Past three o’clock in the afternoon I rode through that small alley by the waterfall. She was there, laying on her side, her eyes closed, maybe enjoying the little kneads of her three babies on her tummy.
She was still there, past three o’clock two days later, just on a different porch.
Her three babies were so fluffy; white with a small number of patches, just like their mother. Sometimes they run around their mother; sometimes they wrestle among themselves. Past three o’clock in the afternoon, now and then.
Past three o’clock in the afternoon I rode through that small alley last week. She was still there laying on her side, her eyes closed, maybe enjoying the little kneads on her tummy, but there were only two babies. Their eyes were dirty, they did not look pristine, but their fur is still white, their tummy is still chubby.
Perhaps, she was just under the weather, just like anyone in this place. It’s hot and humid through the day; cold and rainy all night long.
But past three o’clock in the afternoon, the whispering behind my ear keeps on calling.
“Come back… come back.”
Past three o’clock in the afternoon, I rode to that small alley and found her sitting on the gate of the house by the waterfall.
One of her babies were in the middle of the road, the other one stayed further away. Both too ill to move.
I knocked on the door of the house, and inquired if the cat belongs to the family.
He said no. He said she belonged to another home two houses from his, and led me to the correct place.
A teen in senior high school uniform opened the door.
I asked her if she has a cat, she said no.
I asked her about a white cat with gray tail and three babies, she said yes. She said her friend brought that cat there. Although she explained that she is not interested in keeping any animals, her friend brought the cat along anyway, so she told her friend to drop it off by the porch.
“And the cat will take care of herself”, so her friend assure her.
“Was that the reason there has never been any food, any plate, any water, litter box or any roof for the cat at the house?”
She said she told her friend she has no intention to keep any animals, but her friend said cats are cute and funny and they can take care of themselves.
She is a teen in senior high school uniform, soft spoken and polite, so I sent her my greetings, and told her I am going to take the cat and her two babies away.
She said, “Go ahead”
Past three o’clock in the morning she was still eating, still drinking, as she sat by the window, shielding her two babies.
Past three o’clock the next morning, one of the babies walked up to us asking for food, and we learned that he broke his tail.
Past three o’clock this morning, when their mother was sleeping, I took the other baby who was more sick than the other so I can give her medicine. She never moved, she never walked. She just sat there, though eating and drinking and nursing.
And past three o’clock this morning I learned, that she has a broken leg.
I took both babies and keep them in the carrier. Their mother looking, meowing sad and sorrowful, perhaps asking what I was doing.
I touched her head, saying, I’d bring her the real three o’clock that should have been.
Past three a clock,
And a cold frosty morning,
Past three a clock;
Good morrow, masters all!
Mid earth rejoices
Hearing such voices
e’ertofore so well
Hinds o’er the pearly,
Dewy lawn early
Seek the high Stranger
Laid in the manger.
And I promised her
Cheese from the dairy
Bring they for Mary
And, not for money,
Butter and honey.
Please help me, masters all!
“Past Three O’Clock” (or “Past Three A Clock”) is a British Christmas carol, loosely based on the traditional cry of the city night watchman.
The words were written by George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934) to the traditional tune “London Waits”. Woodward added lines to the traditional refrain in a style characteristic of his delight in archaic poetry. It was published in A Cambridge Carol Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter and Other Seasons in 1924.
Numerous variations of the carol include an arrangement by William Llewellyn as a “quodlibet” for choir: London Waits (Past Three O’clock).