There’s no gray in him, not even his name, but all about Holstein is in the gray.

He is not a feral, he is not a stray, but he is not a house cat, nor a pet.

He roamed around the residential compound behind our cluster, long before we came to know the mountain, and even after we dwelt in it for a while, the years that passed did not meet us eye to eye.

The wife of our community leader is a cat loving woman, and once upon a time, when I visited her residence for an errand, she told me about a black and white cat whose rear was bulging out and red as raw.

That black and white cat came to join us after her tumor surgery. She is a sweet cat, she very seldom meow, she mind her own business, she enjoys the day inside the cattery, even though I offer her the same freedom she used to have roaming around the compound, alongside the new health that she just regained. Her name is Chubby Face.

Throughout her ordeal, was this big, muscly guy who always come every morning and once more in the evening; sitting silently on the top of the stairway until I came out with a plate of cat food, and back again with a bowl of water. He would stay for a while, and then, when I next looked out, disappeared.

One day he saw Chubby Face wandering around the kitchen from the crack of the front door, and took the liberty of coming in, then, settled down.

He never let me touch him, except now and then, in his term and only his.

The rest of the time, he sleeps behind things, or watches his sister enjoy her new life as a house cat.

He saw how I cradle her around, he saw when I play. He saw when I pet her, he saw when I pour down love, but he would rather stay in the gray.

Not a feral, he is not a stray, but he is not a house cat, nor a pet.

Just his sister’s keeper.

Sometimes, they fight too. When she wants something he disapproves, when she plays he thought shouldn’t be, when she goes where he thought was dangerous; for example, the roof, the stove, the vet? of course.

Chubby Face will brush him off and he would insist the big brother way. Sometimes he wins; most of the time, she wins.

Still, he takes care of her, she takes care of him; year after year.

But like everything that comes close will drift apart, they grow distant. Her with her merry business, him with his all his seriousness. They are much older now, and although Chubby Face still runs around sometimes, he would rather sit in the shade, sleeps more, eat less. Tired more, play less. Sick more, healthy less.

It comes with age. One day, I will come to that state too, whether I like it or not.

They said, old soldiers never die, they just fade away.

I don’t know if it also pertains to a faithful brother who also served as a lifetime bodyguard.

He is not a feral, he is not a stray, but he is not a house cat, nor a pet.

He is nobody’s cat, he is his own man, he is Holstein. He knows his name, but he give his head for a pat when he wants it, as long as he wants it.

Most of the time, he was there under the shade, watching his sister play, like a soldier and their own military way.

Three days ago, he fell asleep, and faded away.

~ Josie



Read how he came to the sanctuary here.

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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