Whereas Merida is my sorrow, Kaka has been my sweet.

He is the big brother who mourn the loss of his little sister, and his name was founded when we both try to hold on to each other’s shoulder in standing back up after the loss.

When he lost appetite and did nothing but curl up on my bed, where his sister used to be, I’d keep him company. I’d eat by his side, I let him sleep by mine. I have Kinta (who stands by his name: Big Gold Sun) pummeled him back to his feet, and I call him Kaka.

Kaka is the name of an expensive soccer player, though I don’t like soccer, but it also means “elder sibling” in Indonesian (Our language does not have male/female designation like most western ones).

He trots behind me wherever I go, and if he thought I’ll start to sob, he’ll climb my leg. He was not sorry when he learned I only wanted to clean up the bed, or picking up rubbish, or something I drop.

He runs around like little Indian when I came home with the three kittens I picked up from ATM and soon the fearful bunch turned merry.

To thank him for his big-brotherhood I went out and buy him some minced meat, also to bump up the other kittens’ condition.

On hiking fourty five degree slant between my house and what used to be the bamboo forest across the street, two guys with motorcycle passed me. The one on the back was holding a flour sack with arms outstretched.

In this place, that can only means three things: cats, snakes, or dogs.

They stopped by the bamboo forest, that was razed and now has nothing but arid sand, debris and rocks.

It’s hard, but I ran to catch up with them and took as many pictures as I can. The guy with flour sack ran into the field while the other guy stayed on the motorcycle looking around like a burglar.

I took a shot when he turned around and looked straight at me.

I am not afraid. It’s broad daylight and he knows who I am, as much as I know who he is. He is a lackey who made a living as civilian traffic helper in intersections around the bus terminal down the road though he help manage the traffic by extorting money from vehicles that got trapped in the unruly intersection.

At other time, he drove people to the market or somewhere with his motorcycle for some fee that he inflated out of proportion. He took me to the market several times though he gave up trying to extort money because I play stupid and keep going round and round when he tried to weasel his reason for asking double charge.

He was horrified that I took his picture front and clear and he tried to call his acquaintance to come back, but the other guy, the same thug as he is, keeps running as close as he can to the ravine at the other side of the field and drop his sack.

When he turned around I was there taking video.

He hurled bad words at me and threatened to kill me while trying to grab my cellphone, to no avail.

In his alternative universe, any woman would have cried for pity, I show him my biggest grin; on his face, showing my middle finger.

His acquaintance screamed obscenities warning him that I am under protection of the Police commissioner, my superior in the community leadership and they ran away.

By noon their picture and the video was all over community leaders offices and community whatsapp groups and everyone calling them names for dumping kittens in the neighborhood.

By then I was in the hospital for a check up.

Even before they are gone from sight, I was already standing at a big hole in that empty field. The rain had just stopped and some of the sand caved in to form a deep hole seven feet (2.1 meter) deep.

At the bottom of the pit was the flour sack those thugs dumped, and four teeny weeny wiggly kittens all with infected eyes trying to scramble their way out.

If I jumped in there feet first, I won’t be able to get out. So I took the way around, holding to bamboo stumps and wild bushes to get to the shallower part of the pit.

I hate to do it, but if I am to bring all four kittens back up, I will have to put them back into the sack.

I had planned to tie the sack over my shoulder, like cape, with the kittens inside, but obviously they squirm, and it made my job harder because then I have to hold the sack with one hand and climb only with one other.

Just at the top of the pit, the rocky sand I stepped on caved in, and I roll back into the bottom, with little avalanche on top of me.

A man, the only other person in that field who dig sand from that field saw what happened, but he did nothing. He looked at me and see I am alive, so he went away and go back digging.

I got out of the pit about one hour later, with bruises, sprained leg, and two swollen ankles.

Boy ain’t that hurt.

All four kittens survived and went to the vet for treatment, but the smallest one, younger than Merida, was in a bad shape.

I carried her everywhere near my heartbeat in a sling to keep her warm and to help calm her down. She drank all the milk I gave her. She took medicine and seemed to be better. She climbed onto my chest last night when I sleep, but she crossed over this morning, when all other kittens were running around my bed with Kaka in the lead.

They made my bed their soccer field, and all of them angry when I shove them out because I need to work.

They can’t be angry anymore when I came out, because it means they’ll lose their food.

Then I walk around like Pied Piper with eight kittens marching behind me, Kaka in the lead.

~ Josie


Published by

Josie And The Whiskers' Syndicate

The first and only cat refuge in Bandung (West Java - Indonesia) a capital breeder of a nation without animal welfare law. We care for Bandung's unwanted animals, operate a TNR as much as our budget allows, and continue to educate people about compassion to animals

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