Me and William Wallace when he was a kitten.
This blog entry has been drafted since September 23. I haven’t had the spirit to write about this because the moment I’d write a sentence, I can’t help but cry. Right now, I’m putting in words in between sobs. This sentiment arose from the unrealized affection I have for my pet cat William Wallace. I missed the chance to have him with me and now he’s gone.
I adopted Wallace from a friend on May 2009 when he was about a month old. Likewise, my housemate Mia also adopted Sassori, Wallace’s brother. Wallace was a very adorable cat, and very sociable too. I never had problem with him going to the vet as he was very well-behaved. He likes to lie down close to the computer while I’m working and curl below my feet when I sleep. When August came, I had to leave him with Mia because I went to Malaysia. He has grown so much when I went back to Los Banos by the end of September. Because of my frequent absence, I considered giving him to a friend so that he could have a permanent owner; but I didn’t. I planned of bringing him to Malaysia. I left him again by October and then see him again on December. Comes January and I prepared his papers, permits and complete vaccination certificate. I was so excited, I can finally bring him to Malaysia.
It was quite complicated exporting William Wallace from the Philippines to Sarawak Malaysia. Instead of flying directly from Manila to Kota Kinabalu, I’d have to fly to Mactan Int’l. Airport first because the only airline that carries live animal is Malaysia Airlines. Its direct flight to Kota Kinabalu only operates at Mactan airport. In Mactan airport, I almost lost him. I didn’t know that he’ll be released at the cargo warehouse outside of the passenger terminal. And then, our flight to Kota Kinabalu was extremely delayed, thus I missed my connecting flight to Miri Sarawak. I’d have to stay at a hotel to spend the night and take the flight on the following morning.
Playing with Wallace in his quarantine cell.
At Kota Kinabalu, he was detained overnight at the quarantine office. I was so worried the whole time thinking what he had been through that day and that it wasn’t over yet. The moment we touched down in Miri, I felt so glad and relieved. I already imagined the times we will be spending in the big house. I’m sure he will be happy there watching the birds at a mango tree at the backyard of the house.
The worse thing happened in Miri. All the yearning of finally letting Wallace out of the cage and play with him in the big house came crashing down on me. Wallace was quarantined for 6 months. Apparently, Sarawak is rabies-free and Wallace, irregardless of his complete vaccination record, was sentenced with the maximum penalty being from a rabies positive country.
We visited Wallace mostly thrice a week. I went back to the Philippines and Lenard becomes solely responsible of Wallace’s welfare. By the end of July, he was released from quarantine. By this time I was still in the Philippines and Lenard already transferred to a new place where pets are not allowed. Wallace was temporarily housed at Lenard’s friend who also adored him, despite being bitten a few times. Wallace has developed a bad habit of impulsive play biting, maybe the effect of seclusion and limited human contact. I was so excited when I finally visited him free from prison.
He's getting heavy.
He has grown so big already. His jaw clearly enlarged just like in any fully grown cat and his paws were like wearing Uggs, they’ve grown large too. Lenard was starting to look for a new place so that we can finally have him with us.
One night, we had our usual visit when we didn’t hear the anxious meow waiting at the door. When we turned on the lights, Wallace managed a soft meow and he just lied there on the sofa. When we examined him, he was wounded at his hind parts. We learned that he snuck out unnoticed for an entire day and surely got into a fight with a local cat. I was so concerned, he can barely move his hind legs anymore and he seemed to stare blankly at one direction. Based on my experience, cats usually can get away even with big wounds. I’ve known cats as hardy creatures. We tucked him in his room, opened a treat of canned gourmet food and decided to take him to the vet the following day. It was such a wrong decision. The next day 15th of September, we didn’t hear a meow at all.
We didn’t expect it would be this fast.Wallace was infected with tetanus which we learned that local cats carry. Being a foreigner cat, perhaps he was very susceptible. After learning about the disease later, we realized that all the symptoms were there, we just didn’t have the knowledge. If only.
For information about the disease, check out these sites: what you need to know about cat tetanus, tetanus e-how.
For information regarding animal quarantine and pet import in Sarawak, follow here.