Botchok is my first cat. She’s the queen of our cattery. Read part 1 here.
Back then I didn’t really know how to take care of cats. It’s a miracle Botchok survived, now that I think about it. We just fed her scraps, and she ran in and out of the house as she pleased. I didn’t really think about getting her fixed.
It should have been no surprise that she soon proved to be quite fertile. It’s hard to remember now how many litters she’s had over the years, or even the names of her many kittens. She got pregnant so often that I realized I had to get her fixed or else there would be no end to the kittens. Alas, every time I brought her to the vet, she was already pregnant.
Of course, because I was her human, Botchok had to give birth in my room. After all, it wasn’t my room, it was her room. She gave birth in my closet a few times, leaving my clothes quite bloody and the smell of cat uterus lingering for quite a while.
The sight of a pregnant Botchok was always hilarious. She looked like a small cake, because she was so petite and round, and her belly would be so huge. It became a running joke, whenever she was pregnant, that she was the size of a giant ensaymada from Shopwise.
The other funny thing about a maternal Botchok was how she tried to keep her kittens from wandering all over the house. When they were newborn, she could easily pick them up by the of their necks. But when they got bigger, it was just comical. She would try to pick them up by the scruff of their necks, but her own legs weren’t very long, so the kitten’s butt would just drag on the floor as she walked.
One time, years later, Botchok and two of her daughters were all pregnant at the same time. They gave birth on the same night, or at least within the same week. We heard tiny meows, and discovered twelve kittens under the bed! Soon, Botchok decided to take care of all twelve. She would lie on the floor, and all twelve kittens would nurse from her teats. It was just ridiculous!
It was in 2004 when I moved out of my mother’s house in Antipolo. I moved in with my best friend Dante. A few months later, I brought Botchok along with me.
For six years Botchok and I lived in Dante’s house in Cubao, Quezon City, with our friend Paul, and later on, Oneal. Dante and Paul had their own cats, but Botchok soon kicked them out. We liked to joke that there was a flurry of orange fur and gray fur, and when the haze cleared, only Botchok remained.
Because Botchok ran in and out of the house, she got pregnant and soon populated the house with her own spawn. There were far too many kittens to keep track of. But from her bloodline came Spot and Snowball, Push and Pull, Pushlet, Snowflake, Zorro, Horsey, Mousie, Runt, Miffy, M, Rocket, and so many others whose names I can no longer recall.
When Oneal and I got married in 2010, naturally Botchok came to live with us. We moved into a townhouse in Pasig, with Botchok, Spot, Socks, Miffy and Pushlet. And when we moved to Paranaque in 2011, of course Botchok came with us, with Spot, Socks, Hedwig and Scabbers.
The last kitten
When we got married in 2010, a friend gave us a Siamese cat as a wedding gift. Bunny was a sweet cat, so named because of how quickly he learned how to jump. Later on we found out the name was quite appropriate for another reason: he got both Botchok and Socks pregnant! (Oneal still insists that Botchok seduced Bunny. “She pulled a Mrs. Robinson!”)
Botchok’s last pregnancies happened in 2010. By then she was ten years old, and most of the kittens didn’t survive. Her last kitten was Sushi, who now lives with Dante and his girlfriend Caroline in Cubao. It seems that house will always be ruled by the blood of Botchok.
This is Sushi now:https://www.instagram.com/p/3fkp2msZC1
Mommy’s little brat
Botchok and I have been through so much. She’s my familiar, and I’m her mommy cat.
When she sleeps on our bed, she sleeps between my knees, or at my feet, or on my chest. She’ll sit in anyone’s lap, but she always climbs up to my shoulder. When I’m sick, she sits quietly beside me. I like to call her my little snooty cat, my little Cat Cat. Everybody thinks she’s a grumpy old fart, but really she’s a sweet cat–at least to me. Sometimes we call her an UPCAT, because I picked her up when I was in UP. She’s pretty smart too.
Now Botchok is 15 years old. In human years that puts her at maybe 80 years old, probably more. She still lords it over all the other cats. They know to give her a wide berth, and to steer clear when she’s eating or drinking.
Because of her advanced age, and a recent bacterial infection, we have to keep Botchok separate from the other cats. So instead of hanging out in the cattery with Spot, Scabbers, Sweetheart and Hedwig, she’s in her own cage here in my office. My office is a nursing home for my cat.
It pains me to think that Botchok is old, and may not be around for very long. In fact, the moment I start thinking about it, the tears start flowing. So rather than dread our inevitable parting, I try to thank the Universe for the fifteen years we’ve had together. Please, Universe, let me keep her a few more years?