Had I not made that sudden change of mind in a spur of a moment, I wouldn’t have gone to that organic market event.

Had I not go to that organic market event I wouldn’t have met her.

Had I not met her, she probably wouldn’t have existed; not for long.

She was just as big as a toothpick. I can count her bones three feet away, her curves were extreme, she was skeleton at best, probably living dead at worst.

Yet she was bright as the morning sunlight, running from end to end, greeeting people among the greens and the salad, the beans, the leaves.

She was as broad as the blue sky in that beautiful Sunday morning. She was like the prancing wind among the branches of the park where she bid her life – day by day – moment by moment, in that quiet stretch of the street.

A minute or two, she will walk back, sitting away from people busy with their pick of the day, vegs and all, catching her breath and cope with her ruptured diaphragm that made her lungs hanging only at the strength of her throat muscles and the fine threads of the nerves that hold her only life support.

Who knows, whether she was really looking at the crowd, seeking for the next glimmer of hope as she greet people she seldom see, for a piece of food, or whether she just lost in her own mind, trying to figure out what other way she would live, since no one really care about her?

Her left eye were crossed to the right and the right one crossed to the left.

She couldn’t even see it clearly when I, barely capable of holding myself, swept her off her seat and on to the corner, offering her what she has been asking for – clearly to no avail.

She cannot eat much, though I offered her the whole pouch of cat food. She can only stay active for so many minutes before she runs out of breath ahd had to stop to refill her lungs.

But even after she was spirited away to a completely new place, filled completely stranger cats, she is still the sun that shine warmly every morning.

Perching on her favorite window sill near the stove, she never fails to greet us. Sitting on the kitchen counter by the stove as soon as we turn it off, she never failed to catch our attention. A pat, a rub, a kiss. She embrace it merrily just like that win prancing between the branches and the leaves just like her days in the park.

Of course, some days are better than the other, but even when her lungs acted out, when she catch cold, when the food she was trying to finish – no matter how long it would take – was taken over by impudent catlings, she is still a broad as that blue sky when we first found her, and decided she’d be part of our family.

Part of our family with the name that describe her all the way, top to bottom, inside out: Belle.

Whenever our days are long or our hearts were cloudy, Belle will look at us, with her heavy breathing. Belle will call us with her exceptionally coarse voice, Belle will prance to us

And the sky will be blue and the sun is warm and golden. Our heads are hot but Belle, still a skeleton, but a lot cleaner, will be the cooling breeze.

Belle taught us acceptance, Belle taught us to be merry. Belle taught us perserverance, even in the swamp of disabilities that should cripple every other, Belle taught us that if we keep calling, hope will come near.

Belle taught us joy. Belle taught us to be happy.

In the past few days, as illnesses that plague her immune deficiency rallied, Belle taught us strength.

Her skeletal body, her shiort breath, her bad vision, her lessening stamina. She had to wear thicker clothing every day to keep her warm enough.

Yesterday, for one last time, Belle pranced between us. If we cannot be in the same place at the same time, it’s okay, she tried again, and again, and again, just like the the day we met her, last year.

Once in a while she will walk back, catch her breath, but she will always call us back, until we finally put our overfilled platter of life down, and sat beside her.

She greeted us one more time.

Only this time, it’s not a good morning.

It’s a good bye.

~ Josie



Published by

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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