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Tuesday, September 17, 2019
DAVAO

Estremera: Black cats and how humans scar them

Spider’s web

I HAVE a black cat named Notmy from Not My Cat. He arrived around three years ago, already fully-grown. He took over my tiny apartment just like that. He was cool when he first came. He even took over my bed, but only after I made sure the fleas he brought in the house were all exterminated.

After over a year with more cats welcomed into my tiny apartment, he became violent. He attacked a kitten that eventually died because of injury to the spine. He attacked Oweynj who ‘til now carries the mark of that huge wound he inflicted on the tummy.

So I put him in a cage.

I suffered lots of deep scratch wounds and three deep bite wounds from Notmy last Easter Sunday when Yosep walked in just as I opened Notmy’s cage to feed him. Yosep got the throttling of his life, I intervened out of panic. I should’ve just thrown water at them.

I thought that was just Notmy and his dark ways, until a fully grown scraggly black stray cat arrived at the office. At the office I adopted two strays, Kuya, the male, and Liit, the female. I think they’re siblings because there used to be a mother who was later found dead.

My officemates named the black cat Everyday, a mash-up of Eveready, from the battery brand whose logo features a black cat. Like Notmy, Everyday is wild and throttles Kuya every single time he drops by to eat.

I decided to just give him his share of food downstairs while Kuya and Liit enjoy theirs outside the pantry door at the second floor. Since giving him his share just last week, he has not attacked Kuya. Apparently, he only wanted the food but couldn’t resist throttling the beholden one.

While buying fruits from three young boys at my apartment gate, one of the boys said, “Aswang man na sila (They are evil spirits).”

I looked around to see Jacjac my other black cat staring at us from the front door. And that was when I realized why black cats turn out to be bad.

Because of their color and the myths passed around that black cats bring bad luck and that black cats are the pets of witches, black cats are subject to cruelty. Not just as being regarded as evil, but maybe chased away, attacked, stoned, and whatever else humans can do to an animal they fear.

Thus, the black strays as they age turn out to be aggressive, just like Notmy, just like Everyday. Humans were the ones who taught them to be aggressive by subjecting them to cruelty.

Jacjac is lucky, I got her as an abandoned kitten and grew up under my care. Notmy and Everyday apparently grew up on the streets and had to fight their way to survive. From these three cats alone, we can see how cruelty can be perpetuated by our simple act of hating a cat just because it’s black.

saestremera@gmail.com


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