My 16-year-old mixed breed, Mogu, is an unusual dog. Like me, she likes cats. When I take her on her daily 15-minute morning walk around the neighbourhood, we always pass by a row of houses whose residents are mostly Malay, almost all of whom own at least one cat. You will always see cats resting by the road shoulder. Mogu never disturbs the cats and they in turn do not seem to be bothered by her presence.
A senior Chinese lady called Auntie Bee used to stay in one of the houses in the middle of this row. She had a mixed-breed Persian cat called Push, whom she gave all her attention and love to. She even allowed Push to sleep in her bedroom. Whenever I passed by her house, Mogu and I would play with Push for a while before we continued with our morning walk.
One fateful day, Push was stolen. Auntie Bee went around the whole neighbourhood to search for Push. When she came by my house, she told me how heartbroken she was. She was sobbing so much. She said she had gone to every house calling for her pet, hoping that the cat would answer her. At one house, Auntie Bee heard Push respond. She approached the house owner and told her that she heard Push calling. The owner denied that there was a cat in her house. Since Auntie Bee had no proof, she was told to go elsewhere to look for Push. Auntie Bee finally gave up hope after a few months. She sold her house one day and moved to Kuala Lumpur to stay with her son, Khoo, where she has been for the past three years.
On May 28, I took Mogu for her usual 15-minute walk around the neighbourhood. As I passed by Auntie Bee’s house, her neighbour Omnar pointed at a cat standing outside his gate and asked me whether I still remembered it. It was Push! I didn’t recognise her at first because she looked ill and very thin. Omnar told me Push came back to look for Auntie Bee but, unfortunately, nobody knows where she stays in Kuala Lumpur.
I quickly bent down to carry her. Mogu came near us, and she and Push started to smell and “hug” each other like old friends. Push could still remember us! She was so weak that, when she called me, her voice was so soft I could hardly hear it. I noticed she was very clean. Her fur was not sticky, but smooth without any knots, and her paws were very clean.
Omnar and I suspected that the “kidnapper” could be staying nearby. The kidnapper might have suspected Push was very sick and that a lot of money would need to be spent on her. This could be one of the reasons he/she returned Push to her owner. I doubt it is possible for Push to walk back to the old house to look for Auntie Bee because she is too weak to walk very far. We also doubted Push escaped from the present owner and found her way back.
The following morning, Push was getting weaker and refused to eat. She didn’t even want to drink milk. I noticed she had a big belly and I was worried she might be pregnant. If so, it is going to be worse. I asked Omnar for permission to take Push for a check-up with my vet, Dr Wan.
I also suggested that, meanwhile, he could check with his immediate neighbour, who had bought the house from Auntie Bee, to try and get her telephone number. After three days, I managed to obtain the mobile phone number of Auntie Bee’s son, Khoo.
Dr Wan examined Push carefully and confirmed that she was not pregnant (Push is seven to eight years old and has been ligated). Her womb was infected and filled with pus. Dr Wan said she was in pain, which was why she couldn’t eat. She had to have her womb removed as soon as possible, but she was too weak for surgery. I told Dr Wan to operate on her as soon as Push was well enough. She was on the drip for two days while the vet waited for her blood test results.
The following evening, the blood test results came in, indicating that her internal organs were normal. That very evening, an emergency operation was carried out on Push. I was with her, giving her a massage, performing reiki on her and praying for her. The operation took less than an hour. Dr Wan told me she would be fine and I could look forward to seeing her greeting me again.
The following morning, when I went back to visit Push, she was sitting up, facing the door of the treatment room. She called out to me the moment she saw me. I was so happy that she recognised me. She was still on the drip and caged, and wanted me to carry her. I gave her a light massage for about 30 minutes until she dozed off.
I went back to look for Omnar to get Auntie Bee’s telephone number and also to inform him that Push has been operated on successfully. Later that night, Omnar sent a text message to contact Khoo (Auntie Bee’s son). He had obtained the number from his immediate neighbour. However, Omnar did not receive a reply from Khoo after a week. I decided to ask Omnar and his family whether they could keep Push, as I couldn’t give my full commitment to taking care of her. I still had to carry on my fieldwork. But if they could not take care of her, then I would have to do it. Omnar finally said his family agreed to accept Push as part of their family, and it was a big relief for me to be able to find a good family for Push.
Push was discharged on the second day after the surgery. I took her home with me so that I could nurse her back to health, making sure she had a good diet and took her medication (see pictures #4407 and #4435). I also wanted to give her massages. She ended up staying with me for about two weeks. Omnar, his wife (Nor) and son (Muhsin) came to visit Push. They were excited and happy to see her recovering fast, and they asked when Push could come home with them.
While Push was recovering, Mogu was such a good companion to her. Mogu followed Push wherever she went, even when Push was sleeping (she slept a lot). Mogu would sleep beside her (see pictures). I was glad that Mogu was not jealous that I gave Push so much attention. Push regained her appetite very quickly.
On June 10, the time came for Mogu and me to say goodbye to Push. I delivered Push to her waiting, excited new family. Muhsin visited Push three times when she was staying with me. I was very sad but also glad she had another good family to be with. I would still get to see her almost every morning when I take Mogu out for her usual morning walk. I have even become Push’s godmother and am allowed to take Push back for a short “holiday”, but I will try not to.
I had to babysit Push from June 30 to July 4. At the end of her stay with me, I took her back to Omnar’s family in the morning and she seemed to be all right. Later in the afternoon, Omnar accidentally let Push out of the house. She rushed out immediately and headed towards the small field that is near my house. Omnar followed her and called after her. Fortunately, he managed to catch her and he took her home.
About 10.30am the following day, I heard a cat calling, and it sounded like Push. It was calling out while I was in my room upstairs, packing my things for my Sabah trip. I thought I heard the call coming from my neighbour’s house, as he has a few cats. I called Push’s name and she answered very loudly. I called again to confirm and, sure enough, she was back. I didn’t expect her to return to my house. I quickly went downstairs. When she saw me, so was so excited. She must have missed me a lot. I let her in and she kept complaining to me, meowing non-stop. I called Omnar on the phone, and he was also very surprised that Push had returned to me. I let her stay for about 10 minutes before I took her back home. She struggled in the car with me all the way back to Omnar’s house.
Omnar was not in, so Muhsin received Push. I told him to take care of her and not to let her escape again. He said she escaped by pushing the window door open.
Later, at noon, while I was taking a nap, I heard a cat calling again; this time, it sounded very aggressive. I thought to myself, Not Push again! But, it was. She had escaped again. She must have really wanted to come back to me. I allowed her to rest for a while and she fell into a deep sleep for half an hour (see picture #6464). I then took her back to Omnar’s house.
On July 16, I brought her back to my house for two nights’ “holiday”. Then, I took her back to Omnar the following day and she was happy to go home again.
Thank you for reading my story.