Remembering Kate’s babies: Ruffy and Balat

YIN AND YANG. The best behaved cats on the block
YIN AND YANG. The best behaved cats on the block

I lost someone dear to me yesterday. After five years, Ruffy passed away after a bout of liver and kidney problems. I tried my best to save him but it was not meant to be. Today, I remember Ruffy and his brother Balat.

My ‘kids’ all have different personalities. Some are rambunctious, demanding, crazy, quiet and affectionate but Ruffy and Balat hold a special place in my heart as my best behaved babies. Now that they’re gone,  years after they have given me so much joy, I know I will miss them terribly.

Ruffy is one of the sons of my eldest cat Katie. Ruffy was born in the same batch as Balat, and they share a common trait. Of all Kate’s offspring, these two stand out as the most well behaved of the bunch. Unlike other cats, they wait for their food and eat with a certain grace and hardly engage in any shenanigans that their brothers often involve themselves in.

ALWAYS POISED. Always ready for his close up, Balat was always the epitome of grace
ALWAYS POISED. Always ready for his close up, Balat was always the epitome of grace

For a time, I thought Balat was mute because he hardly ever made a sound, –literally. Throughout his four years, I only heard his meow twice. Balat was distinctive from other cats because he walked like a panther and his stance seemed like he was always posing for a shoot. He was very graceful and reserved, and he was very considerate, a fact that stuck with him until he left for kitty heaven, Balat never complained even when he was already sick. He chose to quietly endure instead of showing me that he was not feeling well.

He passed away last year while I was out of town with my friends. He did not want me to worry so he suffered in silence and died peacefully without me knowing, My brother and Dad found his body under our car. I found out when I got back 😦

When Ruffy was little, his mom hid him and Balat from us and placed them on the roof. Being a curious cat, he wandered and fell off. Thus the name Ruffy (I used to spell it roofie but that was how the drug was spelled so I changed it).

MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING. One thing I know is that he loved me as much as I loved him
MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING. One thing I know is that he loved me as much as I loved him

My first bonding moment with Ruffy was over a saucer of milk that I was feeding to Kate (she was sick at the time). Ruffy was trying to stick his face in the milk and I was trying to keep him away from it the whole time. While admittedly, he only got a small taste, he started following me around, a habit that he kept at until he was a full grown cat. Throughout his life, he loved milk.

He was my mom’s favorite and if I were to be completely honest, he was mine too. Ruffy is super sweet and a lap addict. All I had to do was sit in one of the chairs on the terrace and he will sit on my lap (or anyone’s for that matter) a few minutes later, without need for any invitation. We spent many hours sitting around and just staying close and that is one of the things that I will miss most about him. After a stressful day at work, I could always count on a relaxing moment with my baby just sitting quietly at home.

Ruffy liked to be hugged. We would often spend time with me holding him close or stroking his soft fur, his tail wagging in pleasure. In those moments, I knew in my heart that he loved me as much as I loved him. One thing peculiar about my boy though is that no matter how much he likes to be stroked, he doesn’t like to be carried. To this day, I can’t figure out why.

My mom often referred to Ruffy as a decent/classy — the only one in the household who deserved the tag because the rest of the brood behaves like fraternity boys, always getting in trouble, fighting over girls. Not Ruffy. He chose to stay at home in his personal spot and wait for me on the terrace. His hobbies — sleep, groom himself and scratch on a foldable lawn chair he claimed as his own.

Ruffy, in my opinion, is a dog disguised as a cat. He is loyal to the core and would come to the door even before I could unlock it. He would come out to the gate even before my mom’s car rounds the corner. And that is one of the traits that endeared him to us even more.

I loved my babies and I miss them everyday. And I write this piece as a belated memorial to two outstanding furry felines who have made a mark in my life forever. I hope that wherever they are, they are together now and know that their mommy loves them very much.

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