I was at the vet, waiting for Tata being neutered, when I saw a fluffy white and grey tabby approaching the door of the clinic gingerly. The cat sat there as if waiting for something. He is dirty, matted, and looked very tired.
I wonder why a long haired cat lives on the street. Long hair breed is in high demand and cost a lot of money in Bandung; but when he looks up, and our eyes met, I can see that he probably been thrown away because he is missing one eye.
That would reduce his price tag to zero, and to be thrown away to live on the street is lucky. Others would have been sold to cat eaters, or killed on the road.
Busy with my own thought, I didn't realize that the vet tech had left his place and took a bag of cat food from the drawer behind me, and pour some of its content on the porch. He then went back in, put the cat food back in the drawer, put on another pair of glove and continue working.
"Is that cat always here?", I asked. The vet answers from behind her mask "He always come. Few times a day, sometimes not. At first we thought he belongs to someone, so we didn't feed him; but he comes anyway. My husband feel sorry for him and start feeding him and then it is a common practice here that whoever see him will give him food"
In the afternoon when I came back to pick up some prescription, the vet told me "I talked to my husband. I told him you are a rescuer. So if you have some space in your house, we'd be grateful if you want to take him in. I will give you half the price for his neutering"
I didn't have a carrier with me that time, and I was thinking about the burden of adding more resident. I have just moved, and I think it is better for me to take in other cats because he seems to be able to take care of himself and also because the clinic feed him. I was thinking of paying the other half of the neutering but we will let him go on the streets again.
But I can't get him off my mind the whole night. I remember his cautiousness, almost under-confident. I remember his tired steps, his hope for a little food that sparks in the one eyes that's left. The lots of hardships and his longing for rest.
So the next day I go back to the vet although it's a holiday. The vet tech lived on the top floor, so gave him the carrier and told him I will take him in.
His name is Jack. From Jack Sparrow, but he is no sparrow, and Jack Cat sounds like some clothing, so Jack suffice, and he becomes The Whiskers' Syndicate