FIGHT SONG

What happened was that I was sitting on the curb at that time, by a food cart, in a somewhat empty sidewalk, waiting for my fried rice to be cooked.

Not many cars there, in fact the only car parking nearby was the D 999 JI. Black Kia Picanto. D is Bandung area code and while you can have two alphabet letters or three at the end of the license, all cars have four numbers on it, unless you “buy” a certain number you want (e.g. 999 or 123, or 555) from police for a few times the price of normal license.

This old man just walked in from the other direction, went into the car, and turned on the light. I assumed he was an old man because he has graying hair and graying beard.

I stood up and gestured at him to wait for a minute because there were two kittens under his car. His window was down at that moment and he hasn’t start the car, so I was sure he heard what I say.

So it’s not like I just crawl under his car all of a sudden.

He went out and asked me what was going on. I told him again that there were two kittens under his car.

Then I squatted to retrieve the kittens.

At that time he just put his toes by my nose (It was so close I can touch his shoes when I turn my head) and said “Cats? Then rid of cats out of my way, and rid you out of my sight”

Flat, cold, but it sounded like a stinky loud fart to me. Rid of cats out of his way and rid me out of his sight.

I hadn’t answer. He just turned away, went back to his car, and retreat it, with one of the kitten (I managed to save one) mere half inch from the wheel and my arm and face somewhere under the car bumper.

I can’t get it out of my mind. I was so angry, and even more so because I was conscious enough not to grab a paving stone just arm length to my left and slam it on his face.

Hence angry vibes on my Facebook status.

Just a bit later my mother wrote in Whatsapp.

“What about you [should have] used lasso and bait on the cats instead of crawling in”
“It is natural for the man to do what he did, he has the right and he is protecting his property”

She didn’t know how it happened, she never asked. I didn’t write the detail on my status, and she even wasn’t there.

And I should have put that bait under the car and lassoed the kittens.

Oh gee, thanks!

I was already struggling to contain my emotion, but I tried to straightened her up and told her that she shouldn’t judge if she wasn’t there, but what I got was more tantrum, more passive aggressive, more crap.

All of those happened when Newton’s system suddenly shut down and I was in the middle of running all over places pulling this pipe and that bottle.

I lost Newton that night; a punch on my face before I even start to digest what was happening.

It was like one of my organs was ripped out of me while standing.

Aside from all those, Ramadhan is coming. The festivities that people always ignore because they don’t understand, no matter how much I tried to explain.

Basically, Ramadhan in like what would likely happened if one day, out of clear blue sky God said “Tomorrow is the end of the world and the fanciest, most fashionable, prettiest, handsomest, people with the best of possessions will live, and the rest will perish”

Ramadhan is like Mardi Gras, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Christmas and Armageddon happens in the same day for 30 consecutive days.

All of my friends said “We will prepare for it, we will fund raise for more in advance”

But all these five years, none of them get into the mind of anybody. Because it doesn’t happen to them. So when the idea of “preparing before hand and explain to people what is going to happen” I said “Forget it”

Ramadhan starts today, but even a week before eggs that used to be IDR 18,000/kg (1 kg = 2 lbs) becomes IDR 25,000/kg. Chicken that used to be IDR 42,000/kg becomes 52,000/kg and beef that used to be 80,000/kg becomes 122,000/kg.

None of my donors is Lawrence of Arabia or Prince Al Something ibn Someone who will understand what is going on, so I am on my own. I had to figure things out before we all die in starvation.

So I have Ramadhan, I had this old man, and I had my mother giving the right to total stranger to abuse her own daughter, I had Newton going away.

I went blank. I messed up the days, I thought today was Wednesday (it’s Thursday here), I mistaken the time, I fumbled on my schedule, my fund raising is in disarray, I couldn’t sleep, I forgot to eat, I just flew out of my rails and went astray.

The next thing I know, I find myself sitting in that SOHO complex, between people chatting and smoking, thinking what am I doing and what I am supposed to do.

Then I realized that in my hurry l left my cellphone at home so I either go back home and spend double amount of money back and forth, or just go with bus and be quick so I can catch up the last line.

What would it be? It’s really funny, but even to such simple question, I didn’t know the answer.

And there was this little tortie, out of nowhere, walking her tiny steps from around the corner, to nearby food cart selling meatballs. She was sitting right in front, looking all the way up to the end of her neck capacity.

Nothing happened.

So she stood, walk her tiny steps to the next cart, sit right in front, looking all the way up to the end of her neck capacity.

The old lady there, who people call “grandma” was smiling to her, cheering her up, turn her back, and move on.

Feels familiar.

So she stood, walk her tiny steps to the next cart, sit right in front, looking all the way up to the end of her neck capacity.

She found herself taken away by a gigantic arm to the corner, and given one pouch of fragrant smelling food that she gobbled down growling.

So there’s my answer.

I put her in my bag, went back home, put her down, took my cellphone, and off to the colony.

She set herself apart from the other, even until today. She watch and interact with the others, she is quiet and unassuming, and at the end of the day, follow me to my bedroom, set herself a spot in the far corner, and call it the day.

She probably doesn’t know why she was where she was, she probably doesn’t know what happened to her life, she doesn’t know where her mother is now, she doesn’t know the way to go back to the family she knew, she definitely doesn’t know what will happen, she doesn’t know what is best to do.

She only know to walk her tiny steps to one of the carts, look up, and sat still.
For who knows how long, it doesn’t produce anything, but that particular day, it produced everything.

Life goes on, so does she, so should I.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

“Fight Song” is a song by Rachel Platten.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
A lot of fight left in me

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong (I’ll be strong)
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
Know I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Published by

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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