I read today’s talkshow script and saw the date Saturday, 23 May 2015/ 4 Sya’ban 1436 Hijriyah. That’s less than a month to the holy month of Ramadhan. The thought brought excitement, anticipation and a prayer, may He grant us another Ramadhan. It also brought back memories of previous Ramadhan and a particularly furry companion.

The Cat of Masjid Salman, Ramadhan 1435 Hijriyah

This is about a cat that had kept us company during the nights stranded in the mosque at fast-breaking times and sometimes until dawn. I would like to believe that it was also aware of the significance of Ramadhan although I supposed there were ulterior motive and pragmatic reason for it to hang around the masjid. Fast break times and sahur times promised food in abundance, so it might have been waiting to loot. I recalled there were two or three other cats as well but somehow I was sort of stuck with this one.

As night unfolded and the temperature dropped, it looked for warmth at corners. During the i’tikaf period, it would randomly lie on the carpet. More than once it would curl up on my feet. It was a mutual arrangement, I should say, that I would feel the warmth and that nice comforting heft. Most of the time, full and satisfied, it would simply assume that semi sphinx-like serene pose, limbs tucked under its stomache, close its eyes, purr, and refuse to akcnowledge the bustling around it.

Sometimes, the cat and I engaged in eye-staring contest as we fought for territory. I often relented in those fights but when I really needed the territory in dispute, for its electical plug outlets or light to read or write, I just took it by the neck and put it aside. Most of the time, we managed to establish a peaceful coexistence.

Would we meet again this year? I strangely and certainly hope so.