Most likely, it’s between Hanshin and Sierra again, or Sibylle, or Tabby, because Maeve is inside with me. Since Hanshin used to be alone outside, with more and more trapped and spay/neutered cats hanging around the area, it probably felt a little bit crowded for him.

Besides, it never goes more than a few yowl and scream at each other, and it never involve any claws or something, so I was not in a rush changing my clothes after a long day at work.

When I am all done, I peeked through the window of my studio, looking out straight to the street, like Juliet calling for Romeo.

Hanshin is down there, crouching, ears flat, fang bared, but it’s none toward the ladies. In front of him is five months old, maybe six, Pads’ size, white and yellow cat with the same pose: crouching, ears flat, fang bared, and stretched out claw.

Realizing my mistake for lazying around I rushed down and sweep the other cat before Hanshin lunged forward. I know Hanshin is not rough, he won’t kill his opponent, especially if it’s smaller. He won’t even claw, but Hanshin is twice as big as the young lad here, so it counts on something.

Both of cats were surprised of course. A lady out of nowhere stomped in to the middle of their battle. The young cat wondered why he suddenly curled like a football in my arm; Hanshin looked at me and sigh.

There goes the fun. Mom is a party pooper.

My kitty ambulance vet was on her way to drive back other cat, so I thought, since this little stranger was already cozy in my arms, why not?

So, into the carrier he went.

Then came the good food, fresh and clean water, and vitamin paste.

He ate like he hasn’t eat for a week.

My vet came, I told her what happened, and show her the new kid on the block.

He came back to our house three days ago, still a little bit dizzy from the sedation.

He slammed the water bowl but drink anyway; he kicked the food bowl upside down but eat anyway, then he came back to his carrier, curl up, and back chasing the Zs.

I woke up at midnight to what must be an earthquake.

I thought it was Bloody Mary and Bianca; two of them always push pans and woks off the counter.

But when I crept out of bed and scrambled out of the room, every thing was toppled on top of the other.

It really was an earthquake; or so I think.

I was already sleep deprived and having heavy bouts of migraines from when Adaggio was having his seizures more or less three times in the whole night, and then I have to catch up for work the next morning. So I sighed big time, turn back to my room and sleep. Tomorrow is another day.

As I clean things up in the morning, the new boy was busy making rounds swatting and bullying whichever cats he found. Everybody had a slap. My leg had a slap, my face got a scream, Thelma’s golden heart sank when she carefully walked closer to offer some consolation, but get a fierce claw instead.

“Hey, dude, I think I am going to call you Freddy. Freddy Krueger. You are so cruel” I finally was on the last strip of my patience.

He stopped and look at me.

“What did we do to you? We all offer you a warm place to sleep, share our drink, share our food, and share our friendship and you are acting like a jerk”

I didn’t expect it but he sat there in silence, eyes looking at me, mellowed.

I picked him up and put him on top of the plastic bin he toppled down just the night before.

I know he probably never had anything like this before. No one to call his name, no one to pat his head. No one to share him food, no one to give him drink. He probably only know that if other cats got near him, he has to claw and scream as fiercely and as loud as he can, and prepare to run away as fast as he can.

I patted his head. “We meant you no harm. Not even with the little surgery on your rear. If you can take just a little time, stay out for a while and watch us. You will see that we only have different life, but we are not different cats”

He seemed to understand.

By dusk he was going back and forth under the front door and tried to slip out whenever I open the door; but I won’t let him.

He still swat everywhere, but not as much. Others learned to ignore him.

“What about Conan?” I asked, when he sat by my foot again, for the third dinner.

“Conan the barbarian”

He didn’t care. He stayed by my foot to eat.

He has to wait for about three days, until I am sure his suture is healing well, then he can go out.

He darted out of the house like a speeding bullet the first time I let the door open. He stopped abruptly midway on the stair, and climb back. He sit by my foot, looking up, meowed once.

I show him where the food bowl and water are, and there he went.

I have never seen him again since; almost a week now. But every morning, by the front door, the food bowl is always empty, the water bowl always dry.

And there is always a dead mouse on my shoes.

~ Josie


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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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