She just sat there in the middle of very busy pedestrians, on the last Friday of 2017. It was just the end of Friday prayers for the Muslims, and everyone is out for the holiday, for work, for home, for lunch. Me, for the laundromat. I found one a little bit further from my usual one that will not rummage through my underwear like I am some sort of suicide bomber trying to blow the whole town. This one is professional and courteous, so never mind the extra cost to get there.

No one is for her.

Cats sleeps everywhere; and there are tons of them in that strip of the road named after the large mosque. Ten minutes walk, twenty minutes back and forth. At night there will be rows after rows of food gawker stalls along the road,and each gawker will have at least two cats, related or not, hoping for food as much as the food maker pray for their lucky star.

So I walked passed her, and went to the other side because it’s smoldering hot 101.5 Dalmatian Fahrenheit (38.6 Celcius) in the middle of what is supposed to be winter (rainy season here in the tropics) and I need to buy detergent before I passed out. There were only USD 50 left in my pocket and only USD 200 something for the cats until January the second so I better not squander anything, even a bottle of water.

I walked back and saw her sleeping on her side. Above her a man with religious attire was sitting on the concrete bunk that separates the pedestrian area and protects passersby from falling into a big drain down under. He was enjoying a plate of noodle and slush.

Something is not right. She was too cool to be a hungry street cat so thin, I can see her tummy skin concave between her ribs and her pelvis.

I took my deep breath and sigh. It just never stop, isn’t it?

I have to turn to the right and to the laundromat; but guess what? I turned to the left and to a petshop. I have bought there quite often. They don’t sell good quality food (my “good quality” is grain free with good standard and consistent rating), but they carried moderate quality and some veterinary specific food, Whiskas (of course, they are everywhere) and a basket.

I bought nutri gel, science diet a/d, liquid kitty milk, ten pouches of Whiskas and a basket. All cost me 38 US Dollars. I can skip the basket and save money, but I have two travel bags of laundry with me aside from my own.

I am crazy. One person and 95 cats with only 15 US Dollars until the end of New Year with a blast. What sort of emergency would 15 Dollars cover?

So I came back to her the third time. The guy with slush was gone and she was sitting alone, still in the middle of all the hustle and bustle. I opened the a/d and she perked, but she cannot stand.

Well, it turned out she can, but ten minutes later, wobble three times, and fell back down. Total time: three seconds. World Record.

I picked her up, put her in the basket with her a/d, and walked to the laundromat. She was busy licking so I just shoved her basket under the table so no one would see her, comment and make my already crispy brain blow up.

She stays in the basket the whole afternoon, to the envy of everyone else. Which cat are not tempted with Hill’s a/d? and the smell of cool, fresh kitty milk right out of the can?

I waited. If she still can’t walk by nightfall, I will call my kitty ambulance vet.

She jumped out of her own.

The next day she is stronger. She is friendly so I checked her mouth, and her tongue is deep pink with little sores on the sides.

Time for antibiotics, time for subcu.

On Sunday, the last day of 2017, she can walked like a hero, and she can jump like superwoman.

She was terrified of everything, but she can walk, and she can jump, and she eats by herself, and she drink by herself, and her sores start to heal. She gained half a pound.

And she can’t stop tripping me because she keeps rubbing all over my calves even when I walked, so I lift her up, and cradle her in my arm.
I told her that this house is like a maze, with roadblocks and all the other cats, it’s worse than Triwizard. It won’t be funny if I fall and bump my head on something, because that will mean no one is around to help turn her concave tummy into a convex, but if she gives me this chance, I can perhaps turn the future convex into parabolic.

She looked at me, gave me a rub, cheek to cheek, and stayed out of my way.

She went frantic again under the crazy boom and bang of the New Year’s eve, but when she start cutting my way again, I lift her up, cradle her in my arm, she’d rub me cheek to cheek, and stay out of the way. Everyone is tense that night.

When Kerry’s fund cleared, she will go with my vet, and then she can choose whether she wish me merry and farewell, or stay with us, but either way, I wish her good life,

…And a Happy New Year.

~ 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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