Some cats will go straight home when I call them, some have to be picked up. Some cats just won’t go out even when the door is wide opened, some wasted no time and explore the universe.
Some cats turns up home after a little journey, some took longer to enjoy their adventure. Some, like Tao, touched the spirit of wilderness and rekindle the fire that burned within. The fire that made her ancestors kings of the jungle, ruler of the Savannah.
So when the builders again did not close the door behind them, Tao followed the sound of music by the hills, and walk into the unknown.
For her, yes; but it’s never the unknown to me. I have walked every inches of the surrounding hillside over and again; although I do not know every square like my own palm of hand, I know its people; cold hearted and ignorant. I know it’s season, cold, windy, rain and sun. I know its mischievous children, who, due to the lack of their livelihood, has nothing to play with but nature, and its domesticated flora and fauna. They are the next chain link that will grow just like their parents: cold and ignorant, with no regards nor respect for others.
Still a man made worry is no match of heaven made instinct. I can’t find Tao even after looking for her high and low, further and further, day and night.
Until one day, a cloudy morning after the storm, when I walked out for items to fix my sink, I saw her sitting by a deep sewer, looking to the streaming water below.
She was unrecognizable; almost. She was four kilograms of chubby beauty, now she is barely half her size. Our extreme weather is too much of a challenge for her. She can’t find food, she can’t hunt (under the storm) she had Upper Respiratory Infection.
I brought her home and Susan did not need to say anything; she probably can’t. I gave Tao fluid, and booster, and antibiotics. I gave her liquid food, I did as much as I can without overwhelming her system.
I set her up in the laundry room for fresh air.
She can barely walk, she can’t even stand without wobbling down. I did what I can, so the next best thing is give her some time; give her system some time to take all my offering and turn the tide to her favor.
There was not much hope, she was in a horrible state. We were almost sure she won’t make it, but we are giving our best, we are trying to the end.
The end needs time, still.
So, meanwhile, Susan and I went out to see available options on flooring the cattery.
Aside from getting a high pressure cleaner in good price, the floor hunting was total mess. Tricky calculation, unclear pricing, incompetent young men crumbling down on the face of two woman with intact logic, and a little bit of math.
We wasted the whole day, and try to get home in a bad traffic. So instead of going back home I drove Susan back to the hotel, visit the colony, and go back home.
But there was no Tao.
I look everywhere. Under the sink, behind the dryer, the washer, around the house.
The only way out of the laundry room is climbing three meters (10 feet) tall metal mesh and onto the slippery, fiberglass roof.
She can barely stand, she cannot walk. How can she climb?
How can she climb, if not with sheer will power?
I texted Susan and she told me the same thing.
I texted Christine Alice and she told me the same thing.
We all thought it’s impossible, but it won’t discredit the fact that Tao did get out of the laundry room.
And it was me who put her there so she can have fresh air which will help her lungs.
Both ladies told me it’s beyond my control, because, who would have known?
The rain start falling; bigger and bigger. Everyone slammed the door, closed the window, draw the curtain.
I put my jacket back and donned my raincoat.
I can race the rain. I can beat the storm, and thunder, and lighting. I know so because every time I call, some people will peek from behind their safe home, and their faces were loud enough to tell me they think I am crazy.
But there was no Tao,
Even when I lost my voice there was no Tao.
Even when the storm slapped my face there was no Tao
Even when my tears turned the rain salty, there was no Tao.
Even when I beg for another chance, the storm is too loud; my God can’t hear me. My God had stopped listening long ago.
Look, here are all the miracles. Here is the miracle of healing, and what I got is a miracle, in which Tao somehow, magically, climb ten feet tall mesh and onto the roof and probably fell to her death.
Still I blame no one but myself. I had this second chance to make her life right, and I blew it.
I will make this third chance with my own hand if I have to, but what did I get? crazier rain, bad visibility, thinning air.
And still no Tao.
Even when I never stop looking.
Even when I know I will never see her again.
Even when all the time I need, is a few minutes to say good bye.