PM and his new orange and white Persian kitten
It's not often that you get to see a picture of a nation's top man and a cat together. Are we trying to imitate The United States Of America where all the Presidents are required to adopt a dog upon being elected to the White House? I don't think so. According to Najib, it was a spur of the moment buy when he launched the "Buy Malaysia" campaign yesterday.
I find it disturbingly ironical though that he chose a Persian kitten at a campaign to promote Malaysian products. But then again, it was a spur of the moment thing which is not easy to resist. Yes, Mr. PM sir, I do understand how it feels gazing down upon those languid eyes and feeling the soft and velvety hair pressing warmly against your skin. It's simply irresistable. Another good reason would be that the kitten was born here so that makes it as Malaysian as you and I. Hence, the Persian tag should not evoke any form of displeasure or doubts amongst kampung stray cat lovers, correction, kampung stray cat guardians, like yours truly. Apparently, the parameters for 1Malaysia have been stretched to include not only human beings but cats of all races as well!!!
I hate it when people ask me how many Persian cats I have everytime they see me buying cat food at the supermarket. Are they saying that the kampung strays are only fit to eat the leftover rice and curry or worse still, left to starve to death? Are Friskies and Whiskas only meant for Persians and other exotic pedigrees? Hey, we are talking Friskies and Whiskas here, the cheapest brands, which some cat owners would never ever dream of feeding their exotic fuzzies. Unfortunately, my meagre Cikgu's pension can only afford these cheap brands. But these are good enough for my kampung strays. In fact, they would be grateful even if I were to feed them the leftover rice and curry. But, I choose to pamper them a bit.
It would have been a moral boost for the whole kampung cat population had PM decided to get one of their kind, but then again, may be, there were no kampung cats on exhibition at the launching of the campaign. It is not easy for these kampung cats to have access to such a high profile occassion.
May be it's the status symbol that's associated with keeping cats and dogs of impressive pedigrees. It would be pretty embarassing and cheap skate to own a kucing kurap (a connotation of the stray cat). One has to maintain a certain level of aristocracy, if not through birth or marriage, then, at very least, through cats.
I just hope and pray that PM's spur of the moment move would not set a trend sending ordinary Malaysians scurrying to pet shops to acquire Persian cats for pets. It is already bad as it is now for the thousands of homeless kucing kuraps without aggravating the situation further by having Malaysians following in the footsteps of the PM. This would inevitably erase any hopes of these kucing kuraps being adopted. Persians cats have already carved a niche in Malaysian hearts. They don't need anybody to further strengthen their already safe and comfortable place in our society.
I don't have anything against Persian cats or any other cats for that matter, or their owners. I just feel misearable for those hungry kampung cats. Their fore-fathers were once pedigrees, too, but circumstances forced them to inter-marry among themselves, hence relegating them to the lowest caste.
PM has urged all Malaysians to suggest a name for his new Persian kitten. Whatever the name given, you are one lucky cat, not just by being Persian but also by having the Prime Minister of Malaysia as your foster father. I bet you'd have a life of luxury better than even some of us, human beings, let alone the poor lowly outcasts, .........the kampung stray cats.