Otterman speaks... (2003-2007)
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Otterman speaks...

Cycling, macintosh, natural history and life in Singapore - Archives

List of Categories : travel * museum * cycling * Singapore Naturalist * science * kakis * mangroves * movies * mac and the internet * meow * NUS * life in Singapore * lit * world *

Fri 10 Mar 2006

Xylo in the mangroves

Category : meow

He appeared as we were about to enter the mangroves, miaowing, and came bounding out of the bush. He twined his body around our legs and got in the way of Christoph Schubart and his two students as they searched for an elusive crab in the mangrove mud. He walked between our legs, bumped his head into our hands and bums, and followed us everywhere, inserting his body right into the thick of the action.

We were in a Xylocarpus granatum zone. It was fruiting and the floor was scattered with the fruit in various stages of seed dispersal. The orange barks of the trees seemed more prominent than ever before and I took to photographing the fruit.

The cat took some time out to sharpen claws against some mangrove bark, hopped around the mounds, jumped over streamlets and had a brief engagement with a crab (from which he wisely withdrew) - I was watching him carefully (I didn't even begin catching crabs), and this cat was not mangrove-savvy.

When we got out, he made a muted appeal I couldn't ignore. But I pondered, wasn't he better out there? He seemed healthy, maybe skinny but not emaciated. The environment would be much more stimulating than an urban home and he'd lose all that space.

Then I thought, he was too friendly a cat. And there are monitor lizards that might get him and feral dogs that might attack him. He was not really an outdoorsman (or outdoors-cat) and Krish of the reserve later told me unlike the strays they sometimes encountered who'd flee, he'd been following anybody since he appeared a week ago. So much so they felt this was 'someone's cat'.

All that was probably pretense. I guess his calls had got to me. As I waited for backup, he clutched my leg with both hands and pressed his head against my leg. Oh alright, already. I'll be sleeping on the floor with this lad for a couple of nights until he settles down.

Dawn chuckled when I said I was keeping him; she's been there. And all my kakis were very encouraging. After all, what could I do, he came to me in the mangroves...






Posted at 1:31PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | , .