While Sheilla and I agree about all things, we always approach them from opposite directions. I am always skeptical; she is always practical. I am far and deep; she is here and now, I am always theoretical, literary; she is otherwise.

Long story short, we had a big fight; and I mean big, big fight. I was already under pressure because of all the shelter things, and she is under pressure because of the “ancient one” who keeps chasing her back.

I left her without thinking; and when I was out of that pet shop, there was only me, the sky, the heavy street at the end of the year, so I start walking.

A few hundred meters down the road, I saw the flattened remain of a white and yellow kitten. There was nothing left of it but that dirty fur, so I keep on walking.

Another kilometer (1 kilometer = 0.6 mile), I saw what used to be a calico kitten. Red and black patch, with white shoes. There was nothing left of her, but from the position of that piece of fur, she was either sleeping on her side, or licking her paw, crushed from behind. I keep on walking.

Then, there were two round patches of black and white on the edge of a U turn. Two kittens, obviously siblings, side by side. From their placement, they were crushed by one big tire: definitely a car. There was nothing left of them, but two silent patches stuck on the road, so I kept on walking.

I crossed path with a bunch of kids; maybe ten, around ten and twelve years old, speaking like the lowest of social caste in this town. One hit bamboo stick along the pedestrian, one carried socks filled with sharp rock, another hold stone, and one has a snapped out guitar string, with two small stones on each end.

“What do you want to do with those?” I stopped them on their tracks.

“To hit a dog!” the one with the stick said, “Lots of people let their dog out at night”

That is true, but most of the dogs won’t be going too far from the fence, the furthest will be few steps away. Dogs here are not stupid. They sense the danger of the street, and of their surrounding, unlike cats, much less kittens.

“I can strangle a cat!” the other one said, “I put this around the neck and let them dangle to death, like shown on movies on TV”

“My brother use this on people” the kid swung around his rock filled socks like Thor and his Mjolnir. “He did it to people from motorcycle, and then he got money”

I was so fast, they didn’t realize anything until a few seconds later; their eyes popped because I had all their toys in my hand.

“You all should go home”, I said, I was sour from my own fight, but now I am bitter and spicy. “Go to the mosque and learn from your Imam, or do your homework, or do something more useful than inflicting harm to others”

They tried to gang fight me, but I walked away to a bright parking lot of KFC counter by the corner and the security looked at them like a hawk.

I keep on walking.

A few days ago this week, I saw a white kitten like Mark, flattened just by the roadside of a kitchen appliances store. There was nothing left of it, but that patch of soft, yet filthy fur, so I said nothing.

How people love to abandon kittens in parking lots of any shop, with self-enforced understanding (I read it “complete ignorance”) that they can live on their own, because they are cats.

As we rode a few hundred meters ahead, I saw an adult cat: tortoiseshell, with long, fluffy fur, chubby like Gata. She was crushed on the middle, and there was nothing left but minced meat in that part, but her head down to her front legs are complete and intact, and her hind legs down to her long, fan like tail was complete and intact. Her eyes were bulging out in horror, her mouth was opened, her tongue lifted to the middle of her mouth, as if she was roaring to that coming death, but lost the fight even before she start.

I screamed. I don’t care people looking at me with mocking eyes as if Sheilla is riding with a mad woman, but I screamed, and cried. All the way, fourty five minutes back to town; and when we got home, Sheilla’s back was wet and salty.

A loud, long horn hacked me back to the present, and two motorcycles, each with a young couple, each definitely in the height of their holiday madness, were swearing at each other. There was nothing I want to do with them, so I keep walking.

I keep walking until that fourty five degree hike that would be the last journey to my home; and on top of that hill hike, I saw the silhouette of a thin cat, dancing and bounding in mid air.

I screamed. I screamed and run regardless of the steep hike and I keep screaming until every passerby stopped their vehicle on the road side.

There, on the top, in the middle of the road, a cat was bouncing, spattering his blood all over places.

I screamed and I hold him, I ran across the street. A lady on the back of motorcycle in her pajamas was trying to stop me and convince me, in her panic and worry, that I should just put that cat on the road side. I ran past her and climbed the stairs like Harpies and their bleeding prey. I slammed the front door like bull on fire.

That cat was white with grey tabby patch.

That cat look at me for two seconds, and died in my arm.

I looked at the twinkles of this undying town as Sheilla and I cleaned all the blood spatter that trailed all the way into the house.

I did not sleep because every time I closed my eyes, I saw that white and yellow kitten, I saw that calico little girl, I saw the two black and white brothers, I saw the white baby. I saw the beautiful cat, cut into three in her middle, still staring blankly to incoming vehicle;

I saw that cat dancing his death in ultimate misery spattering his blood like voodoo.

That night when Sheilla hold me, and told me how much she was worried something had happened to me, even in her anger, I told her:

That I became a rescuer because I can feel them.

They never asked to be born, I never asked to be born.

They cannot choose where they are born into, I cannot choose where I was born into. I cannot choose who gave birth to me.

They never know what they do wrong. They just try to live, but they have to bear the mocking look, the kick, the hit, the spraying hot water, the incoming vehicle, the hand that dropped them away from their mother in the middle of nowhere.
I never know what I do wrong. I just try to live the right way. I did not do anyone any harm, but I have to bear the mocking look, the demeaning names, the harassment, the heart that push me away from society.

Because we are different.

When Sheilla told me to let them go, because there was nothing we can do, I told her:

Back then, as I walked home from Ace Hardware, twenty miles from home, I was the same as them. I have no identity, I have no status, I have no money, I have nothing. Everything was in the bag and the bag is with Sheilla.

No one knows me, like no one knows them. No one acknowledges me, like no one acknowledges them. No one cared about me, like no one cared about them. And if any harm was down upon us, no one will defend me, like no one defends them.

They were horrible in life, as I am horrible in life.

I cannot let those memories go. I will not let the memories go

Because as horrible as it is, as torturing as they are; those drying patches of dirty fur, that staring carcass, the tortured death dance, are the only evidence of their existence.

If no one would acknowledge them, I will. If no one would care about them, I will.

If no one loves them, I will.

~ Josie

If no one would love these cats, I will. What about you?


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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