The parking lot guy has probably been there the rest of the day; he has probably been there the rest of his life.

I have probably been there for the rest of half an hour; and I have only been there to pay for the order I made for the cats’ meat.

For the parking lot guy, he is probably a friend in need. When he was sitting by the walkway along the row of those stores and ATM. He doesn’t have a cubicle like the other guy, but he shouldn’t be there in the first place. That place has their own parking service, but people here are lazy; they stopped and parked wherever they want as long as they don’t have to walk the short way from their vehicle to the shops or ATMs, legal or not, and people like him go wherever the smell of money go, legal or not.

So nobody batted an eye when he has nowhere to sit when he had enough of standing, nobody cared if he sat curling on the curb, counting his money. Nobody cared about him, and in the lonely instant, a little stray cat is his only friend.

A cat is a cat, though, and there is nothing more to the situation, nothing more to the cat.

So when he has nothing to do and has time to spare, he keeps the cat near; when he has the world going on his cellphone or somewhere else in his mind, he pushes the cat away.

I shouldn’t have to detail the way it goes for the cat. I think you must all know how much of the world the man must be to the cat, even if his true love will never be recruited.

But those are all the reasons I diverted my steps when the man keeps pushing the cat away while smiling and giggling to his cellphone. Not the man, the cat. The cat who keeps coming to give a headbutt or two or as much as he can, trying to convince his man that he is worth his smile too, even for a minute.

Those are all the reason I sweep the cat away and open him a pouch of food in one corner, before I left him long enough to get my business done in the ATM, mere steps away from where the man was squatting. I didn’t have time nor give chance to myself to even look at him. He is no one to me just as much as he has been no one to everybody. He is only someone for a few minutes when these people comes back to their vehicle and drop some change for the “parking service” I doubt they even made one second eye contact.

I don’t have vehicle; I don’t need his service, I don’t need him.

The cat was there when I walked out of the ATM, sitting by the door; and he followed me to the corner where I took a picture of my transfer slip and finished my business. The cat followed me when I shifted one or two steps as I tidy up my bag; the cat followed me when I walked away to go home and answer to the call of my chores.

It was only the corner of my eye catching the man following me with his eyes that I looked down to realize what was happening.

It’s much more complicated between the cat and I in that one minute than the cat with the guy in their whole time together.

I took a deep breath, and think about free will, and how people have been using that “free will” as they see fit anytime, anywhere, anyway, and how it differs from my understanding. What I perceive, these people think free will is the right to do whatever someone wants in any given time and the consequences, no matter how ugly, will be later, whenever it is. Karma will come, yeah, one day. But meanwhile, what about those who have to bear the brunt of the other people’s free will?

I know I don’t have free will about where and when I stood and what will come to me. I only have that much control in that I placed an order for meat and I have to pay for it, and I pay for it where and when in accordance to my judgement about efficiency and efficacy; but the chain of events that put me in that place, at that time, watching what happened and given such and such understanding, are the work of the greater force.

So, what I am going to do with it? It’s not that I have free will to alter the situation. Would I be like the man-friend in need, or would I be a better person? My choice is my free will, my chance is not.

I turned back and opened my bag.

“Will you go home with me, buddy?”

He wouldn’t have known what sort of different world my home is, I think, he wouldn’t have guessed. I think every cat will imagine a home of his own.

He walked closer though, and he just sit there when I lift him up and put him in my bag.

He jumped out and find a corner for himself when we got back home, my old home, his new one.

I disappeared elsewhere in the house, but when he gives me headbutts I am there to return the love. when he meow I am there to give him a look, when he jump to high places and try to get my attention, I put down my phone and show him he is worthy of my attention, even though it’s just one minute.

~ Josie


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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