swipe at Chloe.
Sonja, along with Rix’s birds, was supposed to move in with me and The Hubby. But then, she died. And it seemed to be a very horrible, painful death. Rix found her in the bathroom, lying in a pool of blood that ran from her mouth. Her eyes were wide open.
We still don’t know what happened. Maybe she ate something poisonous. Or in her jaunts to other neighbors’ yards, an irate homeowner kicked her and damaged some internal organs. Or maybe she got hit by something. It seems that she died of some internal hemorrhage.
When she was a baby, she refused to be touched by anyone. Maybe the trauma of her early days made her fearful of people. But eventually, she allowed us to hold her and pet her, but it was only Rix she loved. Only Rix could carry her, and she always slept with Rix. In her last days, she was more malambing than usual, wanting more attention from Rix. Maybe she sensed that Rix was leaving for a long time; or that she—Sonja—wouldn’t be around for long either.
Rix is devastated. She has sworn of pets for now.
We’ll all miss Sonja.