Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Sibling Rivalry


The din from downstairs
woke me up and instantly I knew they were at it again. It was already midnight and I was worried that the yelling and screeching would wake the neighbours up. It wasn’t the first time and sadly it will not be the last.

I flew downstairs only to see the back of the older brother disappearing into the cold night air. I called out his name but to no avail. He’s gone and will not be back until he gathers enough courage to come back again.

He left home some months ago, after what I believe, was one of the most heated of sibling altercations. Jealousy has a lot to do with this. Taking sides. Camps. Whenever there was a quarrel, the sister just sat and watched. The youngest brother pretended not to see.

This problem of sibling rivalry saddens me a great deal for they used to be so close, almost inseparable since birth. Then they began to show their claws and true colours. They all seemed to gang up against him. The fights became more frequent. And one day, he left. The few times that he came back, he was more like a stranger. He’d walk in, look around and walk out again, as if the place, which saw them playfully rolling on the sofa, on the carpet, didn’t mean a thing to him. The others would watch him scornfully; ignoring him completely. Or if they felt generous, they’d give him a contemptuous scowl.

There were times when he’d lurk outside the gate, mustering enough courage to walk in. But the front door was as far as he’d get.

So, the homecoming became less frequent. That is, until recently.

We’ve never shown any favouritism. But they fought for attention and affection.

I sense that he really wants to come home. His wandering days are over and he’d want to make amends with his siblings. But the return of the prodigal son recently was such a sorrowful event.

As soon as he made a cautious entrance through the flap, Tabby who was sprawled on the floor, sprang to his feet with such a meow that caused his brother to make a hasty retreat. The jealous streak in Tabby was so unbecoming but of late he has been so territorial and possessive, especially of his master. Only he has the place on his chest, purring away contentedly. Only he can sit on his lap while he types away at the computer. Only he can laze on the prayer mat while waiting for his master to finish his prayers. His brother’s return would certainly be seen as a threat.

When they were small, we called them the Kray Brothers, after the infamous East end duo. Then when the older one left home, we called the younger one Tabby. Then one day, Mary, our next door neighbour mistook Tabby for Stanley. That was how we knew Tabby’s brother had taken refuge in a neighbour’s house. That’s how we knew he was called Stanley.

Stanley knows that the flap of our backdoor is always open to him. There will always be a bowl of milk and a tray of Whiskers whenever he feels like coming back. We still love you, Stanley Wan.






Other rivalries:
Pillow Talk and Impossible Dreams in A House Divided



54 comments:

D said...

cute! Hehe... I knew it couldn't be your 'children'. Must be the other 'children'! :)

Kak Teh said...

D, tak aci!! You nampak gambar! If those were my children, I'd feed them Whiskers.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Awww, soo sad..
I hate it when the 'kids' fight and one leaves... :(

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, you must miss your 'kids' so much. I can't imagine living without them.

Kak Elle said...

alamak KT I really thought it was your own children...hahaha....terperanjat sekejap.

n.i. said...

hahahaha... but i somehow got the feeling (somewhere in the middle of the entry) that it has something to do with cats... and 'coincidentally' it's correct hahaha... a good one though, kak teh!

Kak Teh said...

kak elle, memang berniat untuk memeranjatkan! hahaha! macam tak ada kerja, kan?

n.i. ya, coincidentally! Kak teh dah bagi hint tu..about the claws. Inilah akibatnya tak ada ilham nak blog.

Tie said...

Ha ha...mula2 terasa sedih gak, ingat salah sorang anak kak teh tu ..... Pandai betul kak teh ni buat cerita...pasal kucing rupanya...hi hi..

Anak2 Tie tu kekadang berebut2 inginkan perhatian. Tapi Tie selalu tekankan...semuanya ada kelemahan..so, tak payah nak tunjuk hebat.. Lastly mereka terpaksa terima hakikat yang mama mereka ni susah nak dibodek...he he..

arlina said...

oh my god, i think i have super power, because i can seriously feel that you were talking about cats. am i gifted? hahaha

Kak Ezza said...

Kak Teh,
saya baca ayat ayat yang mula mula tu banyak kali..ye lah..kita ni slow sikit..bila part claws tu keluar saya dah dapat rasa dah...
Saya pun macam akak jugak..miss my Buruk...dah lama dia tak balik..entah mana dia pergi sekarang ni..ni semua gara gara Mr Puteh laa,his biological father yang tak mau share rumah ni ngan dia...asyik nak bercekau je....

Take care kak Teh...

Life for Beginners said...

Aiks. It took me four paragraphs till the very literal mention of "claws" and "true colours" before I figured they were your dear cats.

