Friday, October 9, 2009

Not Again, Lillie!

The "abang-abang bomba" assessing the situation, while Pak Abu (left) and Zaid (right), our condo's technician, wait patiently.

The wet kitchen of the unoccupied unit where Lillie got herself trapped in.

Up goes bomba's retractable steps, to reach the 3rd floor.

A rescuer on the way up to retrieve the stuck feline.

... another caper came to an embarrassingly eventful end...

By any yardstick, this morning's event, a briefing by the Labuan IBFC (International Business and Financial Centre) for members of the Federation of Public Listed Companies, Malaysia (FPLC) for whom I consult, was a successful public relations outing.

Press attendance was decent, with both the print and electronic media well represented. That alone took care of fifty per cent of all my worries when organising this sort of function; a PR practitioner's nightmare has always been media coverage (the lack thereof, that is).

I had agonised over the possibility of a media no-show, firstly because there was no final confirmation and secondly because of the venue, the rather secluded Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara. PR-wise, I have always been in favour of high-traffic locations (hotels and such) due to accessibility.

Happy with the turnout, I left the function around noon with a jaunt in my step and headed straight for home. There I was, bubbling with excitement over yet another job done to client's satisfaction, when I saw Pak Abu's grim face as I stepped into the house.

"Lillie has disappeared. I don't know where she is and I didn't realise when she slipped past the door. I have paced the entire 16 floors but there is no sight of her."

My bubble burst. Oh Lillie, not again!

I never had a cat that gave me so much heart palpitations like Lillie; high-spirited and keenly adventurous but with a mean streak of possessiveness and jealousy, not to mention intensely territorial. Occasionally, she also gave me the creeps when her eyes brightened up and followed 'things' we didn't see.

The next hour or so were spent going up and down the lift, exploring every nook and cranny of the building trying to figure out where she could possibly be. About the only place I didn't poke my nose into was the swimming pool.

The security personnel said he saw Lillie batting the cleaner's broom as the latter swept the 3rd or 4th floor. He said he was positive the cat was still on either floor as all the firedoors of the exit staircase were kept closed.

Up to both floors trudged I once again, calling out her name, all the time thinking how ridiculous I must have looked to fellow condo dwellers; tudung askew, poking my head into other people's doorway softly cooing "Lillie, Lillie.."

Then I heard her! The meowing, although distant and weak, was unmistakably hers. The meowing led me to the wet kitchen area of an unoccupied unit. There, sitting next to a broken down washing machine was a terrified-looking Lillie.

She must have jumped one floor down and landed on the wet kitchen ledge. A foolhardy move if ever there was one, for she could have slipped and fall to her death.

Lillie has a weakness for birds (she paws the air each time she sees a bird wing past our balcony). She likes watching a bird in flight. One had apparently built its nest in the empty kitchen, and this could have prompted Lillie to go check it out.

There were only two ways to retrieve her; break open the door of the unoccupied unit in order to reach the wet kitchen, or call the fire brigade.

The management wasn't keen to pick the lock on the unit's door for fear of being sued for breaking and entering. On top of that, the unit, although unoccupied, was full of household stuff belonging to a tenant.

And so it came to be that the fire brigade was summoned to dislodge the rascal, who by now had managed to create a spectacle for herself by squeezing behind some boxes and bottles, leaving only a paw visible.

Each time her name was called, she would move her paw a twitch, providing comic relief to curious onlookers. I honestly didn't know where to put my face with all her antics, but those bomba guys were really cool. Part of the job, said they.

Apart from a dirty, dusty coat and blackened paws, Lillie was okay, if a bit shaken. Thanking the rescuers profusely, I beat a hasty retreat, whisking the scamp up to our unit and giving her ear a mighty twack along the way to show my displeasure, before proceeding to bathe her.

Thankfully, she didn't protest much but allowed herself to be scrubbed under a jet of warm water. She then perched herself contemplatively on the armrest of the sofa, still uncharacteristically quiet. Soon enough, she nodded off to sleep.

I think she could sense I was mighty annoyed with her. "Boy oboy, the old woman's mad, mad, mad as a hatter! I'd better be on my best behaviour for a day or two.." Then again, seems to me being grounded doesn't mean much to this recalcitrant....

Lillie oh Lillie.. what am I to do with you..!


Pp said...

:-) so happy reading the happy ending...! quite an adventure I must say. Am impressed with the attitude and ability of the fire brigade team! Malaysia Boleh~!

Lilie oh Lilie, what would Putri Kama do without you...

