Tripod Cat Taught Me The Art Of Gratitude

Life’s most valuable lessons come in the most unique ways. Sometimes it comes from a stranger you meet while you’re waiting for your coffee at McDonald’s. It can come in any form. I didn’t expect my lesson to come through a small 500-gramme, scrawny looking, tri-colour, tripod cat.

It doesn’t matter where or how comfortable a spot is, Clover tends to snooze anywhere. In this case, on an old clothes hamper.

Meeting Tripod Cat For The First Time

About two years ago, a stray kitten tried to find refuge under my car which was parked outside my parents’ house. Every morning before I cranked my engine, I made a conscious effort to hit my car’s bonnet to ensure that the kitten was not hiding underneath it. This was how it was for two weeks of my life.

She knew when I was home and would readily be waiting for me to play with her before I entered the house (though I believed she amused me so that I’d feed her, her kibbles). Would you believe that it took a three-legged feline to impart some of life’s important lessons to me?

Meet Clover, my beloved three-legged feline. Never did I in my wildest dream thought I’d learn gratitude from a cat. She’s captured my father’s heart more than anyone of us at home.

The Day Clover Hopped Into My Life

I still remember, it was 14 January 2018 – it was raining cats and dogs! I dozed off in front of the television, but I woke up with a start when I heard my dad cranked my mother’s car. Sensing something was amiss, I went out only to see bloodstains on the road in front of my house. I knew somehow the blood was from the stray cat. My first reaction was to tell my dad to kill the engine immediately.

I thought she was dead, crushed! Imagine my horror! I thought she was still trapped in the engine compartment. But then I heard her faint meows. So, I couched on the road and discovered her on the ground underneath the car. She was trying to get away from us, but I somehow managed to slowly and as gently as possible to pick her up. When I took her into my arms, I realised her right hind leg was crushed.

I forced my mother to take her to the veterinarian. The veterinarian evaluated the injuries and decided the best treatment for the cat would be to amputate her leg. So here was this small kitten, fighting for her life.

Bringing The Tripod Cat Home

Getting through the night was a nightmare on its own. The words, Dr Goh, the veterinarian from Passionate Animal Clinic said to me earlier that day kept me wide awake. The next morning, I received a call from the clinic. For a split moment, my mind projected the worst-case scenario. That was it. But the doctor gave me the news that she pulled through the night.

When I went to the clinic to pick her up, I was nervous. At this point, the stray still didn’t have a name. When the attendant asked me for the kitten’s name for her to put it into the system, all I could think was Clover. Ironically, a four-leaf clover is what brings you luck but, this was one lucky kitten in her very own way.

passionate clinic
This place is not only a clinic, but this is where magic is done every day. I can’t thank Dr Goh enough for all that she’s done in the past. Every owner who leaves their pet there knows that they are leaving their fur babies in good hands.
Image from Passionate Animal Clinic

The Never-Ending Mishaps!

A week after Clover was discharged from the clinic, she was attacked by a pack of stray dogs. This feisty kitten doesn’t like being caged and had wandered outside the house. When I found her. her intestines were almost torn apart, due to the attack. If it wasn’t for my other dogs’ barks, I doubted I would have gone out to check.

Can you imagine how I felt? My face turned pale the moment I saw Clover lying motionless. That was her second trip to the vet! You’d think she would change her ways after that! Hahaha, how I wish she would! It took her less than five days to get back up and kicking, picking fights with my other dog Hazel. Bless Hazel’s cotton heart for putting up with Clover’s atrocities.

Clover got her name Tripod lovingly from her vet. Since she didn’t have a proper name on the day she was first admitted, Dr Goh took the liberty of naming her Tripod first. To date, she’s still fondly known as Tripod by everyone who works in the clinic.

Clover loves to perch on any available high surface, to elevate her from the floor. Perhaps that’s her way of establishing who rules the roost.

So, What Did I Learn From This Tripod Cat?

1. It’s Okay If You Lose A Limb, As Long As You Have Lived Your Life To The Fullest!

When I look at Clover every day, I can daringly say that she lives a life free of regrets. Life’s dealt her with the worst cards in the deck, yet she’s living life as though nothing bad has happened. This cat still loves to jump around. She loves playing in the garden. Believe it or not, you can sometimes find her on our house roof. She is extremely fearless.

2. Make Use Of Whatever Remaining Parts Of Your Body To Show The World That You’re Here To Take It On

Never has she allowed the loss of a leg to hinder her. She still jumps around. She’s funny and quirky. And trust me when I say she is one hell of a bird catcher (sometimes I don’t know if her losing her hind leg was a curse or blessing). She could give Speedy Gonzales a run for his money.

3. Never Allow Anything To Scare You (Maybe Except Barking Dogs, Then You Gotta Look For Your Human)

When you see Clover, you might mistake her for a timid cat. Yes, she hates humans (outsiders at least), but she’s a fighter cock. I don’t think anything scares her, except for barking dogs, that’s the only time you’d see her run into the house for cover.

4. Pick Yourself Up

Don’t wallow in self-pity. People around you will already do that for you. Something I’ve realised in this past 24 months is that she always picked herself up. It’s like she forgets she’s a tripod and behaves like she has all her four legs intact, and every time I see her, my heart just swells with love. She can be a pain at times, but there’s not a thing in this world that I wouldn’t do for her.

Clover at the vet waiting for her turn to be checked by Dr Goh.


Recalling these memories. it makes me wonder how it took a cat with a missing limb to teach me how to appreciate life. Seeing her enjoying life, catching cockroaches, sleeping in the garden and even annoying the dogs at home, reminds me to be so grateful for the life that I have.

Sometimes I wonder would Clover remain a stray cat outside the gates if it hadn’t been for that frightful incident. Regardless, Clover has finally found her forever home. There’s no telling how much she annoys me. If you have a younger sibling you could relate to it. If there’ll ever come a day, I’d love this fluffy, tripod cat no less.

The Team At Passionate Animal Clinic

I’d eternally be grateful to Dr Goh and her team at Passionate Animal Clinic. Clover isn’t the first patient with some frightful accident I brought to her. I still remember taking Hazel to her clinic when she first started some ten years ago (that’s another story on its own).

If you are an animal lover seeking to find a fur baby or even spending some time at an animal shelter, this article may be the one to give you the extra push.

Roubeeni MOHAN

About Roubeeni MOHAN

Avid reader with a love for languages and music, Roubeeni believes that written words make an impact on those reading them, just like how the books are always better than the movies made from the said books. Also into Greek mythology and Egyptology, and an animal lover too.

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