Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Qatteri Cat Loves His Dad

We start our day together as a family – Adventure Man, me, Qatteri Cat – and all of Qatteri Cat’s babies, who end up on the bed by morning . . .He brought two babies in last night while I was still reading, and the other two appeared sometime as we were sleeping.

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As we gathered in the living room to watch the sun over the Gulf, to see if we could spot any dolphins, Adventure Man sat with Qatteri Cat and began to play with him. Adventure Man almost lost a finger!

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We got the Qatteri Cat when he was still a very young cat. He was found, sick and with an eye infection, on the Corniche in Doha, too young to be away from his mother, but with no mother in sight. A family adopted him, but the females in the family didn’t like him, and he spent much of his time alone, on a too hot or too cold balcony.

When we adopted him, he LOVED Adventure Man at first sight, but he was very wary of me. His back would arch if my hand raised. He watched my feet like a hawk. If my voice raised, his ears went back. And he was terrified of plastic bags, totally freaked out.

After a month or so, he would sit next to me, but not for long. He usually ended up biting me or scratching me in a panic to get away. It took months to calm him down, to calm his terrors, to gain his trust.

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He is a very odd cat. He doesn’t eat meat, won’t touch it. He loves shrimp and sardines, and we special order salmon flavored cat food for him. He never begs for food. If I forget to feed him, he will nip at my feet – that’s his only signal, and he has to be very hungry to even do that. He never begs for food. He drinks very little water, so little that we have to encourage him to drink often.

Most of all, he wants to go out. He wants to roam free, he wants to be the CAT that God created him to be. But now, we have trained him too well – he is too trusting, and has no understanding about cars at all. He wouldn’t last long on the mean streets of Kuwait.

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We also have to be careful, because underneath this contented cat, not too far from the surface, is that street-born cat. Most mornings I have a tough time typing, because he is snuggled up between my left arm and the computer. Occasionally, all of a sudden, in his imagination, my left hand becomes something else as it types along, and he attacks. His attacks, with teeth and claws, come as a surprise. It is a great trick NOT to try to remove my hand immediately, which only makes him bite and claw harder, but to stay totally still and say his name in reproving tones. It reminds him who he is and who I am, and he will let go. It happens less and less often, but we never forget there is still a wild cat not far below the thin veneer of civilization.

Most of all, he loves Adventure Man. He cries when he leaves, and he starts getting restless when it is time for him to come home. He waits by the door. When Adventure Man travels, he gets depressed, and Adventure Man talks to him on the phone when he calls. Sometimes I will ask “can you say hello to Qatteri Cat?” and he’ll say “not now, there are people around!” and he will leave the office and call back to talk with Qatteri Cat where no-one can hear him. Adventure Man gets most of his exercise these days chasing Qatteri Cat from room to room, throwing his ball, playing hide and seek.

OK, Skunk, this one was for you. 🙂

July 2, 2007 - Posted by | ExPat Life, Family Issues, Lumix, Marriage, Pets, Photos, Relationships, Uncategorized

9 Comments »

  1. cheers xpatr!

    is he gaining weight? maybe its just the way hes sitting but he looks fluffier than before 😛

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 2, 2007 | Reply

  2. He is VERY fluffy. If he were shaved, or bathed, he would look normal, but he has very FAT fur. And he needs more exercise – someday we need a place wehre he can go outside and be a cat.

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 2, 2007 | Reply

  3. lmao @ fat fur hahaha!

    he’d have a ball in a yard, especiallyif there was like alil bird bath that he couldnt quite reach.

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 2, 2007 | Reply

  4. He has an amazing leap. That’s how he ended up outside once here – he jumps so high that he can hit the door handle with his feet on the way down, pulling the door open. We have to keep it locked.

    He had a yard once before, and he escaped all the time. We had to buy a (I’m afraid to even say this) cat house for him so he could be safely outside. He would get into other people’s yards and not be able to get back out. Aaarrgh!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 3, 2007 | Reply

  5. That’s so sad and sweet. Sad cuz deep inside he wants to be free like we all do but don’t know how to.

    and sweet that he is in a caring home with people who love him although he probably doesn’t know that what he’s giving you is so much more than what you’re giving him.

    Comment by Elijah | July 3, 2007 | Reply

  6. Elijah, you are SO right. We had a cat who died of diabetes in Doha, and my husband said “never! No more cats!” because we had her for 14 years when she died and it was awful, just awful.

    Just months later, we needed a cat. We miss our son so much! A cat isn’t the same as a son, but he helps distract us when we are missing our son too much. And he makes us laugh, especially with his babies! 😉

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 3, 2007 | Reply

  7. lol i remember you telling us about him opening the door before 😛

    and the stories of his babies is hilarious, i love them!

    my own dog died about 3 years ago. he’d been with us for about 16 years, thru thick and thin here, it was such a sad day.

    but maybe its time for another pet,…. or a girlfriend 😛

    Comment by sknkwrkz | July 4, 2007 | Reply

  8. SO adorable!!

    Comment by Jewaira | July 4, 2007 | Reply

  9. Sixteen years, Skunk? that’s like a brother! And he must have been with you during the invasion? WOW.

    You can have both! A pet AND a girlfriend!

    Thank you, Jewaira. Cats are adorable!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 4, 2007 | Reply


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