There was only one kitten, walking left to right and back again in distress. At the background of that platform where she was swallowed in panic, are public toilets, almost too full, and too dirty by the use of the sorts of crowds in our dilapidated bus terminal: The homeless, the desperate, the miserable.

Homeless, desperate, miserable, just like her. All over her body should be white fur, like the pristine clouds in the opening of the fogs every morning. Those spots should be gray tabby, and red tabby, but all of her, in one word, is “filthy”

I asked my motorbike taxi rider to stop. I know that jumping off motorbikes before they completely stop posed danger to the rider and to me, especially with piles of groceries and whatever in between bulking on the front and to the back; but even a glimpse of watching two months old kitten running back and forth as if hell is upon her is more than enough to wipe me off my calm and quiet.

I have been in that place much too often.

When I was there, with toes so close she can step on it, my back bent and my arm reached out, I saw another kitten, tortie and just as filthy, curling motionless, dying like the plant where she leaned on; too much urine, too much garbage, not enough compost.

So there were two in my arms, and as I look around, saw no more.

It will anger my home mate when she returned from her duty, to see all sort of thing scattered in the living room, but I did just that. I dropped the groceries, the soaps, and detergents and who knows what, and I tried my best to make the two of them comfortable. I know I didn’t have much time, that I have already lost the battle; but I am not jumping in to win the battle.

I jumped in because I love cats, because all lives are worth it, and I am a rescuer. It’s not over until the fat lady sing, and the only fat lady in the house who can sing is me.

They were clean two days later, they run around two days later, they were two little devils ready to take over the world; but the third day over, they are dead.


So it’s over even without the fat lady singing.

With a bundle of two ex-joys in my arms, I went around that terminal once again. It’s a habit. I don’t know it’s good or bad, but whenever I can, if a cat died, I would pass the place where I found them one more time, with them in my arm, and then deliver them to the crematorium.

Just two steps away from where I stood that day I picked up the calico baby, there was another one. Sitting motionlessly, his dirty and sticky fur camouflaged him perfectly with another planter with a dying plant that drink too much urine, suffocated by too much garbage,

Surrounded by those who don’t even give a damn.

He cannot stand, he just looked at me with two round eyes, and expression I cannot explain. Part of them was helplessness, the other part peace and acceptance, that he will die there, just like the heart of those who neglect them there.

When I bent to pick him up, and put him on my bundle, he meowed. He rubbed his sticky and filthy cheek on the fleece, and looked at me.

This time, I understand.

I understand that no matter what God will work mysteriously, that universe moves in its own way, and that for every Pandora’s box that was opened to a hell broke lose, one hope remains.

That hope was two months old, with broken hind legs, infection, parasites, and all hell broke lose upon him.

I rode with him to the crematorium.

I let him watch me send away his siblings.

He let me carry him in my jacket as I walked down that green meadow with row and row of headstones and butterflies.

It’s too late for his leg to be reformed the way it should be, and even if there is a way, he is too small to endure God knows how much surgeries. Whatever crushed him expelled him to the wall of that public toilet and with pain and innocence of a two months old kitten he dragged himself to the safest place in his immature opinion.

So, I choose to trust his system. I choose to let him use his magical kitten healing power, even if it means he will walk with a limp. We removed the infection that bulging out of his leg. It was candy. We removed the parasites that sucked his life out alive. We dipped him in a warm bath because there is no way we apply flea and tick killer without killing him.

We give him the best food and the best supplement, so he can deal with the persistent diarrhea that almost convince me he had the same disease as his passing siblings.

I asked for help because I was overwhelmed with sick kittens, sick kittens’ vet bills, and sick kittens’ prescriptions invoice.

I was overwhelmed with Christmas, the most wonderful time of the year where everyone indulges each other for the birth of Jesus, who was supposed to born for the likes of him.

I was overwhelmed with the realization that this Christmas, I will give him my heart but the very next day he might take it away despite all my effort.

And then again, God works mysteriously, the universe moves in its own way, and a path was opened when I was gambling with three talents that a friend promised me and secured enough for a matching challenge. If I had this chance, I’d pay all the overwhelming bills and invoices, and live long enough to gamble my life for kibbles in the bowl.

Mark walked with a limp and ran around in a funny way, but he is a bundle of joy that hope brings to me when the Pandora’s box swallowed another two.

Mark sounds like a trumpet with his peculiar voice asking for food, asking for food, asking for scratches, asking for play, asking for food, asking for cradles, asking for food.

Still the day is long and the night is treacherous. Mark is two months old and has the whole life ahead of him.

A whole life that I failed on his two siblings; so I better not fail on him.

And the only thing that is certain is that God works mysteriously, the universe moves on its own way

That I only know to do my best.

~ Josie

Help me help Mark grow to own the whole life that is ahead of

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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