It felt outlandish; going home at the end of this Christmas day. Walking through an empty road that hours ago was bustling with holiday-goers merry making throughout the long weekend.

My house is on that hills, among quiet others. Just as quiet, a little bit dark. There was no one around, no sound abound. No sparkling light, no bunting, no mistletoe, no wreath hanging, no Christmas tree.

Only a pair of green eyes glistening, and a wisp of hair, flying to greet me.

It’s just as outlandish when I bent on my knee and open my arms to embrace that lush, fluffy fur, heavy tummy and loud purr.

Gata was a different cat; six months ago. She was a friendly stray who roamed a long alley where a resident feed her on the roadside, encourage her to mate and mate, giving her a place to give birth on the porch, and when her children were old enough to be weaned, taken away to be sold.

She lived with persisting pain that came from her infected uterus, slowly spread to her intestine. She was abused by kids neglected and uneducated by their parents, busy for other worldly goods that seem to worth more than filial piety.

She endured in silence until a young woman took her away from those abusing children, and waited long enough until my hands were both free after another urgent and grisly rescue on the opposite side of town.

She has nothing to lose, because all that she has, were already lost.

Yet she lived on that one remaining life through three surgeries, months of recovery, multiple injections daily, endless amount of medicines and supplements, food that comes in syringe, and riotous kittens coming and going, running all over her hurting bones and lethargic limbs.

And her first Christmas is here. Her first Christmas without pain, without rain over her head, with full bowl ready just a few steps away, with cuddles, without kittens.

It was no longer outlandish, when I stand back on my feet. That empty living room, the silhouettes of my home, the soft humming sound of exhaust fans.

Six months ago, the days that follow, just like today, I don’t know where I am going.

I don’t know where life would lead me, I don’t even know if we will live another day.

One day it’s one thing, the other day, other things.

Like Gata, I only know how to live. Like Gata, I only know how to walk, one step after another, until the end comes to sight.

Like Gata, I only know how to give it one more try.

~ Josie

Like Gata we can only do what we can. Alone it’s a little, together it changes the world. Help us save many more Gata:

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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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