At long last, the chaos died down. It started at dusk and lasted the whole night. Loud drums and speakers, horns and beeps and bangs, the sky ablaze by firework and fire cracker, even though that day was so hot it’s still 34 C (93.4 F) at 9 pm when it should be around the 20s.

In my house, it’s been chaos for the whole week. The vet clinic who cared for the crushed girl called me and said her mother went crazy and they can’t handle it, so they are sending her over.

The first night at home, she was OK, the next day she tried to tear away the wire mesh on the windows. The next day she shredded all the boxes and ripped apart all the towels. She peed everywhere, she howls and yowls all day and all night, literally. Through the next three days, half of books and notes were in bits and pieces. Some were unread yet already completely damaged. It was 400 pages novel and 600 page literature about physiology of small animals. I put them out because I planned to work on my mouldy, damp and fungus laden bedroom this holiday.

She is clawing and swatting, and her constant meowing got on everyone’s nerve.

I thought she was probably in heat, so I sent her off for spaying and my kitty ambulance vet kept her for two days, which gives us a little bit of air, but my vet can’t wait to return her, if only her own (human) baby was not sick, because she “torn down everything to bits”

In the two hours journey from my vet to us, she ran out of things to shred in her carrier, so she tore away her bandage. By the time she arrived, all her stitches were gone.

It’s one of the reason I only spay at my kitty ambulance vet. She spays from flank, the incision is small, less than an inch. There are only one or two stitches, so when a feral runs away, in worse case scenario, and rip her bandage and sutures apart, she won’t have the whole bowel dragged on the street.

She didn’t want to eat, she didn’t want to drink, she just meow from morning to morning and make everyone murderous.

Some suggested calming collar, some suggested a cage, some even suggested barbiturates injection.

“If anybody can [handle her] it’s you, Josie”, one said.

It’s not about handling anything; but you know, she has probably been a feral the rest of her life. She will like the comfort of a home, but she never lived in a home. She always has blue sky and the sun and the moon. She owns the rain and the green grass. She jokes and whispers to the stars.

All of a sudden she was taken into a cage, then moved into a crate, then moved again into the barrack of a clinic, then her kitten was taken away and returned with all sort of bandage and tubes and pipes. She knows it’s her kitten but she smells like drug and antiseptic.

And when all that isn’t enough, she was yet again into a crate and yet another new home full of other cats.

Two weeks and she has the whole new world crammed and shoved into her faster than she can digest.

It must be overwhelming, and if I was her, I’d go crazy too.

So, I opened the door.

I let her out to explore the front yard. I let her sniff and run and roll and peek and not leave a single leaf unturned.

When all of that is not enough, I followed her out and tell her which way to go, which way not to go.

I took a deep breath, believed in her instinct, and let fate lead the way. She is feral, she has nature’s best navigator.

I turn back in and clean the house for the sixth time. Grizabella was so happy she runs laps around the house. Michelle plays with a box for the very first time in history, Charlie the Persian never let kittens go near him, but that night, he let kittens slept all over him.

When all the chaos died at dawn, I wiped the freezer clean, the last thing in the house after the floor and the dishes and everything else, and for the first time in a week or so, we can all rest without smelling urine in our sleep, and the mad hustle of Ramadhan and all that it entails.

In the morning, four hours later, I tiptoed across the quiet house full of exhausted cats, and peeked out; curious.

She was there, on the gardener’s shelves, looking back at me.

I opened her a pouch of Whiskas, and went back in.

Throughout the day, I came out several times and every time, I only need to stand on the top of the stairs, and she will come by and sit and lay down.

She is a sweet cat. She never uses her claws, she never uses her jaw. She draped on my lap like a rag doll, she sleeps leaning to my back when I sat for a while on the stairs, seeking peace to return within.

When I go back into the house, she will go back into yet another whole new world.

This time, she will always have blue sky and the sun and the moon. She owns the rain and the green grass. She jokes and whispers to the stars.

And the comfort of a home where she can always return to and enjoy as long, and as much in her own term.

~ Josie

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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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