Awww...

Me, I could never do pets cos my parents did encourage it as a kid, knowing full well I'd get excited for all of two days and then go back to my books. Maybe when I grow older and more responsible... ;)

DrSam said...

As I was just thawing my brain back to its normal working condition, that few paragraphs have really caught my emotion. You almost got me there :) Great story Kak Teh.

mamasita said...

Awww..kesiannya!What a sad tale..tengok! Sibling rivalry macam ni pun kita sedih.

Mak oi! Kak teh..mula2 I ingat anak2 you punya cerita.Berderau darah kejap! Mujurlah pasal the kuciang2!!

Pi Bani said...

Initially I thought the story was about somebody else's kids - rupanya about your own kuch kuch (tapi no hota hai)...

mama irma said...

Kak teh,
Memang sedih bila one of them retreated as a result of bossyness of another.
The more they stay away, the more hostile the one at home becomes.
It happened to my Puteh, until he is too old and didn't bother to wonder around anymore and ignore the ramblings he received at home. Lama2 he was accepted back into the family sebab masing2 dah malas nak gaduh...
Macam kita jugak lah agaknya...

MrsNordin said...

Do you want my cats? Somehow, I've lost that loving feeling for them... and it's quite sad, actually.

Madam Tai Tai said...

KaK Teh,

Oh poor Stanley... I wonder how he is coping in the winter snow. Is he safe and warm in your neighbour's house or is he just wandering around? I do hope he finds some warmth somewhere. Ala kesiannya..

Typhoon Sue said...

hehe... from d beginning, i had a feeling it must be your cats and not your kids. betul pun. :-)
poor stanley. Dah merajuk le tu. Makan hati berulam jantung, that's y dia bawa diri.

my cats r also siblings and they too fight like cats and dogs,... err ..I mean, fight like cats lah. but they cannot leave d house- they're indoor cats. When they annoy each other, one will take refuge in the study upstairs, one will hide in the bathroom, and the other will lepak in front of the tv watching animal planet with me

GUiKP said...

Mengada-gada sungguh Tabby tu, so campy and melampau-lampau.

I once attempted to be, er, cheeky like you. Trying to shock my boss when I budged into his room and said:

"They asked me to leave"

then paused for a while to gauge his reaction before continuing:

"and come back two days later, when the conjungtivitis has gone",

and then flashing the medical certificate from the panel doctors.

His expression shifted from shock-horror to huge relief.

P/S In KL today to attend a meeting.

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Salam kak Teh,

I love cats, but i am allergic to them even though they are 2 metres away from me..

Your cats are cute giler, macam man they boleh semangat betul ye..

Andrea Wh@tever said...

Uhmm.. sounds kinda human *laughs*

We have a dominant stout cat and a reckless little doggie in our household.

We noticed that when they "fight", we will start finding lots of "little surprises" in our bedroom.

Just the other day, it was a dead sparrow... courtesy of the cat.

Perhaps, it would have been better if they would just "argue" and each walks off to its favorite place to chill. *grins*

masterwordsmith said...

Dear Kak Teh,

Another heartfelt lovely post from you! I just love your writing cos there is so much warmth, grace, love and energy radiating from your words...

I knew it was about your cats cos my hamsters behaved the same way...Now, I am only down to one hamster. I wish I could have cats like you or even dogs. Being the avid animal lover that I am, my hubby forbids me to have any other pet cos I tend to get so attached to them that it takes me ages to get over their demise...

Just last night, I was reminiscing about my favorite hamster Mimi, who was with me for three wonderful years...She was so well trained that she could race with me, make a U-turn at the wall and scurry back to the starting point...

That's the way with animals, ya? They move into our hearts, enrich our lives and even when they leave, they always remain, deep in the cockles of our hearts....

Take care and may you and yours dwell in happiness always.

cheers

Desert Rose said...

Kak Teh,

Nama dia Stanley Wan in London, kat Teganu tukar jadi Wan Stanley plak ye...

Kak Teh said...

Tie, anak-anak pun macam kucing jugak, or kucing pun macam anak-anak? anyway, perangai memang sama - nak attention.

Arlina, you are gifted. Oh, you must read what Snowbell presented me as a gift!

Ezza, oh Buruk pun lari? Actually, we have another one - Gizmo, mak dia orang ni. Diani bukan merajuk, tapi mengada-ngada dok pi duduk rumah orang sebelah, sebab dia suka main dengan anjing depa. and I kata kat my husband mesti neighbours manjakan dia sebab dia jarang balik.

Naz said...