PS: I totally agree on preferred venues for PR events....high traffic! 5 star hotels seldom go wrong...

D said...

And that's partly why I will neveer have a cat! LOL!

glad lillie's good though!

kay_leeda said...

Tabik kat abang bomba for extending their good deeds to animals too!! Lilie saja je nak test power kot..heh.heh :)

I know your feeling, one of my four masuk celah atap and didn't know how to get out. Lucky thing Faris was around to go rescue that naughty one. Bet yr Lilie will cool off them birds for a while huh?

─╣aptop™ said...

Pak Abu sampai tak berani tunjuk muka (tu dlm pic tu!).
Dah kena marah laa tu.

Sayang sungguh kat Lillie dia.

abdulhalimshah said...

A cat has nine lives, that is what we used to hear people say, but I can understand the feeling of gratitude to the Bomba and Penyelamat, because I have cats too. Salam.

Kak Teh said...

phew!! Lillie, wait till Tabby hears this story!
Ours are an adventurous lot too , but since Tabby came back, he's been quite good.

Kesian Mama Puteri!

Pi Bani said...

Lillie, Lillie... sampai putih rambut Pak Abu dibuatnya... hehehe...

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hahaha all the excitement over a gallivanting pussy, notti! Glad she's safe & sound, & guess it must had made the bomba boys day too, apart from their otherwise 'dull' day.

Hey, I heard that cat can fall from great height & can still execute a safe landing on all fours, don't know what that max height is tho?



Kama said...

Pp - this cat is turning into a "one-man soap opera".. ada aja dramanya..(sighh)

D - I love the rascal to boot; THAT's the problem! hehehe

Kay - Actually Pak Abu wanted to climb across by putting a tangga spanning the corridor and the kitchen ledge (siap suruh the security ppl to bring the tangga lagi), but I told him not to try to be a hero. It's a 4-floor fall to the ground kalau nak jadi cerita.. hish, mintak simpang malaikat 44..

Lap - err.. got la a little leter, then we called a truce and turun sama2 pi cari 'cucu' hilang..

Abdulhalim - those bomba fellows were very professional. I was impressed. "Kami bantu semua yg bernyawa, kak, tak kira binatang atau manusia" was what their leader told me.

KakTeh - racun dan penawar, kan? Please don't tell Tabby the full story, nanti dia teruja nak try getting rescued by the fire brigade as well.. haru kak teh!

Pi - LOL...

Tommy - if I am not mistaken, a cat can break a 20ft fall easily; any further than that, it may not be able to land properly and may even break a leg (or its neck).

Pak Zawi said...

How much will the cost be if they were to charge you for the rescue? I know you will pay any amount to get Lilie back. So be careful, somebody may hold Lilie to ransom the next time she goes astray.

Kama said...

Pak Zawi - They didn't charge a thing, Pak. They said animal rescue is part of public service. Now the cat is grounded, langsung tak boleh keluar rumah. Takder kot orang nak 'catnap' non-pedigreed cat yg tak seumpamannya tu, bukan Persian pun.

Rose said...

Salam Kak Kama!
Lillie...Lillie.....Reminded me of Sable yg tersangkut kat bumbung 7-Eleven sebelum direscue & dibela kat ofis dulu. And Gabby too...yang suka naik ke bumbung ofis or perched at the ledge of the balcony (3rd floor). Cats....pengubat duka lara and sekali-sekala buat kita pening kepala.Macam anak-anak juga :)

Kama said...

Rose - you took me down memory lane with Sable and Gabby. The cats we used to have those days, each with his/her own individual characteristics and traits.. macam2 fe'el ada.. hehehe.. and we love them all no matter what..:)

Typhoon Sue said...

I thought my cats are always giving me headaches when they disappear inside my neighbour's bushy yard, making the doggy inside the house go crazy...
Lucky for me they never did what Lillie did, or anything that needs attention from any rescue team.
What an adventure Lillie had!!
*still laughing*

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Puteri,
No wonder Lillie didn't come to our party last week! I did invite her. Maybe she thought she could fly to Sydney..just like the birds...but end up in someone's kitchen. purrr....

anak si-hamid said...

Sorry Kama,
Though I can imagine what you went through I can't help but laugh at your Lillie's antics. I think it's all due to bad upbringing tsk tsk! You must give her a good talking to and send her to bed without her supper. But how can anyone do that to any cat???

Kama said...

Sue, Cat, AsH - the other day I met a neighbour in the condo lobby and the first question she asked was "dengar kucing you kena rescue by bomba aritu?" Oh dearie me..