There was this email asking me to pick up an abused kitty.
It’s one out of many, but I received much too many. Neighbor’s kitty, friend’s kitty, ex’ kitty, somebody else’s kitty…. All said they felt sorry for the kitties, but their only courage and compassion spans only to the point of social media and write email asking others to handle it and stay anonymous, at the backstage, patting self on the back and forget it the next minute.
I am just too used to such cowardice heroism, I no longer try to conceal my cynicism.
I told the sender of the email with firmness and many hint of irritation to secure the kitty because I am still in the middle of another rescue. I was not lying. I was on my way to pick up the crushed girl and rush her to the surgeon, which I know will take at least half day.
Usually, the thread will stop there, but this one replied. It’s emergency! It’s urgent!
Sure, so is here, yo. Hence another email with more firmness and open annoyance, especially since unlike the first time (and like many other who wrote email without the name of the sender), the email has an electronic signature of a girl from ivy league law school. Is that a threat or? Many other possibility, but I was in my last bit of patience in enduring all the Ramadhan traffic and my taxi driver acting like this is some sort of picnic and let everyone else pass first so he can stop and buy some snack and eat while driving. He was more serious before he knew I picked up a cat and need to take her to the vet for surgery.
The third email came, I was in the middle of telling my taxi driver that I have got him on video and if he didn’t just enter the highway and rush this girl to the surgeon he will soon receive his last salary. I don’t care if he ate his finger or his family wear rags for the big Eid.
I told the girl one more time to secure the kitty because I was in the middle of another rescue and that if she cared enough to give me her address I will come at the end of the day.
I didn’t know why the heck did I said that, but for some reason, my gut told me otherwise. My gut was never wrong.
I came at the end of the day.
The law school girl came out with a box and layers of newspaper with a kitty inside. She had forcibly taken the kitty away from her abuser, and while waiting for me to come to pick her up, had taken her to a nearby vet.
She said, the vet told her to bring the cat to the other office at the other end of town the next day, because they don’t have the tool to help her. The vet said it was Megacolon.
The cat did not look like she has megacolon. Megacolon cat does not look like that, but since the girl said a young vet handled her, I kind of understand. The owner of that clinic she went to is a famous vet, and a good one too. He was the one who saved Sport’s life while others failed (in a now legendary 9 hours surgery), and he was where I got Boo from. Sports is still with us until today with no complication whatsoever. His juniors, however, are another story. One of them read an X Ray upside down and insisted on reading it until I snatched the X Ray and turned it over for her.
It was already minutes before fast breaking time and the road is even more horrible, so instead of going back to the surgeon, my kitty ambulance vet will pick her up at night, when traffic will not be as challenging.
It seemed like, she belonged to a backyard breeder, one of the 98% of Bandung residents. She breed too many times, too fast. She has a dead fetus rotting inside her and the infection had spread everywhere. She was not well fed, and the surrounding neighborhood does not provide quality prey.
By the time my vet got her, she was too weak to eat, she was too weak to drink, she was too weak to breathe.
She can’t be operated on if her condition does not get better; her condition will not get better if she is not operated on.
Easiest way out? send her to the rainbow bridge and end all her sorrow.
Instead, we take it one day at a time; and then, one surgery at the time, and then, one treatment at a a time. First her respiratory, and then her rotting fetus, and then her respiratory again, and then her infected digestive organ.
After one month chained to IV and lay on one side unless she is turned around, eating and drinking only broth, she came home.
The law school girl who rescued her named her Gata. I didn’t know what that means, but it’s pretty name and she responded to it, so Gata is her name.
When my vet broke the news that she will be going home, two nights ago, I ran back to the butcher’s shop just when they were about to close and asked them to mill fresh tenderloin, because she cannot eat anything other than baby food for now; and baby food here only have banana and carrot. I went out and borrowed a food processor from my neighbor, so I can run some chicken breast for her, as my grinder is still too coarse. I won’t complain. Her intestines were cut in several places and Gata didn’t complain.
When she got to the front door with my vet, she didn’t walk. She flew. She flew and flopped here and there like a lost kite.
She is 40 cm (15 inches) long and 30 cm (12 inches) tall, but weighs only 5 ounces.
After three surgeries and many nights of sleeping at the border between life and death, she still have long way to go, but she lives.
Her life story is streaming through neglect, through suffering, through pain, Her endurance is flowing in silence, but she lives.
Now it’s time for her name to be heard.