Maisie 梅喜喜

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A notification? A gift?

Sunday morning, I woke up to find this pair of socks lying at the hallway outside my bedroom. They are Beam’s, and were next to her bed. She doesn’t wear them any more. They serve as cushions, pillows and blankets for her animal friends.

This mysterious appearance baffled me completely as neither of us had spotted them before lights-out.

‘Maisie-sie?’ This was my first thought.

‘Maisie-sie? Meow ~ Maisie-sie?’ I called out her name. There was only silence.

Who else, right? She’s the only one who becomes so alive and kicking, which is utterly contrary to her life during the day, while both of Beam and me are dead asleep. I just never expected her to roam upstairs. She only zooms  upstairs when she’s panicking, like the time when I tried to offer her a cat toy. She was so offended by the fishing rod lookalike, and simply stormed off.

To be fair, Maisie’s not familiar with us yet, let along the toy, which she probably had never seen before. She’s been an outdoor cat who once lived on the balcony of my friend’s holiday home in Spain. The ex-owner of the house had three cats, and Maisie was one of them. She chose to live on the balcony because she didn’t like other cats. When the lady owner moved back to England, she took the two indoor cats with her, and left Maisie behind. Being big animal lovers, my friend and his wife, Chris and Helen, let her stay and fed her.

It seemed that Maisie was waiting for someone to come back for her, and never wondered off even when Chris and Helen, who only manage to visit the holiday home once every few months, were back in England. The next time they saw Maisie, she had turned so skinny because of starvation. So, they decided to take Maisie with them.

When they told me about their plan to take Maisie back here, I asked if Beam and I could have her. They have got a sweet dog called Pebbles, and a big tomcat called Fred. He was not sure if Fred and Maisie would get along anyway.

They got Maisie a Spanish pet passport so as to avoid the dreadful quarantine when she travels across borders. It’s very cool. She now can travel around in EU freely if she’d like to.

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Maisie’s passport

But, I guess the long journey back to England and the completely different living environment have had a great impact on her, apart from the fact that we sort of forced the move on her though obviously if we didn’t do this, it was likely she would starve to death. Maisie has been all passive aggressive towards us so far.

Tigger was like that, too, when he first joined us with Meeloo in Singapore. Meeloo and us clicked on immediately (he napped on my thigh that very night!) while it took Tigger two weeks to finally allow Beam Beam to carry him in her arms. During that two weeks, I just left him alone and never pestered him. Every time I caught a glimpse of him, I greeted him with my trademark (Ha!) cheerful smile and “Hello Tiger-ger!” Now, this is what I do with Maisie as well, in the hope that she, like Tigger, will sooner or later accept us to be part of her life.

I digress.

So…… Why the socks?? Maybe she just forgot to put them away after finishing her night game?? And she was nowhere to be seen. She was usually under the radiator in the sitting room.

I didn’t dwell on it as I’m never good at solving crimes anyway. Besides, a homemaker’s work is never done. I moved on.

After a while, when I put away Beam’s clean clothes, I made an intriguing discovery — Maisie was sitting in between the mattress and the wall which the mattress was resting against. She looked calm.

Now, here’s my theory. As Chris and Helen were coming to pick up the cat pen they lent us that day, I cleaned the rug and gave her the new litter tray the night before. Perhaps, Maisie sensed that there was going to be some sort of change again, and decided to make her own decision this time. By dropping off the socks, which belong in Beam’s room, at the hallway, she was trying to notify us of her whereabouts, of her moving house!

Helen concluded that it could be a gift for us as well, because we feed her after all.

Whichever it is, the truth is that she has started communicating with us, which to me represents a ray of hope! And  Helen taught us a trick — Squinting is the way cats smile ^_^ So this is what we have been doing every time we talk to Maisie. We must be looking like Laurel and Hardy or Dumb and Dumber to her.

Before this sock incident, Beam and I always spent the first few minutes after lights-out listening intently to her movements downstairs, and wondering what she was up to actually. However, from Sunday night on, she began talking. Talking, not growling. I just wish she would eventually walk into my room and have a face-to-face conversation with us.

Maisie-sie, we are always here, waiting for you patiently ^_^

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Gosh. How long must I put up with Dumb & Dumber?!

