He lives alone; under a decaying receptionist table, laid in a hurry by a bankrupted office. It’s dark there at night, it’s dark there during the day. It’s cold in the afternoon, it’s cold in the evening.
Dusty, weary, thin and filthy.
Once in a while, he will slip out to the dusty porch, like coast guard watching his sea, calling.
He heard his voice echoes through the empty halls, closed shops and SOHO that should wait until the year born anew. He heard wind carried his message across, like message in a bottle.
So far, nothing; but there he is, sometimes at night, sometimes in daylight, wishing for a meow back he yearns to hear, but never answer.
And then he will run back to the depths of his fort, through the fallen shaft and the barricade of broken shelves when I came by.
When our eyes meet, he’d hiss. Fierce and mean, hiding his fear.
Have you not learn, little boy, that I heard your call, and came to answer?
In his disappearance I will put down a paper plate and a pouch of whiskas. Slowly push it under the table, through the crevasse he called the gate to his humble kingdom.
Sometimes I’d come at night. At other time, I’d come at noon, someday in the morning. Then he’d let me take my time pouring down food while poking his head out of his hiding, staring at me, sniffing at the food at the other end of his world; but he won’t come out although I can see it behind the fierceness of his hisses that he is hungry and afraid.
Yesterday was special: he sent me a telepathic message, waiting for me to back out, just enough until I cannot reach him with the length of my arms.
Then he skipped out, impatiently, sniff and turn around, thinking of which part he would love to bite first.
I watched him; amused. Even in the heart of a street kitten soured by life, there is still a child wanting to play.
And it was that child that poked at the child inside me, who wants to play as much as his.
I shifted slowly. He knew, but he let me creep; closer and closer. His hunger defeated his fear.
But when I was about to touch his head, he snapped and hiss, and backed away.
I retracted, beaten; but I know it in my heart he will come again.
He did come again, but this time, I let him be. Sometimes, life can be love at first sight, some other life takes its time.
Maybe he is not my little drummer boy. Maybe he is not the handsome prince under the mistletoe.
But I hope, if he keeps calling, if I keep answering, he will be my valentine.
Help me keep my voice, so I can keep answering his call.
One day, he will find love; let it be yours.