Kak Teh,
Tipah tertipu....adus!
Wah nama kucing you...so stylish! i love the family pictures. Ni kalau anak anak tengok ni, mula lah a new round of nagging. I better not show them!
They saw your AG snowman and loved it so much that they have been planning to make a mak tok snowman and tok ayah snowman.

Kak Teh said...

kenny, so you are one of those we must never give a dog for xmas! i thought our children wld be like that but it them they who really wanted the cats. and now they are even jealous of the cats.

Dr Sam, welcome back!! YOu've been missed. Will go and read your new entry.

Kak Teh said...

mamasita, aaah, kucing pun kita tak sampai hati nak lepaskan macam tu, inikan anak, kan, mamasita?

PI Bani, memang we all ni banyak kuch kuch. and myhusband yang manjakan depa semua.

Kak Teh said...

mama irma, i know how you feel about cats. I remember your entry about your missing cat. sampai sekarang tak jumpa, eh? I was hearbroken for you.

Mrs Nordin, you tak nak cats? adoi, kalau kak teh dekat dah pergi ambik dah. Am sure he will crawl back into your heart. cats are like that.

Kak Teh said...

MTT, actualy Stanley is very well fed and well looked after. He is so fat that he struggles through the catflap. it is just recently that he keeps coming back and am sure he would stay longer if not for the animosity at home. masa snow tu he came back twice .

Sue, you mesti tau it is about cats cos you have plenty. I remember when we just had Jasper, he just walked with his head high and just ignored the new ones, as if it was beneath him to acknowledge them. Kucing pun pandai buat sombong.

Kak Teh said...

GUiKP, hahaha, thanks for your little story. you pun nak attention from your boss, eh? Kalau you dapat conjunctivitis, i'd be the first one to leave the room.

Ida, I thought i;d be allergic too as I am asthmatic, the reason why we hesitated in the first place. but i realise that my asthma is only during hayfever - and not because of the cats.

Kak Teh said...

Andrea, in our household, it is snowbell who brings back surprises. One day, she came in with a rat and i jumped and had slipped disc!


paula, you and hampster do a race? that's cute. We actually have our cats walking back with us from the top of the road - AND talking at the same time. One day, a police woman doing her beat around our area commented, I've never seen a man walking a cat before!

Kak Teh said...

DS, itulah, sebab nama we all di sini semua terbalik - all my childrean pun ada wan at the back instead of in front.

Kak Teh said...

Naz, a mak tok snowman would be awesome!! Buatlaaa!

Our cats are so manja and once Tabby chatted up someone along the way. nasib baik that someone happens to be a friend. cos he said, i was about to take that cat home.

Lyana Mauseth said...

kak teh,

i dah tau kucing punya cerita ni :D tp sungguh menyayat hati..kesian kat dia membawa diri kan...ank2 i dah mintak kucing ni..so i tak tau lah kak teh sbb i tak berani nak dekat2 dgn binatang ni...

Kak Teh said...

Lyana, pasai apa you tak berani dekat? Kan banyak binatang dekat hutan rumah you tu? Tapi, once you get hooked to a pet, memang susah, nak cuti susah, nak pi mana susah. For a long time, myhusband and i cuti separately - kesian nak tinggal kucing.

Manal said...

None of them married their female sis?

I guess those cats get the same strong family ties just like their owners?

I feel for Stanley.

maszuzu said...

alalaaa....tipah tertipu...mas ingat kan sper..rupernyer kucing..but I knew cannot be yur kids laa...heheheh

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Teh

I suspected, must be a trick somewhere in the middle. Sibling rivalry of the cats family pun boleh buat suspense. You got class lah Kak Teh.

The Ceramic Designer said...

very cute..
all my cats are de-sexed/castrated, is that why none has run away, merajuk so far?? eventhough squabbles do happen once in awhile..?? or maybe there's plenty of chilling spaces around the house for each one of them..?? mmm.. they do enrich our lives, eh..

pugly said...

Eeei ... poyonya Tabby tu. What a bully! Kalau dapat kat I, sure I lepuk2 dia.

Poor Stanley. Nak balik jumpa mak bapak sendiri pun tak aman.

GUiKP said...

Me, attention-seeker? Ish tak de lah. Just pulled a fast one, only momentarily.

Don't we all love to kenyek-kenyek si Tabby if we have the opportunity, because he is so kekwat (derived from catwalk?).

