There was little doubt that my cat, Cocoa, a 6 month old Siamese, was pregnant. She was meowing constantly and her tummy was starting to show. My family didn't want to believe it, so they sent me to the vet, along with my six year old brother, Khaled, Cocoa in tow.
Now keep in mind that Peshawar isn't the most developed city in the world and we only have a few good vets around. So, first I took Cocoa to Dr. Fazal Khan. As I got out of the car and picked her up, she climbed on top of my shoulders and dug her claws into my back. I winced, trying to remember the last time I gave her claws a trim.
“Mona, Cocoa looks scared.” Glancing at Khaled, I saw that he was trying to pet Cocoa’s head from behind.
“She doesn’t like the vet.”
We went inside where Dr. Fazal was waiting for us. I put Cocoa on the table. She looked at him, then at me, and let out a pitiful meow.
My heart wrenched at the sight of her and I had to fight the urge to take her and Khaled back into the car and drive away. Instead I turned to the doctor and asked him if he had an ultrasound machine. "I'm afraid I don't. But you could go to Shah Faisal Town, to the Research farm. I'm sure they can help." With that being said, he simply turned around and started checking a dog brought in by a couple.
Would I feel better if I glared at them?
Khaled, tugged at my shirt. "Is that far away?"
I sighed. "I don't really know. I'm sure it's near."
Wrong. It was an hour away. It was a hot July day and I'd forgotten my sunglasses. On top of that the only thing my mother would let me drive was a beaten down 25 year old car, given to her by her father. The A.C was not doing very great. The roads were bumpy and I was having a hard time not to cuss in front of my brother.
By the time we reached, we were exhausted. Determined to get it over with, I went inside the shady looking building in front of us, which had huge cracks on the walls and looked like it was about to fall apart any moment. Khaled followed me while he carried a rather disgruntled looking Cocoa.
We were greeted by a short, bald man with beady eyes. "What is it?"
Slightly taken aback by his bluntness, I stuttered, "We're, uhh, here to get an ultrasound."
He turned his head to the side and spat on the ground. "Wait in that room" he pointed to the left, "I'll get the stuff ready."
Khaled and I gave each other a glance and hesitantly went in the room. It was a surgery room, with dried blood on the table. Besides it was a smaller table with blood stained instruments.
Khaled whispered, "Mona, he's gonna kill us."
"Don't be silly, we'll be fine." I couldn’t really blame him but I tried not to show how spooked I was too. Cocoa decided that it would be an appropriate time to let out a menacing hiss, making us jump a little.
After awkwardly standing around for about 10 minutes, the man came and said, "Follow me."
I could feel Khaled shaking a little and I put a comforting hand on his shoulder while we followed the man, whom I had silently nicknamed Baldy. He pushed a door open and I could see a small ultrasound machine with a table next to it. Khaled decided that it must have been some death contraption and made a run for it.
"Khaled come back! Why are you running?"
I managed to catch him, Cocoa surprisingly not looking very bothered in his arms. Khaled burst out crying. "Mona I don’t want him to cut us into pieces."
I resisted the urge to laugh. “He's not going to cut us apart, I promise. He’s just going to see if Cocoa has babies in her tummy and then we're gonna go home. Nothing will happen."
I led him back into the room, and took Cocoa from him and put her on the table. Baldy looked very unamused as he said, "Hold her down." I did as he said. He put gel on her while she meowed in protest. As he moved the probe on her, an image came up on the machine. I tried to make sense of it but then gave up. He looked at the screen and then put the probe away. Going to another table, he threw me a bunch of tissues which I caught at the last second.
Honestly, this man was unbelievable.
After I was done cleaning up my traumatised cat, I turned to him. "Well?"
Oh no. I could feel my head getting lighter as I nearly choked on air. "What?" From the corner of my eye I saw my brother holding his head in his hands.
"Your cat is pregnant."
"She's pregnant. Okay, okay, she's pregnant. Thank you. How many are there?”
“Do I look like some doctor to you?”
“You just did her ultrasou-”
“Lady, I did what you asked me to do, now don’t test me with stupid questions,” He held out his hand, "200 rupees.”
Feeling my jaw drop, I contemplated whether to tell him off or not. I decided not to and gave him the money, grabbed Cocoa and held Khaled's hand, wanting to get away away from this place as soon as possible. As we sat in the car, I called my sister. "Zara? Cocoa's pregnant."
Her shouting made me hold the phone a little further away from my ear. "I TOLD YOU! I TOLD YOU! NO ONE LISTENS TO ME IN THIS HOUSE.”
Good lord not this again. "It's not such a big deal Zara..."
"WHO'S GONNA TAKE CARE OF THEM HUH? I'M CERTAINLY NOT, I DIDN'T EVEN WANT THAT SHITTY BALL OF FILTH IN OUR HOUSE! IMAGINE 5 MORE!"
“Says the one who was calling her "Cuddle boo" last night-”
"I WAS NOT."
"Calm down, Jesus Christ."
“I’ll calm down when we give that damned cat an abortion. I swear to God-“
I hung up the phone and turned to Khaled. I tried smiling. "Hey, we're gonna have cute little kittens in the house in a few months."
"I think kittens are dumb.”