TOOTH AND NAIL

Is it dawn? I have blackout curtain now, so I can’t tell.

I woke up by the smell though; the rotten, pungent spray of sulphuric acid and I know who did it.

He slept by my side, calming down eventually, but I can tell that at that moment he is not sleeping. He was struggling to move to stay closer to me. I think I need to turn the heating pad on. It must have been automatically switched off after ninety minutes, when both of us eventually were exhausted and fell to our sleep.

Spots has always been an outdoor cat. Even when he stays inside for a few hours every day after I picked him up from the colony, he burst out on the first second I opened the door.

When I eventually up my game, move faster or place my legs in such way that he can’t burst out, he would slip like breeze of wind behind me when I entered the studio. He would rather jumps three meters (10 feet) high from the window down to the front yard than stay indoors.

I don’t worry too much then. He is never far, usually on walls when the sun blazes, but he will always come when I am outside the house.

Spots has always been thin. I deworm him and give him anti-flea treatment more regularly than the others, but it doesn’t seem to help him gain weight, so I thought he is like the enviable girls of instagram, with perfect body shape and perfect skin, perfect hair and perfect complexion who seems to be eating everything since they posted all sort of things, but stay Barbie all their lives.

Well, we have Stubby here. Five or six years old with body shape and size of a six months old, perfectly healthy girl.

I saw Spots squatted on one of our pots one day and was stung by the smell five feet away. The sound of it, the shape of it…if I carry him around on Halloween, all those ghouls and demons and spirits would go running back to their graves and stay there for the next century.

Still he will be fighting tooth and nail if I get him inside. He will scratch and bite; he will shred me to pieces if I try to give him medication.

I told him too many times that his way is not a way to live. I will let him out once we sort his biological warfare bomb problem, but he is not into anything I say.

Since the diplomatic way failed, I wrestle him then. Antibiotics, probiotics, kaopectate, supplement. I got so used to him clawing and try to kill me, I don’t really care anymore as long as he takes his medicine. My hands will adapt and grow rhino skin one day.

One week, two weeks, he is not getting better.

He eats a lot but his weight is dropping. He is active and alert but his stamina is diminishing.

And his waste is even worse.

I have seen things like this. I have taken quite a number of cats like him. Gradually he will be paralyzed, and then he will be sedentary, and then they die. In kittens it’s a lot faster.

Still as long as he is fighting and kicking and screaming and biting. I’ll stand by him.

As long as he is living, I will live by him.

I sprinkle nitrate-eating bacteria on a diaper and put it on him to reduce the smell, but it still would knock me out from time to time. It’ll still wake me from my sleep, like this morning, but there is not much place left to quarantine a cat like him, and he will die in solitary confinement if I made him anyway.

And who in their correct mind would sleep beside a cat with chronic diarrhea with smell that can make hell crumble? In most common setting he will be sacked and dumped in the most horrible places.

It seems like, Spots realized that I was awake. He lifted his head with much trouble trying to peek on my face to be sure.

I blow his face when it poked up from my shoulder. He sent me a silent meow, and drag himself with even more trouble, sleeping on my neck.

But first, I need to change his diapers.

First, I need to change his super absorbent sheet.

Then I need to turn his heating pad back on.

It’s just about seven when he feels comfortable, eventually. He rolls away from me in his sleep and shift back to his heating pad at the end of it. He used to have the whole parking lot for himself so who cares if he rolls all over the place, but it’s not warm and soft like he learns my bed can be.

By then I would have to start my day though. It will be the first day the cleaner start to work so I better get myself rearranged. I used to be on my own, so who cares if I do the laundry first and bath later, or the other way around, but maybe a scheduled life is not that bad. At least I will have extra pair of hands, so I can spend more time blowing his face and change his diaper.

As long as he keeps fighting, I’ll be fighting next to him.

As long as he keeps biting, I’ll be trying next to him.

As long as he keeps clawing, I’ll be climbing next to him.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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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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