I thought he was born with it, but then again, after a while, I was sure someone crushed his leg and it healed badly.

With one shorter leg, he lived on that strip of pedestrian path among unkind people. Homeless, street urchins, gamblers, drunks, many kinds. There is one merchant selling tofu who let him sleep under his cart and drink from his bucket, but just about every time I went to see him after I found him, I was met with fierce and stinky eyes.

All I want is to offer him my home. The road where he lives is too big and too crowded. People are speeding up or trying to crush each other just to be few minutes ahead. The area is too dangerous. He cannot hunt and that place is the den for thieves and thugs who do not give any damn about other people’s life; what convince me they will have any mercy to a crippled street cat?

First, I have to gain his trust. He was very scared of humans.

After almost a year, he runs to me. Whenever he heard the sound of our motorcycle or the cling clang of our keys. He knows he can count on us, one meal that will make him full until the same 10 o’clock the next night.

His name is Romeo.

Three days ago, a scrawny guy came closer when I feed him. It was creepy; he was creepy. He followed me as I pour down two packets of cat food. He followed me when I walked steps away with the packaging to the rubbish bin, he followed me when I walked back to my Romeo to pat his head good night and send him prayers for safety and health. Prayers that I got him before evil does.

I sped up, sat on the motorcycle and rode off with my mate, though we both felt uneasy.

We decided to take a round, and come back, just to be sure.

When we came back, he was at the other side of a very busy five lane road, limping in confusion trying to go back home across the street.

It’s not easy even to pull over, but as soon as we did, I jumped down and ran with all my might, trying to hold him off.

He ran across the street anyway, just seconds before my hand reached him, and an expensive, shiny car drove right up, crushed him,  and drove off, like nothing ever happened.

Only God knows how much blood I will draw on that vile woman behind the steering wheel, but only I know how much blood Romeo threw up as he writhed on that street.

I screamed and ran to the middle of the road, wrapped him with my jacket and rode home like a demon.

I did everything I can to stabilize him, I called every vet on my phone list, but it was Saturday and it was almost midnight. No one picked up the phone.
I went with my gut and gave him painkiller; we kept him on heater; we sucked blood from his nose and wiped it off his mouth. We gave him oxygen, I dripped subcu slow and steady.

We stayed up the whole night making sure he stays alive, we stayed up a long time more until our kitty ambulance vet took him for X Ray.

Romeo had concussion, and we do not have equipment to know whether his injury is reversible or not.

One sure way to remove the blood clot is surgery on his brain, but we do not have equipment nor expertise to perform it.

What we can do, is give Romeo a chance.

I made my bet one more time, and told my kitty ambulance vet about the matching challenge. I told her that while I do not have sufficient funds to start Romeo’s medication, I will have whatever fund is necessary by the time the challenge ends.

The vet took my bet and started treatment immediately.

Romeo will have the same medication as for human concussion for five days. If his body responds, the medicine will help his body remove the blood clot in his brain, and we will bring him back to full consciousness. If he does not respond by the end of day five, or falls into a coma at anytime during the medication, or is getting weaker, we will let him go.

If I can knock on heaven’s door right now, I’ll have him stay. I’ll have Romeo stay and know home. I’ll have Romeo stay and know family, know safety, know good food.

If I can knock on heaven’s door right now, I will have Romeo stay and know love.

But for now, I will give him all my might that he knows a second chance and he gets his fight fairly.

~ Josie

An unlimited matching challenge is ongoing. All donations made between July 29 and August 3rd will be doubled. There is no “up to”. We are free to raise as much as we can. Be the hope for Romeo and many hundreds of abused, neglected, and stray cats in Bandung by following this link:

Video of Romeo:

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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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