“Not all treasure is silver and gold, mate”, he said.
“Oh, aye” I replied; “Though you are indeed silver – and white – and you are my treasure” I look at him briefly, and then return to my cellphone.
“Say, let me take your picture, just once”
He didn’t answer.
“Just one, for keep sake. I know I will never capture you, but let me proud just a little for almost, let me say it again, almost, get Captain Jack, no sparrow”
And he sat there, very still, looking straight at me, and I took his picture. The only one in which he looks straight into the camera. All the others are taken when he was in the middle of something else, mostly sleeping. Otherwise it will be blurry all over.
I put a quote that I think represent us; him and I; but since I lost all the original when my hard drive broke.
It was those days when he was younger; say, about five years ago. We first met when I noticed how he sat still by the front door of the vet clinic at the SOHO complex. The husband of the vet will look at him and stood up urgently; take a bag of cat food, the cheapest in the clinic, and pour down some kibbles on the floor by the mat, where he sat.
He will eat silently. Then he will go.
Everybody said, he will come back again, about three hours or four, sit in silence until someone pour him his treat, he’d eat, and then go away.
No one knows where he came from, and no one knows when he started to live in the complex; whether he ever belong to someone, or whether he used to be known as someone.
No one told me he lost one eye, until the vet’s husband told me. And the vet, his wife, said that if I want to take him, she will give him a free neuter.
He was old. Well, not as old as today, but old. He no longer fit to be the sire of kitty mills, like those littered the whole town in and out.
I still have some space then; and since he is so familiar with human, I thought it’d be nice if he can call some place home again. Not around the garbage or dusty porch or empty parking lots, though those has their own appeal, but a home with roof, a place to call his own.
So I came back two days later and waited until he came, but to no avail. I left my basket with the clinic and count on them to watch out for him.
I took him home the next day at the call of the clinic.
And then, I call him Jack. After Jack Sparrow of The Pirates of The Carribean. Alas he is no sparrow, though, he is a cat, so just Jack.
He was, and still is, a wonderful companion. He never complained; he is a man of few meows. He ate whatever I put on his bowl, he took any medicine I gave him if somehow his age and his life as a lone ranger on the street overcome him.
He is playful. When no one is around he’d peek through the window and stare right to my neck, that it creeps me enough to turn around, only to find his perpetual wink at me.
He is wise. Many times when other cats were agitated, he just yawn and walk away, pawing the kitchen door once or some more until I opened the door and he can sleep and climb on the wire baskets, or on the fridge, or on the kitchen cabinet, anywhere.
He is smart; clever, and independent. He is patient and he is kind, unless force is absolutely necessary.
He is, very most of all, is my lovely darling. If he was a man of my own kind he’d probably be my man.
As of late, however, again his age and his life as a lonesome ranger on the street caught up with him. His silver strain of hair turned grey, a little bit coarse, sometimes frizzy. He didn’t care, I don’t mind. He got under the weather easily. Just sneezing and a bit coughing, but then after a week he’d be fit like a fiddle.
In the past two weeks, he moved.
He moved from the wide and large cattery to the security of my small house. It’s warmer inside I guess, a temperature more friendly to his probably creaky old bone. Sometimes he’d insist to go into my room as well. He’d sleep on the bed like a gentleman (no pushing me to the edge of anything) and then when I rise in the morning and scramble like a drunkard outside, he’d follow me and continue his adventure, sailing over seven seas.
Earlier this afternoon I stopped him down the middle of his stroll from the window to the porch toward the wide open to the window of the kitchen; looking over the cattery.
I think I can read his mind. He was reminiscing his younger life as a kitty mill cat who was sick, and brought to the complex to die. He lost his eye, trademark of a certain virus and bacteria, but he is Captain Jack (no sparrow). The sea of his life might be rough; but he is the captain! No matter how difficult, he will always prevail.
That night, when I crawl and drag myself to the bed, just because I can no longer stand on my feet, he failed to jump to the bed, like he used to mock me.
I lift him up and put him on my duvet. “What’s up Jack? feeling geriatric today? You should ask Rufus what’s his secret”
He didn’t answer then, and I would never know.
What I know is that Jack sprawl by my side, and set sail over seven seas; all the way over the rainbow.
It’s just then, as I touch his body, starting to get cold, I can hear him whisper to the sun rise
“Now, bring me that horizon”