GOLD BY THE RIVER

I saw her by the river, back and forth one a narrow stepping stone, bending herself here and there for the water that rushed below. Way below.

But I was with 12 lbs of steamed tuna, a box full of various vegetables, my own groceries, one hand with large amount of eggs and the other had my hand.

We were riding a motorcycle on a two way road that fits only for two adults standing side by side.

Not too far away, lay an open box, and a street urchin with piles of folded boxes on the other side. He was looking into the box seemingly in deep thought.

Based on what pops in my mind given a situation, I am called a helpless pessimist, but ten years a lone rescuer in a breeder capital town without any drip of compassion, what popped into my mind was that the street urchin stumbled upon that box on his way found out that the box contained discarded mother and kittens, and was wondering if he should leave that box alone, or as most commonly done, move all the babies outside in the open and leave the helpless little family with the box for another few cents that made the meal of his survival.

Heck with the survival of the cats. They are animals and human is hungry.

And then there is the outdated cliche that we are overcrowded et cetera, donation is not as much as before et cetera and whatever in between.

She is an adult cat, or at least, no longer an innocent kitten unaware of any danger. She can fathom the distance of the river that runs far below, and her instinct will tell her to hold herself together and find some other source of water.

Not sure about her thirst. She was so skinny her bones were about to stick out of under her skin.

At lunch when the lightning start blasting the thunders blows the sky, I am shaking my cold shoulder like the wind shook the wind chime into loud clings and bangs.

I told Sheilla what I saw, and without any words we both stuffed what was left in our bowls into our mouths, chewed as we scrambled off to change our clothing, and ride off to the river.

We still remember our tight finances, we still remember there is no more space in our home, we still remember all the threats that comes with stuffing more cats than we should. We still remember that nowadays, we already work from seven am to two am the next morning and left something to be done.

It’s just that, somehow, the ensuing lightning blasts and all the thunders behind us sounds more intimidating. The cold, damp wind feels more urging.

But there were none near that stepping stone but empty box littered with dry food. I am afraid of heights, yet if I am to find where the little lady is, I should look there the first.

I crossed the decaying bridge to the other side and called, though no one answered but the wheezing wind among wild bamboos that blow the smell of garbage to the sky.

I ran back across the bridge and saw two teens ridinga  motorcycle turning to the other alley, and a speck of teeny weeny kitten clumping in the middle of that alley; the woman who stood gossiping about their neighbor just two steps away didn’t care.

I scooped her up just in time and two seconds later the giggling boys passed unconcerned.

It seemed like the baby did not belong to that cat, but somehow dumped by the rushing deep river together.

Sheilla showed me a pile of very bad cat diarrhea a little bit further away.

It means she was there indeed, for quite a while.

But then it started to rain.

And when we braced ourselves, saying that the cat might go elsewhere in the hours before we came as she finally embraced the bitter fate that befall her, I saw a discarded cart a yet few meters further, and something at the back of my mind told me I will find her there.

She took shelter in a small space under the cart, with the saddest, most broken-hearted expression I had ever seen in my life.

We rode back home as if a legion of demons were biting our backs.

She still has intestinal infection, one week later today. She still has bad diarrhea. She has patches of ulcers all over her body, eaten by bacteria and fungus. She still cannot eat properly, hence has not yet gained weight.

She never left the mat in front of our bedroom door, except for litter box or a sip of water that she never have to ponder how to get.

She likes donut (we remove all the sugar), and we break the rules as long as she eats; besides, she eats tuna and chicken too.

She has no name.

But when we bent ourselves with open arms she will be there with eye glistening like amber.

Hopefully, the next will be her happily ever after.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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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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