周日早晨,剛走出房門,就見到一雙襪子靜靜躺在地板上。

那是梅小獸的襪子,早就被淘汰了,現在拿來當其他小動物的枕頭、棉被。平常的時候,放在梅小獸的床頭旁。

「是梅喜喜嗎?」我暗忖。畢竟,熄燈前,根本還沒這回事。

那就只能是梅喜喜了!這傢伙白天靜悄悄地,到了夜裡,我跟梅小獸呼呼大睡的時候,就是她的狂歡時刻了。不過,我沒料到她竟然會上樓來玩。來了近一個月,她的主要活動範圍就是客廳,幾次衝上樓去,都是因為驚慌失措或發火。例如那天,我喜滋滋地要給她看新買的玩具,她很狐疑地瞪著我,我還渾然不覺她的起毛未央,開心地試圖逗她,把她氣得半死,「咻!」地就飛到樓上了。不是貓咪無情,是她大概沒見過玩具,她一直都是隻室外貓。

「梅喜喜~哈囉?梅喜喜~」沒人理我。這是正常的。

反正是她!但,究竟為甚麼呢?

人貴自知呵,頭腦簡單就不要瞎裝福爾摩斯了。主婦的工作永遠沒完沒了,開工吧。

過了一會兒,把梅小獸的乾淨衣物歸位的時候,心血來潮,往立起靠著牆的床墊後探了一下。霍霍~~這不可是梅喜喜嘛!!坐在床墊與牆壁的縫隙中,淡定著呢。

終於理出了(自以為的)頭緒:今天克李斯和海倫夫婦要來家裡收回借給我們的貓籠,所以我前一晚清理了籠裡的墊子,又換了一個新的便盆。想必,梅喜喜察覺到了,生活即將又有改變!那麼,這一次,不如自個兒做自個兒的主人來下決定吧?於是,她選擇了梅小獸的房間,然後留下了襪子,就是告知我們,搬家啦!

他們夫婦在西班牙買了一棟渡假別墅,梅喜喜是前任房主的貓咪,因為跟另外兩隻室內貓合不來,她選擇住在陽台上。前房主賣屋搬回英國的時候,不知道為甚麼,只帶了兩隻室內貓,把梅喜喜留在那兒了。克李斯和海倫都是愛護動物人士,見到梅喜喜,並沒有趕她走,就讓她繼續住,又天天餵她。問題是,他們每隔幾個月才會去一次,住上月餘,這之中,沒人知道梅喜喜是怎麼過的。原本以為梅喜喜會另外找歸宿,畢竟貓咪天性愛自由,沒想到她竟然一直等著他們回來,所以,再見到梅喜喜,她瘦成皮包骨。於是,決定帶她回英國;為了不讓她忍受隔離檢疫,克李斯特地幫她申請了寵物護照 — 有了寵物護照,就可以在歐盟區內自由遷徙,好酷!

克李斯跟我提到的時候,我自動請纓,因為我和梅小獸準備領養貓咪已經好一陣子了。克李斯想想,也好,他們已經有一隻很可愛的狗狗叫石頭,還有一隻胖大公貓福瑞德,他不確定福瑞德跟梅喜喜能不能合得來。所以說,梅喜喜多少有點被強迫搬來我們家的意味。。。真的不能怪她跟我們這麼不熱絡。

新加坡家裡的跳跳,剛來的時候也是這樣;一起來的咪嚕跟我們一見如故,當晚就爬上我的大腿打盹兒了,但跳跳都躲著我們。所以,我也不打擾他,只有看到他,我才興高采烈地揮揮手:「哈囉跳跳!」其他時候,我就放牛吃草。終於,兩個星期後,他讓梅小獸抱著走了。現在,我很希望這一套在梅喜喜身上也能奏效。

周日下午,和他們夫婦寵物、政治、文化天南地北瞎哈拉,海倫猜測,除了是告知我們,也可能是送禮物給我們,畢竟現在是我們在餵養她。

無論是哪一個,對我來說都是一線耀眼曙光!因為,這表示梅喜喜願意跟我們溝通了。

海倫還教了一招,貓咪微笑就是瞇眼睛 ^_^ 所以,現在我和梅小獸都拼命瞇著眼睛,希望把滿滿的善意、愛意傳達給梅喜喜。可能,在她看來,不是像勞萊哈台,就是像阿呆阿瓜吧。

最耐人尋味的是,從那天晚上起,我們熄燈後,她開始跟我們說話了,但都是在房外。也許,總有一天,她會踏著啵啵啵的腳步聲進我們房裡,跟我們面對面交流。

梅喜喜,我們會耐心等著你呦 ^_^

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