She was the one I had come for – the little girl in second photo. She was trying to hold herself together on her matchstick legs, walking against the weight of hunger and endless gusts of wind that must have felt like a typhoon for her.

She was alone in that concrete rim behind the bus terminal down the main road where our house stands on the hill; the strip of pedestrian area filled with illegal food stalls and souvenirs shops, and many of the thugs and mobs that come in to every terminal around the world.

She tried the backdoor of a stall and meowed, though what must be her wholehearted plea did not produce even a whisper.

The two women chatting did not notice, so she walked the next mile to the next open door. Actually it’s not a mile, it’s just three steps away, but it seemed to me she walked many steps just to reach the crack of the door-less way through the stall and meow again.

This time a street punk who often jumped into local transport like a pirate hijacking for ransom stepped out from that hole. She missed narrowly, but the wind from that semi shredded jeans and that thick leather boot sent a swish of air on her face; she closed her eyes for a few seconds.

And the boot kicked her next. First to her forehead, next on her chest.

I had my hand full then. 14 lbs of tuna, 6 kilograms of frozen beef, 8 pounds of eggs, and about the same amount of boneless chicken, a dozen boxes of full cream goat’s milk; food for the shelter the next whole week.

So it’s my turn to hold myself together. I can end up actually killing someone – no, seriously. That whole week was so full of Lord D. Head and Sir A. Holes, sometimes Lady Bitch too, lack of job, chasing end of the month (mortgage need to be paid) and fundraising failures. All the pent up anger.

I dropped off my rented bike in front of the house, shove everything inside, have tuna distributed between Spots, Hanshin, Mama Grey, Sierra and Tabby. Down the way about two hundred meters, my trophy hunting guy, the blue tabby old man I have been trying to trap, waiting for his share. He still won’t let anyone get near him. Throw the tuna (or whatever offering) down or he will snatch it with a jump and left his gifter with punctured hand.

He got his share too; but then I locked my door right back and go back down to the terminal.

Thirty minutes. If it was a big boy I’d have lost him, but a tiny baby won’t go far.

She was laying down to her side, as if she had died, on top of a decaying sheet of what used to be a bamboo basket.

I picked her up, and see that her forehead and chest had blackened from a street thug boot print, and put her inside a secret pocket inside my jacket. Some saw what I did, but my face is an honest face. Whatever I feel, whatever I think, it shown in big bold letter on my face.

On my way around back home, I saw a pair of eyes staring at me. A cute, fluffy calico kitten. Her silent observation attracted the other, and soon I am a zoo animal with four little audiences. One of them, at the back of the box in seventh photo was surprised when I touch his head and he scream, and the mother came in response to her personal 911.

You know the rest of the story, I bought two baskets, one for the mother, the other for the kittens.

When I crossed the street and hailed a bike ride, however, this young guy next on the line bent far and away to look into my basket and ask “Is that cat? Is that cat?”

I had bad omen on this so I just brush past him and move on, but he lives around and he can always ask his friend who gave me the ride where my house is.

I got back home, dumped all the meat in the freezer, changed my clothes, put on some lipstick, and went to work.

Ten minutes later it rained like Noah is going to go sailing down from heaven.

I checked on the colony, I left food in a double cardboard box so it won’t be soaked in the rain, then I went home.

Right under the fence there was this brown box then went viral in my Instagram. I sighed the longest sigh, got the box away, opened the fence, and hauled it in. The box was brand new, and I can see that it’s freshly opened. Someone had bought himself a mini surround system.

The box was not taped, and it was quiet, but Hanshin who sat by it knew. He had followed me since early in my career. He stooped and sniffed the side of the box. He looked at me, then sniffed at the side of the box.

One of the presents is hanging by it’s tubby belly ready to plop out.

I’ve got mail of four. Brown tabby twins, and a pair of little black hiss.

It was supposed to be an air hole; with the size of adult male fist.

Six in the morning, four at night.

I went back down and bought two laundry baskets because there is no more Priority Mail box in the house and the sound system box is soaked wet.

I set the baskets in front of my bedroom, went all about feeding the cats and cleaning the house, calmed the frantic mother down, thanking Thelma and Miss Kitty for jumping in head first and be my nannies, and lay down for a rest before my legs are giving me cramps again for standing on them too long.

The next day all kittens are jammed back into the Priority Mail box again and overflowing to the sides.

I peeked into the basket and find a huge baby had taken over the place. Theoden looked embarrassed, but not sorry.

I went back down and buy yet another basket.

And on my way home, I saw the white one in the first photo, laying on her side as if she was dead, right under the tire of a transport, and she was not moving when I lift her up.

So home she went.

And eleven made a soccer team.

~ 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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