A young lady of high social standing sent us a message about a young female cat with spine damage, roaming around her highly regarded residential complex.
She utilize wonderful English – for an Indonesian – and went to an elite private school. She has an MBA degree from the most prominent Ivy League school in Bandung, and is now working in EY; as in ‘the’ Ernst and Young.
I replied, and she shared a Google map location of the market where she lives.
Her place is literally the west end of town (we live in the east end), and it will take me more than one hour to get there. I am a stranger to that area, and it will be funny if one day, out of the blue, I just drop by and start roaming around looking for specific cat without any single clue but a photo from the top that shows her spinal damage, so I asked if anyone knows any specific location, and she gave me her mother’s phone number; telling me that her mother used to feed cats there.
I promised I will contact her as soon as I finished working. I was on a late shift that day, and an early shift the next morning, so it will take a little while of silence. It was my break the next day when she texted me that someone else had taken care of the cat, so I no longer need to come.
Two days later, she texted me again, with a story that after vet examination, there was no way to help the cat, and that the cat can now be released back to the street. She wanted me to adopt the cat.
Such and such a story was no stranger to me. Many times people tried to be a hero, and many more times we heard stories about how someone rescued a disabled cat to get a donation, use the free money, and dumped the cat somewhere else, often with grave result bore by the cat.
Besides, it started to bug me that she wants me to help a cat, but gives me no specific location, and no specific timing when the cat usually shows up, cut the appointment before it happened, and is now back again with another story of which the bottom line is: heck, we are ignorant, and we are irresponsible, you live with it.
I told her straight that I do not want to ride all the way to the other end of town to which I am a stranger to everyone, to some market roaming around aimlessly for a cat that doesn’t necessarily still hang around there. So either hold the cat for me to pick up, or we can’t promise anything.
I might be mean, but the cat seems to be fine despite her bent spine and it’s not like we have a ton of resources at this moment to go out of our way.
She said that the cat was at the vet office. She showed us photos, and it was the front office of our surgeon. Again, Google map, and that’s it.
Our beloved vet surgeon is in the north end of town. Her neighbor, who takes that cat, use car and ride through the highway; we use motorcycle and we go all the way from one end to the other among crazy traffic where we cannot drive more than 40 kmh (24 mph).
“And she better pay the vet bill!”, said one of our Syndicate who follows the case.
But when we got to see our surgeon, everybody looked funny on us for a while before he said “The finder of the cat took it away”
I took my phone, called her, and when she replied like an angel in the other side, I told her it’s not good to pull a prank on us.
And she said the neighbor might be dishonest. Might be. And that it’s mind blowing. It’s outrageous. And that she does not understand what the neighbor is thinking, and this, and that, and at the end “Good luck in your endeavor saving cats of the world”
If that’s mocking, I hope karma is still a bitch.
We rode one hour under scorching heat, and rode back home under crazy rain storm and poor visibility, through the flood for hours and still cannot fathom the [bleep] with which people treat others.
That same night, another message from Instagram. Another young lady, middle low class, from nearby village, boarding in very small alley, going to middle class school. She excuse herself for using Indonesian, she wrote to us with courtesy, about an old cat eaten by mange in campus and how she was helpless in trying to help him.
I told her the same: to hold the cat overnight, and we will pick the cat up.
She went with us every step of the way. She maintained close communication, she went into detail, and when we once again rode through crazy rain and flood, she guided us, one mile after another. She went half wet waiting in front of the alley even when she has so much trouble holding on to her small umbrella, so we won’t get lost in that labyrinth, and she ended our meeting with the most sincere smile, and the most gentle of gratitude.
She made our journey worth it. Through the rain and flood and back again.
She reminds me that I am human, and that I have the right to be human.
The cat has eye infection, calicivirus, and bad, bad, I mean, BAD mange. He has parasites. He has the entire planet of ear mites. He smelled like ugh.
Between mange and calicivirus, we choose to treat the virus first. Then the mange and earmite together. We deworm him, but only with half of the dose because he is malnourished and extremely underweight.
If anything stays healthy, his voice is Dolby Surround 3.0 screaming from the latest Harman Kardon. When he meows in the morning, the whole mountain will wake up after him and the rooster probably runs all the way back to the coop.
After the alley where he live, the old mangy chap is called Mahmoud.
And he is seeking your hand to turn his life around.