Jhonney Athie has always loved cats but never had one of his own until Temmok. The kitty, a domestic long-hair, was brought home by Athie’s brother, who had found him roaming near the back of their home.
When he was younger, Temmok enjoyed food so much that he would eat everything he could get his paws on. This led the family to coin his name, which is a mix of “teruk” (terrible) and “gemuk” (fat).
Despite the cheeky moniker, Athie told FMT he is the most beloved member of the family, and that he is “the best cat”.
Temmok, Athie said, is also “wise and well-mannered”, knowing how to ask politely by pawing at someone who is eating something he wants to taste.
The feline has refined tastes and prefers wet food over dry kibble, and occasionally indulges in some ice cream.
Temmok follows Athie everywhere he goes and, curiously, his favourite activity is going to the park together.
He does not need to be put in a carrier as he will follow Athie into the car and stay quietly in the seat until they get to the park. Once there, he will pace the paths until he sees a good spot with lots of sunshine to take a nap.
Naturally, a catwalk in the park attracts animal lovers, who come up to say hello. Children love giving him pets and telling him how handsome he looks.
“He loves the attention,” Athie said with a laugh, adding that Temmok graciously accepts the compliments.
When they are ready to return home, Athie simply has to start walking back to the car, and Temmok will follow him and jump in by himself.
Athie recalls a memorable incident when, while at the park, a woman stopped her son from petting Temmok because she’d thought he was a dog. Scared by his mother’s yelling, the child ran away.
“I could see the disappointment on Temmok’s face, and my first thought was, ‘Is Temmok that fat?'” Athie said with a semi-amused sigh.
Today, Temmok is 12 years old, and sadly, as a senior cat, has breathing problems. Athie makes sure he drinks enough water and takes his medication, though this isn’t always easy.
“He always knows when I want to give him his meds. Temmok can always tell when his food or treat has some medication in it.
“He’s usually a calm cat who rarely moves quickly, but the only time he picks up speed is to get away from his medicine. He will avoid it by rushing to hide under the sofa.”
Athie loves Temmok so much and wistfully wishes cats would live longer lives. He plans to keep Temmok as happy and comfortable as he possibly can, with long, indulgent naps and companionable walks in the park.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PET: FMT Lifestyle readers are invited to send in pictures (landscape format) and a short video (if any) of their furry, scaly or feathery friends to [email protected]. Don’t forget to include details like your pet’s name, age, breed and a short story about them.