Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Of Screaming Cats & Howling Animals

JJ has been asking for a pet kitten for quite a while now. Her mommy made a deal with her some time ago—if she can get first in class, mommy will buy her the kitten. Daddy was rather disappointed that mommy made that deal without consulting him first. Thankfully, however, JJ got 8th in the last exams, so daddy is safe for the time being.

The results for JJ's final exams will be out any day now. Based on mommy's tally, she averaged 94.625% this semester. Daddy is impressed with her performance—she's been improving steadily since January. However, she's not likely to get first with 94.625%, at least not in a school like St James. I think she'd be lucky if she can maintain her 8th position. So looks like daddy's gonna be safe again for the rest of this year.

However, if JJ can continue improving on her grades, there is the danger that she will eventually have a shot at getting first in the end; and we will inevitably have to get her that forsaken kitten somehow.

Oh! I can't stand cats! Of all the animals in this world, why must it be a cat?

When I was in Brunei some years ago, our neighbour's cats frequently came over the fence into our compound at night. And when it's mating season they would be screaming the whole night through. That would go on and on for several nights. And that absolutely drove me up the wall! I tried shooing them away many times, but they kept coming back again after a short while, still screaming their heads off, disturbing my precious sleep.

Not that I wanted to be cruel, but I eventually lost my head and splashed them with a pail of water. That helped for a bit; they ran helter-skelter, but all too soon came back into my compound again. The noise—oh! it's driving me crazy!

Why can't they control the screaming? Can't they just do it quietly? Why the screaming? Is it pain? Is it pleasure? If only cats can talk, I would ask them why. I really want to know.

Well, these animals are also screaming and howling like mad when they're doing it. And they, too, are disturbing the neighbours. And the good thing is that they can talk. So they're able to explain what it's like; why the screaming and howling. Apparently, just like the cats, they're unable to control the "vocalisation at such a level as to be a statutory nuisance"—not even with the help of muffling with the pillows.

Some animals are so lucky to enjoy life to the fullest...

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