STRAY

When I go home, I have one mission: Finish cleaning the house, and rewrite “Love Me Tender” I wrote that post in the middle of chatting with a friend, whatsapp-ing with my mom (and two vets), kittens screaming on my ears, and my cellphone kept flashing the clock to remind me it’s time to pick tuna. I have exactly one hour to write, and babies were not helping me by keep crossing the keyboard and fighting about who sat on my lap first. The answer supposed to be none, at least not that hour. Sure, when people read that post, they saw love, I saw mess. I can do better, I supposed to do better.

I have to do better; imperative. I have to write better every day so that people come and read, and see the helplessness and the terribly dim hope that all the cats here had to huddle under. I have to write every day so that although facebook keep trying to bury me under ads and antics of the world, people will remember us and come and read.

That was 9 pm. That was when I stood by the road watching Shota and Fuuta enjoy a full bowl of dry food and the old runt of the colony at Elinor’s munching on his long awaited soft food. A little far away for him, but just next door, Fergus was watching, part of him wanted to come, the other keep him away. I had tried to trap him again a few days ago when some bozo blasted house music from their car and startled everyone. He bit me, he didn’t want to go near since.

So I came to him, showing both my hands. One holding food, the other, my cellphone. I was chatting with Christine Alice and I will book my local uber after serving dinner to the fluffy old king.

The last consensus on our chat, was that she will finish work and have a cup of tea, and I will be home to accomplish my mission.

But then, two chat request and an FB messenger miss call.

It was brief, but it detailed an exchange student from Australia heard a kitten crying and found that the kitten had one of its front leg ripped off.

It was 9 pm. For the Australian, it’s evening. For Indonesian, and a female, it’s late. The sender seemed to be legit.

I returned his message asking if he can keep the kitten overnight and I will pick it up tomorrow.

He said the kitten probably won’t last that long.

So instead of typing my own address into my taxi app, I typed the one he provided, and thought it will be two hours round trip to one of the upscale places in Bandung.

My driver came, I explained again where I was going, and he start driving, turning on google map. It’s the rule of the game.

Google map took us to a thin road in the middle of rice fields.

I used my own phone and typed in the address again, showed it to my driver, and press start.

It didn’t work out. We’re further into some village I didn’t even know exist.

He tugged his other phone and the result wasn’t less damning.

We got lost, and we go round and round in that same newly build and scarcely populated residential clusters surrounded by nothing but waving rice with little electricity.

When I pointed out that it’s the third time we passed that same sign on the road, we took turn getting out of the car and ask whoever we meet. Some pointed to the right direction, at least half way of it, the other either turn us back where we were or speak complete nonsense.

It was 10:30 pm then.

The driver closed the transaction; his smile diminished, and he looked older when he was serious like that. I was already serious when we rode into that rice field the first time.

I turned on whatsapp and message everyone asking for some route. He saw me and turned on whatsapp and message fellow drivers for a route.

The exchange student message me again asking if I am still far, because he finally found the kitten.

We finally got out of that freaking labyrinth and reach actual destination half an hour before midnight.

And the student showed me the kitten, hiding behind one of his host family’s fancy planter. As a bonus, he showed me the mother. He even ask for a towel from his host family.

Like usual, I pour my tote out and crammed it into the other bag (used for cat food and water, so it sort of smell) and let the mother rest snuggly in my handbag. That sale bag had scored four lives by then.

Saying my thank you, and apologies for popping up in the middle of the night, I tried hailing another local uber; but GPS pointed the application to the wrong place so I have to typed in where I was.

Every single time, instead of showing my actual pick up point, the map showed that freaking labyrinth again. It was ten minutes post midnight, and my cellphone battery was dying because I keep it on while we got stuck earlier.

I know I don’t have much chance.

I called taxi, the best in the nation, explain where I am, telling them I am low on battery and that I am in precarious situation and ask them to pick me up

Taxi arrived in five minutes.

See, there is a reason why they become the best riders in the whole country without even peeking on dang google map.

They didn’t even budge and keep their courtesy while the mother was trying frantically to get out of the bag. They didn’t even budge when she peed out of fear in the car, and they still give me 20% discount for being platinum member.

If only they know I am willing to pay that much because I am betting my life on their expertise.

I set foot into the house at 00:40

I had to lock the mother up in the cage because she freaked out like all hell broke lose and she trampled her kitten, who was itself in agony. If you cannot handle watching graphic picture, let me tell you, that baby stuck his leg somewhere and tug it off by force of fear and pain combined. All of the skin were torn away and dangle by the tip of its leg. Its thumb was ripped away with the skin, and the rest of its fingers were only bones.

For those with solid gut, see it for yourself.

I am on my way to the vet.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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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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