This may sound weird for some who know me and those who read my postings. Yes it is the truth, my mentor is Minouche and I am truly honored to say it; she is my cat. Minouche was brought home initially for my daughter when she was six years old. I have had many cats throughout my life from a young age. I was brought up with cats, at my parents home, and I have experienced their wonderful playful behaviors. But I must say that there is something special about Minouche which taught me many lessons in life.
Initially my daughter wanted to have a cat, so we brought a male cat and his name was “noory.” Later on my daughter started to ask her mother some questions about the process of pregnancy and birth in humans. So we thought that in order to educate our child those issues it would be a good idea to achieve it through getting a female cat to mate with our male cat,”noory,” then we did just that. Few months later, as soon as our male cat, “noory” impregnated Minouche, he ran away, just as many men do now a days! Then Minouche is left alone with no partner to give her support!! Our daughter was very excited to witness the birth process and she did. Minouche gave birth to four kittens and when she finished breast feeding her kittens we decided to give two away and keep two-later on one female kitten ran away and we are left with Minouche and male cat kitten “doory”.
In the stage of motherhood Minouche began to inspire me through her extraordinary behavior with her babies. Usually mother cats are driven by their instincts in dealing with their young kittens and when their kittens mature they are often rejected by their mother for independence. But this did not occur with Minouche, she continued to nurture her kittens for long time until we had to intervene because she developed infection in her breasts. This behavior represents an extraordinary form of love towards our children regardless of their age.
Other behaviors of Minouche which really inspired me when she and her son “doory” get very hungry and then food is offered to them, her son seems to act upon his instinct and begins to attack the bowl of food as if he has not eaten for two years. And obviously she must have been very hungry as well because both were not fed for the whole day but yet she seems not to attack the food rather she would wait very calmly and watch her son “doory” eating until he is satisfied then he looks at his mom, Minouche, and making some kind of cat voice towards her while she is looking at him with remarkable peaceful posture then she seems to understand his statement that is he is finished eating then she advances gracefully towards the food and begins to eat. This gesture seems very unusual with cats for they are driven by instincts but yet she seems to display a form of sacrifice and patience with her son which taught me a real lesson in sacrifice in this life and how to be patient in many situations. In many occasions when I am invited to community feast I remember Minouche’s way in demonstrating patience in waiting for my turn to be served.
She also taught me perseverance in sickness and to truly rely on the Will of God in times of hardship and illness and that we should never lose hope in God’s Mercy. One day she became very ill and she some how refused to eat and drink and we began to force food and water upon her. Then her situation got worse for few days, and she looked like she wants to die. She lost a lot of weight, then we decided to take her to the Vet. The Vet told us that Minouche is very old now and that she decided to stop eating and drinking because she decided to die; this is the case with many cats, he said. So I said to him what do you suggest to do with her. Then he immediately recommended that she should be put to death to end her suffering. Immediately this reality hit me very profoundly for I could not see my self to take such decision in ending the life of the entity who inspired me for many years. So I told the Vet just do a blood test to determine the main cause for her illness. The blood test showed failing liver due to non eating and drinking and there were no clear reasons for her ordeal which he reasoned that such blood test results confirmed his diagnose and recomendations. Then the Vet asked me that should he proceed with putting Minouche to death, then quickly without hesitation I refused to put her to sleep and said to the Vet I will let God, her creator, decide her fate and just give us some medication for her liver to help her in the mean time and God will do the rest. I am not necessarily critical of those people who may have decided to put their pets to sleep to end their suffering, for every situation is different. Minouche came home and sure enough by the grace of God she began eating slowly and within two weeks she fully recovered and returned to her normal self and more beautiful than ever as she appears in her recent photo above.
Photo credit: Taken by Irshaad Hussain, and it was captured when Minouche is having her afternoon rest inside this plant in our garden.