A tiger once chased a cat into a jungle. The cat ran as fast as its legs could carry it, and climbed up a tall tree. And the tiger could not do anything, but to look up at the tree, watching the cat sitting on a branch. From that time on, cats hide their faces in fear that tigers might still be chasing them.
In my childhood, I had two cats – an all-black one, while the other was a perfect assortment of white, black, and orange. One fine morning we – me and my sister – found them in a large bowl, which had been sitting quietly in a corner of the large and spacious veranda of our apartment. The veranda was always very quiet as we hardly spent our time there.
From that time on the two twins became our pets; and we nurtured and took care of them as two members of our family. I and my sister named them Jayku and Hayma, – a male and a female kitten, the black one being a female. Their mother, a huge black cat with green, transparent eyes (with two thin, black swords in the middle of each eye) came to see her kids from time to time; and we greatly appreciated her visits.
Prophet Muhammad (S) was quite fond of cats. Once he even patted on the back of a cat. The Prophet used to call one of his famous followers (Sahabi) “Abu Huraira”, meaning “father of cats”, as the latter was very often accompanied by a couple of beautiful cats. My grandmother (on my mother’s side) was an extremely pious woman; however, strangely enough, she never liked cats, almost hated them; something that I never quite understood. Most probably, she didn’t know these facts.
One morning my grandmother hurled Jayku and Hayma out through the opening of the veranda of our third-floor apartment. It happened in front of me and my sister (she was eleven months younger than me, and we were like friends). We instantly rushed down the stairs and came out of the building, thinking what might have happened to the poor kittens. Interestingly enough, we discovered them perfectly alright – no injury, not even any scratches, whatsoever. It looked very surprising to me at the time; but now I know when falls down from a height on a flat surface a cat naturally lands on its paws, which are like soft pads that protect the cat from bone injury or any other kind of injury.
My mother and grandmother agreed that they had enough of the nuisance. So, one fine morning our house-maid, following the instruction of my mother and grandmother, took the kittens in a sack to a place that was quite some distance away from our house. She then threw the sack in a dried up road-side ditch that was full of garbage and watched the kittens sluggishly getting out of it, as she hides behind a nearby tree. My mother and grandmother were happy to hear that their instruction had been successfully carried out. The very next day, both the kittens were back! Cats have this strange habit of finding their homes.
My mother and grandmother eventually got used to their presence and accepted them into the family. Slowly and steadily Jayku and Hayma grew up to be fairly magnificent cats. As they were brother and sister, they played with each other a lot. The two nimble cats slithered all over the floor of our rather large and spacious apartment, although quite old and apparently “not well-maintained” (Anybody could see this by the walls that had lost its yellow shine a long time ago).
Jayku used to slither in my hands every now and then. Hayma was rather shy, who used to sit in a corner and seemed to be morose most of the time. Days passed by, and the two cats became a marvelous source of joy, amusement, and entertainment; and an integral part of our family.
I and my sister were always very careful when giving a bath to the cats, making sure that water didn’t get into their ears. For, a cat could die if water gets into its ear.
Jayku and Hayma had lived with us for many years and grown up to be really big cats before Jayku died of a strange disease and Hayma went away. That’s another story.
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