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This is Sepet. Sepet is a homeless cat. He is lean and mean, with old scars and new cuts and  scratches all over his face and body. These are possibly remnants of past fights and struggles to get bits of food from wherever he could get himself to, in order to survive. And he smelt bad, really bad.

Sepet decided to occupy the territory which was once dominated by Bob, another homeless cat who got his meals from a few houses within our street. Unlike Sepet, Bob is sweet, adorable and docile, and handsome with beautiful green eyes. When Sepet invaded his territory, they fought violent and ferocious battles, often leaving chunks of fur and blood all over the floor.  

Finally, gentle Bob conceded, and was forced to build his new territory further down the road. I was terribly upset by this. Not only did Sepet antagonise Bob, he also terrorised Kenny, my pet Burmese. When she gets upset, she shows it by excreting just about anywhere in the house. With his presence around the house, Kenny had stopped coming downstairs and seemed nervous, hesitant and jumpy. She'd even growl when I tried to pick her up.

With Sepet spraying his pee in various places around the house to signify and establish his territory, things were getting very unpleasant, and needless to say, the odour was unbearable. Being a street cat, Sepet's survival skills are excellent. Sepet would dart into the house at lightning speed, or very silently sneak in depending on the situation. He can open the sliding door and the heavy paneled windows, and occasionally I would find him sleeping on the dining room chair. 

I had had enough. I was set on catching Sepet to send him away to SPCA. Until one day, my husband looked at Sepet, then solemnly at me and said, "Sepet is so thin you can see his rib cage. He behaves in such a way because he's very hungry. I know how that feels."

I know how that feels...I was stunned and went cold. I felt my heart become heavy like a stone in my chest. Then I cried. And cried and cried. I cried for my husband's past, I cried  for Sepet, I cried for all the other hungry people and animals in the world who go for days without food and a home. And even when I write this, I am continuing to cry

I  immediately regretted my actions and felt ashamed of myself. How could I have been so heartless? My anger with Sepet over what he had done to Bob and Kenny got the better of me and had clouded my good sense. 

I started seeing Sepet in a different light and started feeding him. In the beginning, he would distance himself from me as I approached him. He even hissed at me if I tried to get too close. While he ate, he'd keep looking up and around him. I can't be sure if it was to make sure there were no other cats coming for his food, or to be sure that there wasn't anyone who might chase him away or worse, beat him. 

A few days later, I noticed that Sepet had started to come and actually ask politely for his food. He stopped sneaking in, and would sit patiently outside the front door meowing instead. He would only attempt to come in if I am late in serving his meal. He would still hiss when I bring down his plate to him, but he appeared to be less fearful of and less hostile towards me. 

In less than two weeks after I started feeding him, Sepet would brush against my leg as I bring his plate out. The hissing stopped completely, and he'd even let me stroke him. He would even let me treat a deep gash on his ear. Kenny too was more relaxed when she saw him, and occasionally the both of them would sit at the porch, while keeping a safe distance between each other.

By the time I'm writing this, Sepet is totally comfortable with me. He'd drop to the ground purring and stretching at my feet, and sometimes even playing a little.  But having lived as a stray, he can't help but still have natural tendencies to misbehave. Often, he'd break into the house through the windows at nights.  When he does, and when we catch him, we don't need to chase him out or even say anything. He would casually walk down the stairs and head towards the door to be let out. Sepet in not just street-smart, he is also very intelligent.


It must be two years since I wrote this post, but never completed it and published it until now. I'm not sure why I never finished it. But since having recovered, well almost recovered from a long illness, I felt the urge to open this blog again. Kenny and Bob have since passed on to a new life, and Sepet has left the house. I haven't seen him in a while.

I have a few other posts written halfway actually, but decided to complete this particular one. Because I kinda miss Sepet, and often wonder how he's doing. He has left a huge lesson for me, a lesson to always be kind and compassionate to every being, regardless of how they treat us or what they've done to us or how they behave. My tears continue to flow for Sepet and all the hungry ones out there.  


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