Out of the blue, Sheilla asked me questions about that small cafe we pass every night on our way to the colonies.
Located in a busy alleyway toward a cultural center and jam packed residentials, 7ty cafe offers a glimpse of sanctuary. A small wooden cabin surrounded by bamboo trees, pots of green hanging on the ceiling, old rice mill repurposed and now blooming with various flowers, small trickle from a fish pond behind the cabin, and belongs to a diner just next door.
It opened at 4 pm, and closed at 8. Very short business hour, and it’s probably why there are not many patrons, except for weekends.
Not so much. Standard, a little bit light, a lot of milk, plenty of sugar. Sheilla is far beyond their league. Her coffee is three shots espresso of the boldest coffee. No sugar, no milk. The thicker, the better.
Such is why it intrigued me that she had an interest on 7ty. For a little hangout, maybe, though the more she asked, the more I have second guesses.
It’s not the cafe, much less the coffee. It’s a cat who stayed under the bar table, day and night. It is always sleep. I have never seen that cat move, and if people shoo him away, he’ll be back there as soon as the patron is gone.
Days gone by and the cat was getting thinner, and thinner, and weaker, and balder. We stopped by to help him with one steamed tuna after another, but we can see it clearly that it won’t help as much.
We got no answer about who owns the cat, but there was another cat who looks very similar to this one, in a much better condition, kept in a house not far away, so…
One drizzly and windy night Sheilla dropped me off and I jumped over the chainlink fence to get him.
He had fleas and ticks so many, his fur is brownish red. He has mange, he has yeast growing on his scratch marks, he has fungus, he has ear mites. He was so thin and so pale we thought we were too late.
It took us six months, and many rounds of parasite treatment. We had him shaved and found so many wounds. We can count his ribs, and we were not allowed to bathe him because his body weight was too low.
He slept all day, he didn’t like to eat, he didn’t like to drink. If we did not offer some, he won’t seek life on his own.
His world goes round under our kitchen cabinet, but we’d tell him there is life after coffee. All he needs is to step out and breathe.
And he eats. Baby food at first, then finely chopped meat, then full course home made food, then dry food, then he stepped out from under the cabinet, and we showed him the corridor behind the glass door that always brims with light, love and life. Cats lounging, chasing, running, rolling. Toys, blankets, scratching post.
Few weeks later, 7ty is 7. Messy hair, fluffy tail, skin as smooth as silk. He is still lazy, but he can jump over our head if he wants it and when he wants it, such as when we carry a boxes of treats; when we have his favorite steamed tuna, when we drag in a new sack of dry food.
Out of the blue, there was an email with inquiries about possibilities of an adoption.
We have had bad results before; many many times, that we very reluctantly consider. But we have 160 cats and not much to offer.
So we peeked out from under the cabinet, just like 7ty, and welcomed a family of three generations into our shelter.
7ty has a new home.
He has a bed for his own. He has the whole world adore him and cater for his wants. He has pats and rubs, he has a family of just ordinary people, but with extraordinary love.
He is still lazy. He still sleeps all day, but life at 7ty begins after coffee.
Help me buy time and give a chance to another homeless kitty, and make another 7ty: paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate