When I was growing up, my mother surrounded me with so many pets. She was very passionate about animals and nature and did her best to invoke the same passion within me and she was obviously successful. It is kind of ironic because when my mom reflects upon that nowadays, she damns the day she exposed me to animals. Why? Because I now live so far away from her in Australia.
The first pet that I adopted and assumed total responsibility for was ‘Tiger‘. My friend’s siamese cat had had kittens and she was looking at rehoming them. ‘
Tiger’ was only 5-6 weeks old when I took her home.
I was besotted with her the moment I set my eyes on her. I actually carted her around with me literally everywhere including my uncle’s engagement party. Hence, we developed a very deep bond. During that period, a lot of my relatives thought I was a very eccentric child. Needless to say, it did not bother me the slightest because all that mattered to me was my baby kitten ‘Tiger‘.
We had a home in the city and another one in a country town. Like I previously noted, we were inseperable. In the summer, ‘Tiger‘ would also spend it with me in the country town. She actually enjoyed being outdoors in the country compared with being imprisoned in our city apartment. Many of the villagers knew her because they would always see me walking with miss ‘Tiger‘ tail up right behind me.
She may have walked the cat walk but she was as loyal as a dog.
If I didn’t want her following me because I was concerned about her safety, I would have to lock her up. You would hear her meowing at the top of her lungs! I had to seriously think twice about my every outing because my priority was her comfort.
Back then, routine desexing of cats was not performed in Lebanon so my vet (actually an agriculturalist posing as a vet) had not recommended it to me.
Unfortunately, my poor Tiger got pregnant over the summer period.
She then gave birth to two beautiful black kittens in our city apartment and would only trust me initially to go anywhere near them.
I was secretly so relieved that my family had not kicked up a stink about the additional two pets to our household. But low and behold, when Tiger’s kittens turned one, my family said it was time to take the black cats to live in our country town. I was not really given much choice. Incidentaly, my aunt who was a big cat lover soothed my agony by promising to keep checking up on them and providing them with food.
That for me was a huge turning point in my life, I knew that the whole situation was wrong. I knew people were lacking so much education about animal welfare. I knew that there had to be better way. I looked into Tiger’s beautiful green eyes and I wondered if anyone could trully understand the bond she & I shared.
I just knew I wanted to be a veterinarian not only to treat animals but to be their most passionate advocate!
I miss you everyday my most dearest ‘Tiger’, my inspiration, my little baby girl.
- Beautiful inside out (rayyathevet.com)