An Unexpected Friend

One fine evening, about a month ago, as I travelled home from work, I went through this back alley where I met this lovely cat. The cat was really shy, and would hide away from me as I approached his position. He seemed very scared, but as I crouched and stayed still for a while, he decided to come out from his hiding, and walked directly towards me. I put my hand on his head, gently patting him, and he then grazed the top and back of his head on my palm.

There and then, as simple as that, a friendship was made.

Ever since, every evening, the cat would wait for me eagerly to walk pass the alley. I would walk to the cat, and played with him for a while. The thing about back-alley is, you have lots of "cat-toys", such as strings, straws and plastic bags where you can get the cat to be really playful. Usually I do not stay long, just play with the cat for a few minutes, and then I would walked on. Days became weeks, and now it has been a month. The cat waited for me every single day without fail.

All photographs were taken with Olympus PEN E-PL1 and MZ 14-42mm mk1 kit lens.

Sometimes I do wonder, are we really that much better than animals? I enjoyed my bond with the cat. It was an honest relationship. The cat did not expect anything from me in return, as I did not provide food or shelter. I did not expect anything from the cat, obviously. All we did was just stay with each other, everyday, just for that little while, and enjoyed each others' company, no more, no less. There was no drama, no surprises. No lying, no backstabbing. No going around telling people lies behind your back. No turning their backs on you, no hidden agenda. No conflicts and no contradictions. Just plain, honest relationship, between a boy and a cat.

We do have a lot to learn, humanity is too flawed.

A few days ago, I got news that I will be stationed at a construction site for full time supervision tasks, hence I will be away from my main office for quite a while. On this particular evening, I decided to bring my E-PL1 and say goodbye to the cat before disappearing. It was weird, because I knew I will be missing the cat. Hence, I made some photos of him, so I will remember this friendship, no matter how brief and simple it was.

This time, the cat had caught a mouse, and apparently the mouse already died. He was still toying around with the mouse, like any other cats would, before finally devouring it. Or maybe not even eat it at all, I do not know. The cat allowed me to get close, and did not mind my presence at all while he was playing with his "trophy". I had a great time watching the cat play on his own. With all my heart, I sure hope the cat will be alright on his own. I am not sure if he will remember me after being gone for so long. Perhaps he wont even be alive during my return.

What I do know, is that both of us treasured the mutual friendship that we had. The joy of just being by the cat's side was unmeasurable, and I will forever remember him. I did not give the cat a name, because I call the cat, a friend.

Have you had a similar story between you and an animal you have encountered? Do share !!


  1. i take it this is the cat you mentioned. i really like tabby cats- they look full of life and mischievous.

  2. nyan~~ cat, friend..yeah bird, food.. yum :D

  3. Amir,
    Yeah this was the one. I figured I wont be seeing the cat anymore for quite a while, so might as well make some memories about it. It was quite emotional seeing him just now.

    Grrrr, bird EATS cat ok

  4. yup, they tend to puncture some holes in our heart with their naughty affection.

  5. HachikĊ your story is similar to... Hehe.

  6. Very interesting story, Robin. The picture with the dead mouse is very strong. Very good picutre, one of your best.

  7. Hello Chong,
    LOL !!!

    Hello Bartosz,
    Thanks !!

  8. thanks for the great story and fantastic photos.
    this made me think of my dog. i will be moving to china in january, and i will not be bringing him. i know he has a great home to stay at here with great people and his best doggie friends. it is the best situation for both of us, but i still worry about how he will feel.
    the experts say that dogs get over this kind of thing quickly, so i guess i shouldn't worry too much.

  9. Hello eric,
    thanks for sharing your story! They say that dog only answers to one owner/master. I am sure your dog will miss you deeply but of course, like all of us they will move on also. Knowing that he will be in good hands and will continue to have a good life, I am sure things will be ok.

  10. its funny that you say that because he does only listen to me. i tell people that he does all kinds of tricks but nobody can get him to do any. then i tell him to come to me and he does them all perfectly. =)

  11. Eric that sounds like a smart and intelligent dog you have!

  12. Nice (and a bit sad) story, and awesome photos, as always!

    We've had a visitor since late last year, and after she came in for the first time, Mitchie (my wife, real name Hamidah) and Zuleikha (our 6 year old) gave her the name "Tuna".

    There are lots of cats in the neighborhood, and we don't really know to whom "Tuna" "belongs", but since she gets fed and can even stay for long naps, she became a regular visitor pretty soon. All the other cats got names like "Herring", "Salmon", and so on - "because cats love fish, right mommy?"

    At the moment, Tuna is sleeping soundly. You can see lots of photos of her (first ones mostly with the OM Zuiko 1.8 50mm, later ones also with the macro) on or on my blog if you search it for "Tuna" (without the quotes of course).

    We feel bad already when leaving the house, and the cat has to stay outside. And man does she complain when we get back after 3 days or more! In fact, "complaint" could be their middle name I guess.

    My father-in-law in the state of Johor has a dozen or so. Here he is, feeding some of them Kropoek:

    Thanks for reading and viewing,
    and cheers,

  13. Robin, the "new" PEN sensor is very dissapointing. It will be a flop for Olympus. They are not keeping up with competition and they are producing WORSE sensors than the first generation of PENs. I believe you have been deceived by clever JPEG engine that uses heavy handed noise supression and sharpening.

    Please take a look at dxo mark comparison:|0/%28appareil2%29/612|0/%28onglet%29/0/%28brand%29/Olympus/%28brand2%29/Olympus

    In my opinion this is VERY dissapointing of Olympus.

  14. Hey Bartosz, are u paid by the other camera makers to TROLL on this website? Do you even use an Olympus camera to actually know what you're talking about? Please don't get jealous of us. We are quite happy and satified with the cameras we use despite the small improvements made by this company. You don't have to prove your superiority to others by belittling them. Just be happy with what you have and if you are not satisfied then it's time to move on.

  15. Hello Wolfgang,
    Thanks for your compliments.

    Also, thanks for sharing the story of Tuna and gang, yes I have seen Tuna on your blog before, a very lovely and cute cat indeed !! Arent those little creatures perfect for photography? Their adorable expressions are enough to get my shutter clicking on and on.

    Shooting them with the manual 50mm lens must have been a nightmare, how did you get them in focus at all with the constant movement?

  16. Hello Bartosz,
    I appreciate your comments as usual, but may I remind you that kindly direct them to my personal email, instead of openly discussing it here. I udnerstand your honest opinion and thoughts brought forth. However I cannot speak for my readers, and from the way you express your words it appears (though not true at all, I know) that you are against Olympus, and have every intention to see Olympus "flop". Such negativity are usually ill perceived. I hope you understand.

    Hey Canikoly user,
    Thanks for your kind support. However, I believe there has been a misunderstanding. Bartosz did not mean to sound so aggressive and "anti-Olympus". He is just voicing his opinion, a little too loudly I must add. Please do not take this too heavily, and I sincerely hope he would direct such personal opinion of his to my personal mails in the future, instead of publishing here.

    Guys, lets keep this space a peaceful one !!

  17. Hi Robin,

    you asked: "Shooting them with the manual 50mm lens must have been a nightmare, how did you get them in focus at all with the constant movement?"

    You have to:

    a.) be lucky, and/or
    b.) be good at constantly focusing while looking through your viewfinder, and/or
    c.) be patient and/or
    d.) keep trying until you get some nice and decent sharp shots

    I guess it's more or less the combination of these, and of course the love of photography as well as liking your subject enough to keep trying.

    Thanks for the nice compliments, and for viewing again,
    and cheers,