We were chatting about what sort of messy Christmas Tree we would have, with over a hundred cats and kittens stuffing our home. We never have a Christmas Tree. We don’t even have furniture. We do have a dining table with two seats, but most of the time we stand or sit on the porch. Luckily we also have a bed.

We saw her walking alone along that empty sidewalk of the SOHO complex on the other side of the clinic, where we left our chap and picked up mama cat and her goblins. She is so young, so skinny, so lonely. Pushing open the tip of the tall garbage bins, trying to sniff some hope, just enough for her and her incoming baby.

There was a bleeding wound by her back thigh, bright red on her white fur, but she has more important things to think about.

We looked at each other, trying to raise enough denial, or run to the world of reasoning and excuses.

The truth is out there. Right in front of us. It doesn’t speak, but it echoes within, loud and clear.

We didn’t have carrier, bags, anything. If we buy one in the nearest petshop, we’d spend the rest of what little left we have in our account.

I wrapped her with my jacket, and asked her to follow her heart, as I followed mine. She struggled for a bit, but for the rest of our way home, she sat there, letting fate bring her wherever life will follow.

We have no safe place for her in the house. We have cats in every corner and many more are sick, so we lend her a space in our storage room, where we keep the cat food and our tools. Sheilla has an unfinished cat condo, just enough for a single white female.

We ran out of heating pads, so we borrowed our turtle’s basking light, and set it on my desk lamp, to shine warmth when the night turns dark dark and cold.

Last night she delivered two tiny babies. Underweight, but otherwise healthy. Two other mothers who we keep in our storage area, safe from foraging naughty sons and daughters, sat by her box. She growled at them, but looking into each other’s eyes, I think they understand each other. They shared their food, she shared her trust.

We won’t have a Christmas Tree this year, we wouldn’t want one either. There is so much more we can give with what a Christmas Tree will cost.

But come, o ye faithful, this, is our nativity scene. This is our Christmas magic.

The front of her manger is still empty, but instead of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, we’d offer love, hope, and life.

Will you come and join us?

~ Josie

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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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