“What was in that box?” Sheilla asked nervously.
“Cat” I replied, rather cheerfully. “There is a kitten peeking from that box”
“Are you sure?”, Sheilla asked again. There were so many boxes with kittens in all sort of states inside littered all over the roadsides in Bandung that we had paranoia of boxes.
Especially after the last box contained a dead bunch of kittens.
She didn’t say anything else; just stopped her motorcycle and turned back.
When my back arched above the box, the kitten was still peeking; I was still smiling. She had the biggest pair of round eyes I had ever known. She looks like a cute alien in the comics.
I opened the box and picked up the kitten, walked back to where Sheilla waited, and showed her what we’ve got.
Needless to say we turned back home and redid the journey one more time.
She has the commanding air on her that holds the whole house under arrest. She has the charisma of a royal cat.
She has the attitude of a bratty princess, because she knows she is cute, even when she is throwing tantrums over trivial happenings.
She lightens up our gloomy abode as we reel, and slowed down the whack of the recent outbreak.
She makes our days – baked by heatwaves of La Nina – fresh like watermelon on ice.
She makes our nights – frozen by the stormy winds – seeping in warmth of ginger.
She is as grumpy as hell, if not more, and if one does not bow to what she wants: piggy back rides, shoulder perches, fish of her own choosing, eating straight from the pot, nibbling on whichever cat’s tail she likes… we will sure hear the growl of the dragon, coming out from a creature should be called “eye candy”.
Every other day, she will have influenza; bugger on her nose, little crusts on her eyes, or white sores on her tongue; but although we all were annoyed to a large extent by her brattiness, we’d soon miss her grumpy rodeos, and so we went around, seeking vets, asking if we can stop that influenza before one day it will be chronic enough to destroy her future, as it marred her three months long life.
We have to do that with USD 600 a week that she had to share with hundreds of others. USD 600 that every so often escaped us. Dare we hope for extra? The power to grant that USD 600 is not on us.
But even in that rather bleakish outlook, whenever we saw her and her big, round eyes, we know without doubt she is worth every chance.