At long last, here I am. At the last bus stop with the last ride, just in time at 10 pm. It’s dark, and cold, and even the usually hectic road starts to die.

I took a deep breath. Just one more ride, a little bit uphill, and I will be home; a little bit past ten, perhaps, or usually halfway toward eleven.

For years I have tried to get home earlier, but I always end up dropping by one more place along the way. By the time I shut my front door for one last time that day, it will be close to midnight. A day well spent, a life fully extended.

Yet I know I can’t keep doing this. The grind and tear of the day burn me out much faster and leave me down to ashes much longer.

Still, no one else to pass the baton to. No one else to take over maybe just a part or two; like that cry.

It’s so loud it pierced the sky; and the emptied four lane road lined with large brick workshops along the way make it soar. I know it sounds like it comes from across the street, but my good eyes failed me, and my good senses comes to dull. I am burning the last wick of my life today, after all.

If this road hasn’t been empty, it will take me yet another half an hour just to cross the street. People in Bandung are not known for their kindness, and generosity, despite all the jargons and prints in the travel agents. They never give way for people crossing the street. Sometimes, they even ride on pedestrian’s lane to cut the line on traffic. If they hit something, easy, call them names, glare at them, and intimidate them. Bluff and puff all the way to the moon.

Well, I am across the street anyway; and still looking around while the call stops.

I figured I am on the right spot then, so I keep looking down, for tiny little fur balls, because that’s definitely the sound of a kitten.


I walked a few steps away and wait. It will call again, and I will shift closer a little bit slower, a little bit less intimidating though I am not stealing someone else’s lane.

It did end up take a but more than half an hour though. The baby is black. Pitch black. When I pinpoint a darker dot covered by other fifty shade of dark, I didn’t know whether I pick it up by the head or by the tail; but it’s so small, so I just spooned the whole of it, like backhoe.

I looked around but no mama. No sibling, even dead ones.

He didn’t go easy into the night, looking at how he struggle and shouted at me, asking to go out of my bag; but I have to be cruel for a little bit, otherwise it will be much harder for the both of us.

When I set my bag down and open the zipper, he popped out like jack in the box on Halloween. Michelle hisses, Julia jumped, and Spots just made his eyes rounder. He sprung out, slip somewhere and by the time I finished changing my clothes, he’s gone.

At least he is inside the house; and I am just about burning the last bit of my wick, so I wash my face, give the cats their medicine, turn off the light, and crash into the dark. Unlike him, I will go easy into the night, if it let me.

The next day he kept his distance. Most of the time he will be sitting by the window looking out. I will walk here, there and back again, and he will watch me until he is dizzy and go back to enjoy his day.

It was raining early that day. He hid under the shelves and watched the others get their food, and climb their favorite spot and curl up, and enjoy themselves. I know he will run if I try to get near him, so I just shove a plate of warm food right in front of his nose.

The second day, it’s all different. He meowed loudly as I open my bedroom door to start the day. He follows me everywhere, and even to the cattery. He looks like a little guy from the country side going to New York. Looking up and around, as he walks forward, assess his direction from time to time, and run to catch up.

He is still hard to see, especially since his eyes hasn’t changed yet, so I often have to look and call for him and spend a quarter of an hour looking for him while he is watching right next by me.

Seems like he knows, somehow, because after that he is always in the middle of everything. He squeeze to the middle of Kaka and Julia. He sit by the ginger kitties instead of the black ones, and stands by his hind legs and hug my leg if I missed the obvious.

The next day forward, I think it’s safe to say he thinks I am his mother.

I am not, but I’ll love him as much.

~ Josie


I don’t know what he is watching whenever he sits by the window, looking out, but maybe if you would sponsor him, he will tell you.
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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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