How my Saleemo became an Easter cabbit

Saleemo came to my garden as a kitten in 2012. He was a handsome cat with a white coat and a tabby skull like cap on his head, not to mention his pale green eyes and tabby tail.  

Rasha al Raisi –

On Easter time every year, I would send my friends a picture of my tailless cat Saleemo with the caption: “A rare sighting of the Easter cabbit in my garden. Happy Easter everyone!” My friends find the picture funny and I get various comments about it, yet none of them really knows the story of Saleemo the cabbit (a cat crossed with a rabbit, if you are still wondering dear reader).
So what’s the story of Saleemo the cabbit?
Saleemo came to my garden as a kitten in 2012. He was a handsome cat with a white coat and a tabby skull like cap on his head, not to mention his pale green eyes and tabby tail.
Other than his good looks, he displayed a princely attitude that amazed us all. Saleemo would never mingle with other strays and when it came to feeding time, he’d walk in front of me to show me exactly where he wants to dine tonight — thank you very much! The spot he chose was always high, away from the madding crowd.
Even his diet was of high standards. He’d only eat biscuits and canned food, unlike the rest of the cats who wouldn’t mind gobbling up anything we offered — bones, rice and leftovers.
Once I offered him a chicken bone, thinking that he would appreciate the change. He eyed the bone and then gave me a haughty look that made me smile apologetically and throw it away, to other cats. He went back to his meal and we both pretended that it never happened.
In 2014, Saleemo vanished for a couple of days and came dragging a broken tail behind him (mainly caused by cat fights or dog bites). It had turned black and I knew at once that it had to go. I rented a trap from the vet and managed to catch him. In the clinic, the surgery was critical as the whole tail was amputated.
Saleemo had to stay at the vet for two weeks, followed by 3 weeks indoors for the stump to heal completely. I had to keep him the in the guests’ toilet ( a.k.a the kitty’s spa) away from my indoor dominant cat Masnoor. Unlike all the other cats that I kept in this spa before, Saleemo seemed to enjoy his stay. He never mewed in protest or tried to escape. On the contrary, he made himself comfortable and at home. He kept renovating the place with the sole cushion he had in hand.
At one visit the cushion would be in the corner, the next it will be in the shower. He also received visits from the household and the outdoor cats that would stand on the window ledge greeting him. He received us all gracefully.
The day we set him free in the garden, Saleemo got disorientated and confused. He tried to get into the house again but Mansoor stood there and kept him outdoors with a clear message: enough is enough! I tolerated your presence for three weeks!
His efforts to get indoors never ceased, until this minute.
Saleemo is four now and knows that he’s a very special cat to us. He still comes and demands food whenever it suits him, be it at four in the morning or at eight in the evening. He’d announce his arrival with his soprano like mew. You’d hear us shouting to each other: “Saleemo pasha is here!”, “Did anyone feed Saleemo yet?”
He sits comfortably outside moving his bunny like tail patiently, waiting for his meal to arrive. Like a true prince.
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja. Contact: rashabooks@yahoo.com