I would imagine that, once upon a day, he was scooped up, with or without his mother, when he was sitting around alone, or with a sibling, or playing quietly a few steps away from that tiny space he called his world.
I would imagine that, he was thrown into a box, or slammed into a bag, or whatever, and was taken away along Bandung’s bumpy roads, that must have felt like the whole universe for him.
I would imagine that, he flew for a few seconds before landing in a pile of trash, or even the hard, hot, or wet, smelly, dirty asphalt or concrete of the parking lot. Maybe even, a shallow sewer.
I would imagine that he’d stay there for a while, feeling lost in a completely foreign world, among the universe of ignorant stomping giants.
Maybe; maybe he was born there, to a mother who roams around that traditional market.
Maybe, as best as his mother tries to care for him, she has to leave him alone more and more often, for food further and further away.
Maybe, curiosity got the best of him, and he ventured away just a few steps too far.
But for sure, he was there, in the middle of that damp and smelly walkway in the market, sniffing bits to answer the call of his hunger.
Someone was walking in a hurry, but just a few steps away, saw him, and suddenly slowed down.
I had hoped that the someone would just step around, or step over, he is just six weeks old, he is not as big as a mango. I was so glad that there is still good in humanity, though in the form of ignorance.
That someone continue walking, eye fixated to the tiny lump in front, and kick him.
He flew, and crash land a short meter away, on the hard concrete floor filled with dirt and rainwater dragged around by people’s steps.
I was a fallen angel. I was eager to crash land my foot on that arse-hole’s face, but Sheilla choose the other way and came running to the baby cat.
She took the baby, put him in her jacket, and brought him home.
We cleaned him, we keep him warm, we feed him as best as we could. He was only two ounces, and less than twenty centimeters long. We can pick him up with only two fingers around his skinny belly.
In the first few days, he just stayed on the heater. He come to us when he is hungry, he slept alone in the corner. He cannot walk straight, and there were times we were worried that he injured his brain.
One week later he wanders around and play with others.
This afternoon, when we were sucked deep into our work, he ran his tiny shortie legs across a hundred square meters that is our cattery back and forth.
He follows Lucky and climb the kitchen counter to pick his own food. He scale the laundry basket and roar like a lion king from the top of the clothes dryer.
He runs beside our rabbit with confidence and pride, even though his competitor is four times his size.
He has courage as big as the universe.
His name is Black Pepper, and he never takes no for an answer.