Very intriguing question, is it not? Why and where did I get this idea from? Simple. 2 nights ago, I had just reached my campus from the bus station. I’m sure many of you are aware that I am petite, so imagine myself carrying 2 luggage bags, a big paper bag and also a handbag – I looked like a retarded young girl walking alone in the street whose face looks like she really needed help with her things. So anyway, I was walking back to my hostel when suddenly a white butterfly flew across my nose. I immediately recall the white butterfly I saw about 6 years ago (obviously it wasn’t the same butterfly, duhh). You might be wondering what rubbish am I writing now and what do butterflies have to do with cats. Well, you might have guessed it after you first read my title. A little reminder for those who think that stories about cats or animals are boring or ridiculous, read no more. For those who do believe in miracles and have very tender loving towards animals especially cats, sit back and relax, and enjoy my story.

16 years ago, when I was 4 years old, my family adopted a Siamese kitten. My mom saw this mother cat who had just delivered 4 cute kittens and one of them had very beautiful blue eyes. One day, my neighbor saw the kittens in a small pot in her garden and called my mom asking her does she want a kitten? And my mom told us if possible, she wants the blue-eyed kitten. She said she doesn’t want to promise anything because she might not be able to catch that particular kitten. And so she went to catch the kitten and what do you know, lucky for us she caught the kitty that we wanted. I was so excited that I immediately bathed it and we discussed what name should we call it. At that time we thought that it was a girl (a female). When we were all cracking our heads thinking of what name should we give it, the radio was on and that particular moment, the radio announcer’s name is Tammy. So at the very spur moment my mom came up with this idea f naming our new kitty, Tammy. That is the very beginning of Tammy, my new kitty.

Few months after we got Tammy, it started to show its true ‘identity’. We noticed that Tammy is not a girl, in fact, it is actually a male. We didn’t want to change its name, so what we did was we added a new name for it – Boy. Its new name is Tammy Boy. My family and I had raised it to be the smartest, intelligent, adorable and lovable cat. I on the other hand, practically grew up with Tammy Boy since I don’t have other siblings at home. Let me just skip the years that I’ve spent with Tammy because if I carry on telling you what things that he had done and the wonderful times we’ve shared, my laptop might be drenched with tears as it is hard for me to even write what I’m about to write now.

Tammy had always been healthy and we didn’t even realized that it was coming. In the month of February 2004, Tammy had trouble urinating. Whenever he urinates, we could see blood. We thought it was just because of the worms in his stomach, but one day, Tammy really had trouble urinating. He tried to urinate but he couldn’t. We took him to the veterinary to check what seemed to be the problem. My mom and I were shocked when his vet, Dr. Inderjit told us that Tammy had gallstones in his bladder due to lack of water. She tried to take them out, all of them but it was too many. When she pressed Tammy’s bladder I could see the pain in his eyes. I couldn’t see no more so I turned around. Dr. Inderjit said that his condition was quite bad and he had to go through an operation. Mummy agreed so we left him at the veterinary for one night. I kissed Tammy goodbye and told him to be strong.

The next day, I went to school early in the morning as usual and came back at 2 something. I went straight home to see Tammy. When I arrived home, I ran to the back and looked for Tammy. Tammy was put in a white cage that papa had just bought for him for his recovery after the operation. As soon as reached his cage, I could see Tammy was no longer like himself anymore. He moved very very slow and his eyes were too droopy. Mummy said he was acting that way due to the anaesthetic and that soon he will recover. It was only in the matter of time. I could see the stitches on his stomach and his eyes truly sent the message to me that he was in pain. I opened the cage and stroke his head slowly and kissed him. I said “Adik, be strong, Kakak saying Tammy.” Somehow could see tears in his eyes. I looked after Tammy the whole evening, did my homework while accompanying him. That night, we put Tammy in my grandma’s room and I stayed there that night, never left Tammy out of my sight. Mummy was in front, in the family hall when she first saw a white butterfly flying out of Opah’s (grandmother’s) room. She was so impressed with the butterfly because it was really really white and beautiful, nothing like the butterflies that we’ve ever seen. Believe me. I saw that butterfly too.

The next day, on the 10th of February 2004, I went to school as usual, I kissed Tammy before I left the house. After sending me to school, mummy brought Tammy to the veterinary for check up. During my 5th or 6th period (I couldn’t really remember) around 10am, my father came to school to pick me up. He told me that Opah received a letter from the Jabatan Pencen Malaysia and we had to go to Putrajaya to settle some stuff. On the way back, I asked him what about Tammy. He said don’t worry about him. I said ok and we went straight home. I was very excited on going back home because I could see my beloved brother, Tammy. As soon as I reached home, somehow I had a very strange feeling about this. Mummy was at the porch, smiling unwillingly while arranging some things. Immediately after I got down the car and when I was about to ask mummy how was Tammy, mummy hugged me tightly and told me that Tammy was gone. There was a moment of silence for about 30 seconds and both of us burst into tears. I asked her where is Tammy, she said he’s at the back. So I ran to the back of my house where Tammy was at. I simply couldn’t stop myself from crying as I looked at Tammy’s lifeless body in the white cage that was supposed to be used during his recovery. I opened the cage and I could feel Tammy’s body was already hard and cold but it was still beautiful and perfect as ever. I could still see the stitches on his stomach and I still couldn’t stop crying, even now when I recall that moment. Even my parents and grandmother were crying. We were so attached to Tammy and he was really loving and pampered and some might say he was a spoilt brat. We buried his body at our house garden near the pretty flowers are at(I don’t know the name of the flowers).

You might feel this is a little odd when I say that his death really has a huge impact on my life. You might also think that I’m going a little too far on this and I’m being too extreme as some people might call it. My emotions and my feelings are real, and nothing is fake. I know it’s hard for some to believe this, but to those who had experienced the same thing will understand how I feel.

The night when Tammy passed away, mummy told me what happened at the veterinary. Mummy said when Dr. Inderjit was doing the normal check up, she said Tammy was not doing good. His heart beat was extremely slow and his condition was really bad. During his final moment, Tammy looked at mummy, deep in her eyes as though he was telling her that he was about to leave to a much better place, where he could not feel the pain any longer. That long look that had struck her deep in her heart was the last time she could ever see Tammy Boy’s clear blue eyes.

I’ve also heard numerous stories from my friends about the white butterflies found after their pet cats’ death.

After Tammy’s death, after the white butterfly incident, it kept me wondering,
Do cats become butterflies after their death? I know it is a bit silly but do think about it. Is it possible?