NOTMY is a cat. He’s not mine. Thus, the name. His full name is Not My Cat. Nickname: Notmy.
He’s a full-grown black male cat with a loud demanding voice and a blue collar with a bell. That was when he first arrived at my pad just a month after I settled in two Novembers ago. He looked cared for because of his collar, but he seemed to be a stray, as he soon scattered fleas inside the house. That was the reason why I removed his blue collar and replaced with a light green flea-repellent one, which I also placed on my two rescue cats — Faith and Patience.
Being a sucker for lost kittens, I picked up two more who were thrown right outside the house, whom I named Pistot and Yosep. Pistot and Yosep soon grew big enough to stay out of a cage and come and go as they want. They were toilet-trained as well, which made it a breeze to tend to them.
Except that, there was Notmy.
As Pistot and Yosep became adolescents, Notmy resented their presence and started threatening them with his snarls. That was before he went on full-blown rampage, cornering the smaller cats and throttling them. After a few months of such abuse, Pistot and Yosep chose to find new homes. Yosep chose to live right next door, Pistot two doors away.
At first, they were just boarders of their new homes, but would hurry home as soon as I arrive, and we’d hang out by the threshold of the front door. Pistot on my lap. Yosep beside my feet. There’s food always outside the door waiting for them.
One night, as my back was turned, Notmy attacked Yosep, cornered him upstairs and throttled him such that Yoseph sprayed pee and scattered poo. Yes, he was battered that bad. I screamed at Notmy and shooed him away. Still, I allowed him to stay.
Recently, I noticed that Pistot was no longer dropping by and Patience has found a new home, and would just visit occasionally. Yosep would still drop by at night and in the morning. But only Faith hangs out inside and stays the night. Notmy still walks in and out and stays the night as well.
Friday morning, I was more than happy because it was one of those mornings when I had the three rescues (minus Pistot who remains missing) at home. But as I went up my bedroom to get something, I heard cat screeches, it was the sound of Yosep. Followed by the screech Patience. I rushed down to find Notmy now threatening Faith, the two others having already scrammed out. That was it. I decided, Notmy has no place at home!
Like humans there are also ingrates among cats, and Notmy is one of them.
There is just so much abuse one can take and tolerate. But when a being whom you have accommodated pushes the limits of what is acceptable behavior and starts ruling over your territory, it’s time to bring out the arms and push them out.
In my case, I brought out the umbrella and attacked Notmy with it. He wasn’t about to give up though, he stayed just outside, on the road, and walked right back in. But I was waiting for him and chased him with the folded umbrella, twice that Friday morning, before reporting for work. I will do so again, if he still walks in and I’m at home. It is now time to protect my territory, and my rescue cats. Enough is enough.
Somehow, I just realized that we can be talking about my cats, or we can be talking about Marawi and Senator Riza Hontiveros. Except that, my cats know what terrorism is about, they have experienced it and they have been booted out of their home because of it by a stranger who is not even mine to start with. For Riza, that is not rebellion nor invasion, and thus will not merit being hit by my umbrella and staking out with umbrella on hand against another attempt at settling back inside my house.
This article was published in Sun.Star Davao on June 11, 2017.