I can feel how hard the motorcycle driver was trying to beat the wind. We were so close and yet it’s a struggle to stay on course against the wind while we try to overcome the last hill that will bring us home.

All the way I will hear window banging, plastic roof holding on with all their might or blown away like dry leaves and slammed onto the street, into the drains, went to the sewers. Bamboo fences were shaking, some fell to the ground and obliterated what small amount of vegetables on the soil, or scare chickens to their frantic clucking.

Far away at the back of my house, where the cats live, blankets were in disarray, not by the cats, but by the wind. I had draped some of the thickest on top of the large pens where panicky cats stayed, so that they won’t be blown like jelly beans in the blender. Sometimes it helped, sometimes not.

Where people use asbestos as their roof, they are probably save; but I don’t want my cats cancerous because they inhale poison from their roof, so I use galvanized plates to top the cattery.

In the wind as crazy as the one blowing us off our roots this past week, even those metal sheet booms and bangs, sometimes all day and all night. It was like horror movies, in deserted town, in empty villages.

And yet this is our home. The one that we have not yet paid off, and the only one we have.

We can only choose to hold on. I can only give my best to keep everyone warm, well nourished, immune boosted.

But even behind the thickness of the wall and the warmth of the house, Tiger the ginger fighter and the black mangled kitten have always been a special concern.

They came from the street not long ago, without food, without mother. They came with only with what left of their good luck and the heap of challenges mounted against them.

I went over the top for them. Only the best of food, only the top tier vitamins, extra blanket, many more. I know they are at the weakest point and they need all the help they can get to buy them time and rebuild their own stronghold.

It’s just that, it’s kind of tough since we are sometimes lost in translation, and what history they have in their past life will never be known. It doesn’t help that most sickness start with the same symptoms: Fever, diarrhea, and vomiting.

What happened to strike their luck on us this time though, was Feline Panleukopenia.

Some call them Feline Parvovirus. Some called them Feline Distemper. Whatever the name, they are fast and they are furious. They lurk in the darkness for long and by the time they show their ugly rear, there are already too many of them.

In kittens three months and younger, it’s 100% mortality rate. In adult, chance is a little bit better.

They kill in less than twenty four hour.

First the newly reunited tabby Missy, then Tiger, then the black kitten, then everyone else.

I spent all my ammunition. I gave them the best treatment, I raced all my might to stabilize them because if they stay stable for 12 hours, they will recover, and they will be immune for life.

I had forgotten the three months old and younger. I had forgotten 100% mortality rate, or I even in the brief time when I remember, I simply deny it. Tiger came so close. He beaten death and he survived nasty surgery and is on the cusp of better days. I have pictures in my mind where we will go to the physio together, where we will celebrate his first step, and a video I will boastfully show everyone when he is running and jumping like the real tiger.

The black kitty was amazing. She healed faster than any mangled kitten I ever know and she didn’t sank even when her mother took her sisters back in but not her. I have pictures in my head where she will wake up to my biggest grin and she will see her new leg; her new paw. I will have a video showing her walking all four like the real deal.

But the night they start vomiting, those all gone with the wind. There was no more smile, no more coo. Piles and piles of towel, underpads, diapers, kitchen towel, hot water, heating pad, blankets, more towel.

When some window somewhere slammed onto their sill the cats spooked out and Helen cried like a lost child, I had to leave my babies and calm her down.

At other time in the middle of subcu dripppings some branch cracked off the tree, blown like stick and fell into our backyard. Blossom and Silvervine screamed their lungs out and I yet again had to leave the terrified babies and calm the cats down.

Two a.m in the morning, it all quieted down, and all of a sudden, the whole town fell into silence.

Tiger fell asleep, holding my arm, and the black kitten on my lap. I was barely awake, but I can feel their breath slowing down, I can feel their body relaxed.

I lay them down side by side, and I drag what is left of me to clean things up and check on the new tabby Missy who fought her own war, her mother by her side.

There will be four hours left, and if they stay alive, they will survive.

But at sunrise, three long hours later, two of them were gone.

So I sat there, alone. All the long way that they came into my life, all the effort to put them back to the better life, all the trials, all the fun, all the hope. We were so close.

And now we are so far.

I opened the door and saw Missy at the side of her mother. The whole night as I ran for the next weapon to fight for Tiger and the kitten, I saw her Mother pushed Missy to the water bowl and have her drink. It must have pained her somehow but she let Missy nurse and suckle. I don’t know if she still have milk, but as much as I try to keep Tiger and the black kitten up with drips of honey in their mouth, I did the same for her.

I sat on my knee in front of the mother, Missy is still here, sleeping, her nose tight on her mother’s side, her constant breath raised her back before it sank back down. She is warm and dry. Her fever subsided.

Death cheated me two to one and take the best away.

Fine, but death should get ready because I’ll fight back and keep five that stays fair and square.



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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