Today, the 15th of December is quite an interesting day. Marked as Cat Herders Day in the U.S, it is actually not dedicated to cats and actual cat herders (if one exists). Instead it celebrates those who, no matter how chaotic or impossible the situation seems, they can still manage themselves and others. Originally, the idiom is used to refer to IT-related business, but just picture herding cats, each with their own character, quirks and habits making quite a commotion, and thus managing them can be daunting.

Imagine living in a house with cats (a lot), the disruptive, chaotic, and admittedly, adorable feline beasts that they are, with their demands of food and constant attention. Imagine that you also have another side of life, your work, hobbies you’re passionate about, etc. Now, combine both of those situations.

Joining us for today is Hafeezah Mahadi, who juggles being a personal trainer for 7 years and bodybuilder, a makeup artist for 10 years, a housewife and a mother of cats. On top of these, she also has a project planned out for the stray cats out there. It is quite the combination, don’t you think? To understand how she manages her life, we met with her (and her cats!) for a little chat.

When asked about how she managed her time, she shared with us her routine. “On weekdays, I would focus on being a personal trainer. I conduct a one-on-one training session for my clients. Each day, I would spend around 4 to 6 hours at the gym with them, from the morning and sometimes until evening. On top of that, I also have my “me time” training which takes another 2 hours.”

She does not only train others, but she is also one of the World Fitness Federation (WFF) Bikini Pro Bodybuilders. Since 2018, she has competed in 5 competitions, winning several awards along the way.

Even after 8 to 9 hours at the gym, her day is not over yet. “When I got home, I don’t immediately rest as that’s when I spend time with my cats. There’s their litter to clean and I would check each one of them to make sure they are healthy and well. They need to be fed and played with too,” she explained. “Due to this, the earliest time my husband and I get to rest is at 11 pm.”

However, taking care of her 11 cats, being a Personal Trainer as well as a bodybuilder, is not all Feezah does. “I’m also a full-time housewife, but instead of children, we have these cats. That’s the routine, except that on weekends instead of personal training I do makeup for brides or malam berbedak.” She admitted that it is difficult to manage her time, so everything has to be scheduled early.

Her life already seems packed, but she is not done yet. Soon, Feezah and her friend hope to be able to help out with the increasing concern over the population of strays in Brunei. With their plan to carry out a Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) programme, they hope to raise awareness and gather support from the community. Focusing only on spaying and neutering, they hope to be able to carry out the project more efficiently, helping more strays this way.

With a lot on her plate, it is remarkable and admirable how she is able to manage her time to fit all her passions and interests in her daily life. There are others out there too who handle various jobs simultaneously, effectively managing time to accommodate so many things at one time. Thus, for this day, why don’t we all take the time to appreciate those people that come to mind.