Are you also writing a PhD thesis Kak Teh?

mekyam said...

aha! "tale of two kitties" rupa2nya. :D

tapi i'm at least consoled that stanley wan still has the affection of his "parents" and actually has a home right next door.

for a bit there [sob..sob..!] i thought he was reduced to life on the london pavements.

p.s. if you're wondering why lama tak jenguk, was away for 3 weeks over on your side of the world. just balik siang tadi. sistem masih schizoid pasal it was -7C when we took the train subuh2 tadi in the mts and when we got out of the airport at midday local, it was 13C.

p.p.s. oh ya, saw on tele londres covered in lotsa white-stuff for the first time in almost two decades. dah cair ke?

Kak Teh said...

Manal, Well, we had the ladies of the house done when they were of that age, so worries on that score. It is a real study of characters when you watch them. macam2 peranagai.

mas, haha, thanks for having that confidence in my children and in us as parents. hehe, no way.

Kak Teh said...

TM, ini agaknya gara-gara nak cuba try jadi suspense writer. but not all readers fell for it - must try harder.


CD, they certainly enriched our lives, apart from taking that space on the bed, on the sofa, in front of the pc screen. I wonder what life was like before cats.

Kak Teh said...

Pugs, kak teh selalu lepuk2 Tabby but in affectionate way laa, nanti kena tangkap pulak. i like to cubit him the way i do small babies. geram! Ya, stanley is fine. he is well looked after and once in a while we'll see him in the back garden.

GUiKP, me writing a thesis? oh no - i dont think i have the energy. I am half heartedly contemplating presenting a paper for a conference in Swansea this September - keyword there is half heartedly.

Kak Teh said...

Mek Yam, i did wonder. entah ke manalah si mek ni. So where were you? My part of the world and you didnt think of knocking on the door at least for a teh tarik?

oh the snow dah cair - but i had a peek outside the window, just now - now just after subuh - and there's frost on he ground. Last night was wet and cold.

kay_leeda said...

Heh.heh.Kak Teh..tau dah mesti the story of yr "anak-anak".

This sibling rivary thing is so sad indeed. Tak pi cari ka si Stan gi mana?

Nissa's Manis didn't come home for the last two days. Adoii lah...yang tak tahan, nak meng-cool down kan si tuan nyer tu..sigh.

mekyam said...

kt,

not your part of the world, but on your side of the pond. we were in tyrol the last three weeks because h's pa hasn't been well.

no way i wouldn't ketuk on yr door and beg the wans for teh tariks if we were in blighty. insyaAllah! :D

Kak Teh said...

Kay, so Nissa's Manis has gone walkabout? But cats tend to do that for two or three days - nak tukar angin kut. When our arwah Jasper did that, my daughter cried for three days, tak pergi sekolah etc. Tabby used to do that as well, now we are not as worried. Once we saw Tabby chatting up a female companion down the street, so we must accept that they have other life as well.

oh, that reminds me, where is Pak Malim?

Kak Teh said...

Mek Yam, I am trying to figure out where you were and where you are now. One day all the pieces will fall in place.

and in the meantime, will keep the teh tarek all warm and frothy for you.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Kak teh, whatever happens to Pak Malim? So long dia tak jenguk my teratak buruk. I remember trying to entice him with kucing makkah in an earlier entry, pun no-go. aiseh, me rindu kat ray lah..

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, mungkin Pak Malim sibuk menghadiri kucing symposium atau kats conference di mana-mana sebab tu lama dia tak menjenguk, kata kak teh sambil terhangguk-hangguk.

Mungkin juga dia dok berkempen sakan, dalam pilihanraya kecil sana sini, teringat kak teh sambil selam dalam tasik cini. (mungkin dia di tasik cini - sebab dia suka sungguh ke situ.)

zaitgha said...

kak Teh,

my love for cats came from my late mum, so when i was in the States, my cousin gave me a kitten. I called him Abang, he was an ordinary domestic black and white cat..it was so easy taking care of him, i didnt need litter box or such coz he would do it in the bath tub....easy to clean and to bath him i just told him time to mandi ...he would jump into the bath tub...he slept with me and so jealous if i had male visitors...he would scratch and bite them on the legs...if one of them sat beside me he would be more violence he he....but so sad that i lost him when he was ran over by a U-Haul when we shifting place.....i demam almost a week of missing him...until now i tak sampai hati nak bela kucing lagi....

Kak Teh said...

zai, pandainya kucing you masuk mandi dalam tub! I wish I can train mine like that. But all of them do their stuff outside, except for kissinger who is not well now - sebab dia dah macam nyanyok sikit or trauma tak nak keluar. so we have a litter tray for him.

Tabby just walked into the room, naik katil and terus kat my husband.manja sungguh.

it is sad when a cat dies and we had two run over by cars. And when Jasper died, I thought i;d never recover from that. I still cry for him.