It's been a year.
No, I can't believe it either, but it's been a year.
Maybe because I pass that place every day, sometimes several times a day, in broad daylight or glittering evening or even in the darkness of the night when I rushed home from a long work or lengthy chores.
Still, everytime I passed that spot, I would turn my head and see; the same spot where I met Samson.
I had mistaken him for an "ordinary street cat" who always squat there, under a fried chicken stall, waiting for falling mercy. Since he was always there I thought he got some share, but one night instead of some fresh bones the cellphone-fixated seller accidentally step on him and kicked and swear to him mercilessly for being there.
I was suddenly bursted with anger, forget that my sanctuary was full and torn apart by flood from Typhoon, and took that cat home.
Turned out he was not just "ordinary street cat" He was skin and bone and was sick, dehydrated, potbellied, and all crusty. He was so bad I thought he won't make it very long, but I was wrong. It took me months, but he finally made it through. Read his journey home here.
His healing journey coincides with three of the most important events in our sanctuary last year: Typhoon Haiyan wreck our place into pieces, the heatwave and ash rain from Mount Kelud explosion, and the start of the rebuilding of Whiskers' Syndicate. All happened within one month.
But that old cat blend seamlessly well. The existing residents don't spend too much time fighting him; in fact they just sniff him around and go away. Maybe because he is too old to be of some threat, but it helped ease my mind that was too full of things as I have to manage the repairwork alone.
Unfortunately, being a street cat for life, is a lifestyle uneasy to change. Whenever the door was left open for the materials to come in, he will casually stroll out of the house for some hot sun and got into trouble.
One of those is when he curled up in the yard of my neighbor across the street. That loud woman, seeing how ugly he is (still deformed though he grew some hair already) hit him and pushed him with a broomstick while repeatedly wondered out loud whether that cat was dead or sick.
Yeah well, idiots are never out of stock here and they are always in season.
What amazed me is that cat's, if not sheer ignorance. He just sleep there undisturbed, despite all the hitting and poking. I, in the other hand, immediately went into adrenaline rush, and like deja vu, walked over, swept the cat, and carry him back inside, with neighbor mumbling behind my back.
She's lucky I am not a witch.
And that's how I named him Samson.
He had some hard time accepting he is now a house cat, but I am no Delilah. I am an iron lady who doesn't take no for an answer, even from an old cat. he kept trying to get out of the house for some times, but I give him a collar with a bell (the others don't have collars or have collar without bell) so I know where he is. He is not happy at the beginning, but I insisted that I know what is best for him, and I intend to enforce it. I made it a point to return him into being cat again.
Like this, for example:
The black cat behind him is Licorice, by the way, just so you have a comparison how big he has become.
And so Samson changed his mind. He no longer try to go out of the house, nor climb the roof. He spends his days Hakuna Matata like a king he used to be, and while he is here he used his age and grumpiness for extra benefit, like treats for seniors.
This Christmas will be the first he will celebrate in a home, on top of a fluffy blanket, with tummy full, and kick free. This Christmas will be the first time he doesn't have to squat under some gawker or bare some idiot woman's broomstick.
This Christmas will be the first when every person who meets him in the eyes will call him with a name.
Samson is the mascot of The Whiskers' Syndicate's holiday campaign. He attempts to pass on every social media and emails to go round the world telling his story to show everyone what a rescue can do even to an old cat that was deemed hopeless and often on the first list to die. He is telling his story to tell everyone that miracle can happen if everyone hold hands together, and that it's everyone's victory against cruelty, complacency, and ignorance.
If you haven't seen him around your inbox, see here; and then join him in his campaign so that all of us: you and me, can help more cats like Samson.