by Sharmaine D. Paglinawan, JULY 2021
We are back with another featured Pet-lover Employee—Fedelyn “Faye” M. Ruiz, QS And Cost Assistant Manager from the Tollways Development and Engineering Division. If you want to see more photos of her cute pets, you may check out their FB Page, Pawpaw Aki.
SOUTHLINK: What are the name of your pets? How did you come up with that name, does it have any specific significance?
FAYE: The first one is Pawpaw because of his large furry paws. We thought it a cute name. Later, we found out that Pawpaw happens to be a name of one the celebrity from a famous Nigerian comedy duo “Aki and Pawpaw,” so then when we got the second cat we named him Aki to complete the duo!
SOUTHLINK: What breed are your pets?
FAYE: Pawpaw is a persian cat while Aki is a domestic shorthair (Puspin).
SOUTHLINK: How old are your pets? Do you celebrate your pets birthday?
FAYE: Pawpaw is three years old and Aki is one. No, we do not hold grand celebrations. But we do greet them on their birthdays and give them a special meal. Usually, it’s just treats and their favorite wet food.
SOUTHLINK: When and how did you get your pets?
FAYE: We got Pawpaw through a local breeder by searching online. We just settled in our new house for just about two years before we got him. We just thought it would be nice to have a pet at our new home. Then after a few years we thought that Pawpaw might be getting lonely at home alone when we are at work. Whenever we get home from work, we would see him every day looking out the window as if he’s waiting for us to arrive. He would then excitedly greet us at the door almost like saying “where have you been hooman!?” So, we were considering to get a second cat to keep him company. Then one day, as my husband was driving through our village, a kitten suddenly fell from underneath a car in front of him. He almost ran over him. And, that is how we got Aki!”
SOUTHLINK: What are their favorite toys and games?
FAYE: This is a funny part, my husband likes to buy them toys. Some are really expensive, like those interactive types. But our cats would just be interested for just a while. A few days at most, then they’re done with it. But they don’t seem to get tired of good old paper crumpled into a ball!
For games, I would say they really like hunting outside for small bugs, lizards and birds occasionally. Both of them are hunters. But I would say Aki is more seasoned than his older brother. He brings home a prey more often than Pawpaw. He even managed to catch a large bird half of his size a couple of times! One time we caught him stalking the neighbor’s rooster and sometimes we worry that he could bring home a duck!”
SOUTHLINK: How well do you know them? How would you describe their behavior?
FAYE: Pawpaw is the refined one. He does his things silently. He seldom meows, and when he does, it means he really really wants whatever it is that he wants at that time. When he wants something he would just stare at it waits for you to notice. Like if there’s not enough food in his bowl he would sit in front of it and will stare at you as long as he can until you take notice. He is also a cat of habit, he has his daily routine that he does almost every day like clockwork!
Aki on the other hand is almost a complete opposite, when he wants something he will let you know, loudly! Litter box not cleaned; he will meow at you until you figure it out. He wants treats. Get ready to have an earful. If you still don’t give it to him. No worries. He knows where it is and can chew through the packaging!”
SOUTHLINK: What is a bad habit that your pets have?
FAYE: Pawpaw likes to scratch the side of our bed especially if he wants to wake us up at very early hours of the morning while Aki likes to chew papers and cardboard boxes around the house like a mouse!
SOUTHLNK: Is there anything your pets are scared of or react to?
FAYE: Usually loud noises and other people, which is good considering that they spend a lot of time outdoors. It’s good that they are cautious, when they get scared outside, they would usually run back home.
SOUTHLINK: Who takes care of them whenever you are at work?
FAYE: Cats are generally independent compared to dogs. They are a bit low maintenance. Just leave them a bowl full of food, some water, a clean litter box, they are good.
SOUTHLINK: What is your favorite thing to do together?
FAYE: Play with them with those dangle faux mouse feather rod. Believe it or not, occasional cuddles which comes very rarely because Pawpaw is a bit snobbish while a Aki is to hyperactive stay in one place.
SOUTHLINK: Do you go outdoors? If yes, where is your favorite place to go together?
FAYE: Before the pandemic and before we got Aki, we used to bring Pawpaw to the village park at night. Now, they both just got used to going out around our residence.
SOUTHLINK: What is the funniest memory involving your pets?
FAYE: A lot of funny memories. The best I could say was when my husband stuck a cardboard cutout of a lizard on a wall. Pawpaw was on full predator mode, we didn’t realized he could jump so high! For Aki, it was his first Christmas with us, he got too excited with the Christmas tree. Too much that he was able to single handedly and almost completely destroy it. Bringing it down just the next day after it was put up because he played with it.
SOUTHLINK: What is the best memory involving your pet?
FAYE: Mostly during their early years. They were more curious and much more malambing when they were kittens.
SOUTHLINK: What are your pets’ favorite food?
FAYE: Sheba Succulent Chicken Breast Wet Cat Food.
SOUTHLINK: How much is the cost of their food per month?
FAYE: Around Php 500.00 -1,000.00
SOUTHLINK: What is the best thing about your pets?
FAYE: They bring comfort, take away my stress. Although both are not very clingy, the occasional paglalambing when they are in the mood are priceless. Lots of funny moments too!
SOUTHLINK: How old were you when you got your first pet?
FAYE: For as long as I can remember, we had cats and dogs as pets when I was a child. My father is a pet lover too. Although, back then it was different. Like typical old Filipino households, we did not buy cat food or dog food nor toys. We gave them whatever left over we had. Our tsinelas and walis tambo were their toys. Today, I could say our pets are a bit spoiled.
SOUTHLINK: What is the hardest thing about being a pet owner?
FAYE: When they are in heat and not returning home because they spend more time spreading their pheromones looking for a female cat. Because of those incidents we decided to have them both neutered.
Yung magkasakit sila. It is very hard to give them medication. Same with giving them vitamins they automatically hide once they see us getting their vitamins.
SOUTHLINK: What is the most rewarding thing about being a pet owner?
FAYE: The joy that they give to us. They help us relieve our stress. As I have said, though both are not very affectionate, they make us feel that they love us back in their own way. Like when one of us is sick they would sleep with you in the same room most of the time until we get better rather than doing their usual routine. They would wait for us to go to bed every night and then sleep in the same room and at the same time that we do and then they would wake us up every morning before our alarm clock even gets a chance to ring.
About the writer:
Sharmaine D. Pinagliwana. Psychology graduate from Cavite State University. Cat and dog lover. Terrible dancer who memorizes Eminem’s rap songs.