As a family that has always had cats we thought we knew pretty much all there was to know about feline personalities. You name it, we’ve had it, European Shorthair, Norwegian Forest Cats, Manx Cats….each one with their own little ways that make them unique. But nothing quite prepared us for the endearing qualities of the Arabian Mau until the day when 2 of them decided to make our home their home.
One boiling hot day in August we spotted a scrawny little ball of black fur in our garden. We had no intention of keeping it as we already had a European cat but we thought that at least we should help it through the hottest days of summer by putting down some food & water. It was totally black – so my husband named her Kiwi (still trying to work that one out).
Kiwi, it turned out was the runt of the litter – not exactly the prettiest kitten we had ever seen – she had scrawny legs and enormous paws but she had all the feisty determination of a pit bull terrier. She must have quickly decided that she would wiggle her way into our affections but first she had to beat off the competition from the other, bigger & more attractive kittens in the street. This she did in two ways – firstly she perfected the art of getting the lion’s share of the food by throwing her whole body into the bowl of cat food & spreading out her paws so that she got the most to eat. Then, she went for the sympathy vote.
One day she hitched a ride from Abu Dhabi to Dubai under the bonnet of our car. She must have crawled inside & fallen asleep there but we had no idea until we pulled up at Dubai Mall to hear a faint meow coming from the engine. She must have clung on tightly the whole way but apart from having some sore paws from gripping the hot metal she was miraculously none the worse for wear. Of course we felt so guilty that we turned straight around, took her home & cuddled her up indoors on a pillow. After that there was no going back.
4 years on, Kiwi is still independent, still feisty & still accident prone but she is also the funniest, sweetest & most adorable cat we have ever had. She never howls but she ‘talks’ to us non-
We had known Kitty for several years. She lived in the grounds of a hotel beach club that we used to visit & before long I was going there every day just to feed her. No-
Then one day just over a year ago I found her badly injured (it is thought that somebody had kicked her). I rushed her to the vet where it turned out that she had a fractured spine. I expected that they could do nothing for her but was told that she had a good chance of recovering if she could have total rest for around 8 weeks so Kitty came home with me & moved into the spare bedroom.
For 6 weeks she could hardly move & was in constant pain. She was hurting & frightened but slowly she started to get better. Despite the pain she was in she was never bad tempered. Now, she is fully recovered & has taken to living indoors like a duck to water. She has overcome her fear of people & is the most loving, loyal & cuddly cat. She follows me around constantly & takes every opportunity to jump up & cuddle me every chance she gets – I can’t even take a bath without her wanting to come too! Like Kiwi, she is a very verbal cat & purrs constantly whilst snuggling up next to me.
The things we love most about our Arabian Maus are their intelligence, loyalty & sense of fun. There is never a dull moment with an Arabian Mau & we just love ours to bits. So spare a thought for the Arabian Mau’s of Abu Dhabi – to us they are simply the best.
Kathy & David – forever family to Kiwi & Kitty (& Whisky, Spike etc., etc…..)