This entry is a testament of a unique bond between beings… in this case, between human and animal. Between Me, Abang and our kitty Labu.
Yesterday, the same day I was overtly excited about penning Labu on the blog, a tragedy struck Labu that night. Well, for some, ‘tragedy’ may be a tad too dramatized in this case, but where love and bonding are concerned, it could still be considered as an understatement.
We came home pretty late that night, since Abang had to stay back late for the much graphical error prior to the deadline. It was, however, the first time ever that I kept telling Abang, “Jom la balik, jom la… rindu kat Labu. Kesian ke dia, sorang-sorang…”. Usually, it’d always be Abang who’d be saying that.
At our place, upon getting off the lift on the 5th floor, as usual we called out Labu's name and coo-ed him before entering the house. That night, we heard him loud and clear, meowing back at us. He sounded like he was at the wet-area which was pretty adjacent to the corridor. And he would always, ALWAYS, greet us at the door, waiting for us to carry him around.
As it turned out, he did not greet us at the door, nor was he around in the house. But we could still hear him calling out on us!
Fearing the worst, like, him falling down the air well, we took the lift down, and when we found nothing at the air well on the ground level, we ran up on every level to check on his whereabouts. Lo and behold, he was on the metal awning above the grilles that covered our wet area!
God knows how he could’ve climbed up there! We just couldn’t imagine how he did it! Looking back, it was as if some invisible being took him from the floor of the wet area and placed him safely right on the awning!
Abang protested me from extending my arms over at him, fearing he would slip and fall, and instead asked me to get the chair for him to climb over! No way am I gonna risk my husband falling over into th air well!
I took instead, a big huge round basin and a stick, for Labu to jump into. But since Abang still wanted the chair, I ran back into the house to get one, and before I knew it, I heard Abang screaming, and to our horror, told me that Labu had just fallen down the air well! I could feel like my heart skipped so many beats! I was praying hard that Labu managed to land safely on his paws.
We ran to the lift, seconds felt like hours, and found him lying motionlessly on the floor of the ground level air well! He had fallen six floors from above (that’s a minimum of 18m or 60’!), didn’t have the time to land properly on his feet, lying on his side, blood oozing from his lips.
Abang quickly climbed over the wall and took Labu on his arms while I was already screaming at the sight of it all!
As soon as Abang took Labu, Labu peed incessantly and we knew that he was in so much pain! Labu was gagging to breathe; Abang’s shirt covered with Labu’s blood. That sight was just about too much for me; I wailed and cried, attracting a young couple near us. I couldn’ t even bear to hold Labu so that Abang could climb over back the wall. I just couldn’t!
The husband of the couple then helped Abang holding Labu, and as soon as he passed back Labu to Abang, Labu excreted yellow faeces, and we knew that the pain was unbearable for him! Labu was still gagging to breathe, his eyes bewildered, his left front leg limping. God, the sight of him! God, the sight of him! I cried and cried.
The lady, who also cried at the sight of Labu and our desperation, offered to call up her girlfriend who was living on the other block, who also has pet cats, if she would know which vet could entertain such emergency at 10pm.
I ran up back to our floor, grabbed my handbag, locked the doors, and came down with the couple’s friends (the one who has cats, also a young couple) arriving to help. The lady friend, also teary-eyed, told us that there is a Vet Emergency at Taman Segar.
Without moments to spare, we ran to the car. In the car, while driving, I called up my vet cousin, Niza, to ask her on any emergency vet hospital around. She also told us the same, at Taman Segar, and helped diagnose Labu on the phone. She agreed that Labu required emergency attention.
The stench of Labu’s faeces on Abang’s hand was almost unbearable, but I kept calling out to Labu, coo-ing him. He kept looking back at me in his efforts gasping for air, as if trying to tell me that he’s okay though in terrible pain. I just couldn’t stop crying even though Abang had been reminding me even from our place to remain calm.
We were very very lucky that the Vet Hospital was near enough from our home, and though closed at that time, still entertain animal emergencies. I was crying over the phone, calling the emergency number from outside their metal grille, begging the doctor to allow us in and him checking on Labu.
Inside, a certain Dr. Chee examined Labu, ran x-ray on him, and told us what he found.
Labu’s bottom skin at the mouth had peeled off from the mouth, hence the bleeding; his left foreleg is broken; his heart is a lil bit misplaced due to the fall; his liver looked enlarged… but other wise, his lungs looked pretty okay and so was his bladder.
We sighed with relief; that info calmed us a lot. Labu seemed clearly exhausted by the incident, slowly dozed off on the emergency table. He opened up his eyes when we called out to him; his eyes were dreary and tired. So unlike the photos taken of him… all eager and mischievous.
And then I saw tears from the corners of his eyes. I cried, asked him to be strong, to rest well, to heal fast. I was missing him already, dreading to go back home. I know both me and Abang would feel the emptiness without him being around…
In the car, Abang reminded me not to think of the Kalaulahs… but to think of all the Mujurs …
Mujur bukan Abang yang panjat and risked the fall…
Mujur ada couple berdekatan yang kenal orang lain yang sayang kucing dan tahu mana Vet Emergency…
Mujur Labu kecik lagi, hence impact badan dia tak seteruk kalau Adi yang jatuh. Adi sangat gemuk, woo…
Mujur Vet tu dekat kat rumah kita…
Mujur Labu tak jatuh masa kita kat ofis...
Mujur bladder Labu tak pecah and kencing taik suma tak terpecah kat dalam...
And for The Powers that be, Mujur Labu selamat walaupun cedera… kalau tak, patah hati Kakak and Abang Z, Labu…
Mujur Mujur Mujur…. Alhamdulillah..!!!
At home, I cleaned up his toilet tray, and cried. I missed Labu terribly, messing about my feet whenever I’m doing things around the place.
I just couldn’t imagine Labu’s hopelessness, whilst we were away, when he was trapped up there on the awning, not being able to come back down.
I just couldn’t imagine his shock and pain after the fall.
I read somewhere that animals don’t actually feel pain. I’d like to refute that, excuse me. If animals really don’t feel the pain, Labu would surely jump up again after the fall, ignoring his torn lips and broken foreleg. Orang-orang yang tak da rasa kasih je yang boleh keluarkan statement macam tu!
For all you know, the reason why they announced that animals do not feel pain becoz they want to convert the vegetarians back into eating meat.
Anyway, I digress.
Back at home, Abang was quiet. Knowing him, I know he was deeply affected as well, but didn’t dare showing it to me. He has to be strong. I know he missed Labu the most. Malam-malam sebelum tidur, Abang wajib bawa Labu jalan-jalan and main-main dengan Labu sampai mereka dua-dua letih. Mana mungkin dia tak sedih. Tak mungkin.
During bedtime, I took in Labu’s sleeping basket to the bedroom. I missed him leaping on to our bed, sleeping at our feet or behind our backs, seeking heat and comfort.
While Abang holding me to sleep and me still in tears, I whispered that I could almost hear Labu’s bell, as if he’s down there beside the bed, sleeping with us.
Abang... mujur ada Abang… Me.
I know… Dah, jangan fikir-fikir negative, sehingga Labu dah sihat. Bila dia dah balik and dah sihat, baru kita boleh reminisce back the incident, ok? Abang.
Ok… *sniffs*. Me.
Mujur ada jiran-jiran yang faham perasaan kasih terhadap kucing.
TERIMA KASIH AYU & BAHAR, IZUWIN & FIZI!!!! THANK YOUUUUUU!!!
Mujur ada blog. Boleh tulis a very long therapeutic piece, like this.
11 April 2006, Maulidur-Rasul.