The appearance of the saint is described in detail in the Golden Legend: “His hair is black and crisped, his skin fair, his eyes wide, his nose even and straight, his beard thick and with few grey hairs; he is of medium stature…”
What fitting description. With a little poking of pun, so are the three last letters of his name.
He does nothing but lay down on his side the whole day, mostly in front of our bedroom door; moving only to eat and to drink. His middle name is “lazy”
But there’s not much he can do being kept in a cage on that road in the market; his neighbor a brown and white rabbit. It’s too small for him to move, and if there is enough space, he’s never fed, never cleaned, never given water, and stayed there from day break to mid day, hot under the sun; wet under the rain. There is only rotting vegetables or grass spread over the floor of his small cage, where he sat on his own urine and ugly feces that stuck on his rear.
There is not much I can do but cry in silence every day as I pass that same market, for tuna or otherwise. There is no animal welfare law in Indonesia. Animals are things, not ones. Hence the ultimate jungle book: founder, keeper.
There is not much I can do about the war in my head. If I buy the cat and the rabbit, I reinforce the perpetuation of the act; if I don’t buy the cat and the rabbit, I let cruelty happen on an animal while I have power and means to prevent it.
Many more aspects, many more perspectives, but I got headache before they are done fighting in my mind.
One day when I was arguing over it, two weeks and more after we first saw him in his ordeal, we passed the empty road where he used to be earlier in the morning until the end of the market, and saw him laying lifeless on the roadside.
I asked to stop and was almost sure he was dead until he opened his eye. I took him in my arms and a woman who sell fruit nearby told me that if I was considering taking him, I should. He was kept by the like of an a hole and people around told him and detest his crazy attitude; but then again: founder, keeper. If we intervene, we are the one who break the law.
We brought him home and clean him and give him medicine. We cared for his parasites, we gave him the best food we can afford and we gave him supplements to help him restart his second chance.
But for days we wake up in the morning thinking he might not make it.
For days we live on hope and prayers for enough funds to send him to the vet and get him thoroughly checked, because as lazy as a cat can be, there is no cat who is only awake for breakfast and dinner.
There is not much the vet can do because he is otherwise healthy.
There is not much we can do but keep providing him with the best support possible, in the hope that one day he will take the chance we given him wholeheartedly. That one day he will once again remember and live the life a cat should be.