Like able men and women in that small rural town, Spooky bid his life on the textile factory that took half of the town’s land. The place where green paddy turn to gold and brings life to many; the little ducklings, sliding their beaks looking for worms, the sun and the morning breeze, people saying hi to each other. Now the forgotten peace becomes the cheers and hellos of people in uniform, walking through a small gate, chattering until they disappear into their own corners, chugging their days with toils so that by the end of the month, there is food on the table.
Like able men and women, Spooky curls and twists as he wakes up, shakes his body, and springs to life. Yesterday has history; some good, some not so much; but today has the promise of a better tomorrow, so like able men and women, Spooky does his best.
But like able men and women, sometimes life churns sour curd, while it should spew butter. Life takes many turns: accident happens, irreversible damages, and promises of better tomorrow turned dark and airless.
Like able men and women turned useless, they are slowly drifted away into the shore; cast away by the curse that they can only look on while others move on.
Spooky lay there. He had lost one eye, but somehow made it through with the other; but now he lost his leg, crushed by a heartless machine and its equally ignorant human who have long pushed friendly horses into photos and memories.
Like previously able men and women who share his fate, Spooky asked the same question. In that rural town there is no security, no insurance, no equality. Once they fall out from society, there is only one way to go: the end.
Men and women. What about, a cat?
A cat whom those same men and women pass by without a second look, not even some peer. A cat who belongs to no one; a cat without any identity and no attachment.
Two hours away in the city, it’s not much different, but at least better. Someone would care, someone would pick him up and lend their hand, someone would try to help.
Someone who, like the two girls who often are in giggles and glee when he passed them. Someone like those two strangers who extended their hand, lifted him up, and hide him in the factory boarding until he can heal.
But like bones of men and women, a crushed limb cannot heal. They can only be cut off lest it cost him his life when it’s infected; rotting away.
Like disabled men and women of that rural town, Spooky bid his life at the mercy of others, willingly or otherwise. And for him the mercy was to be put into a pen, taken for two hours to the city, and left in a house on a hillside, full of other cats.
There are many others with just one eye, like him; and a few who lost both, even. There are others who are old and weak, there are those with wounds and cuts, some others with various illnesses. There are kittens, noisy and bouncy, there is a small plate with a little food, but warm and fragrant every night; and crunchy kibbles every morning.
And the water is fresh and cool, unlike that in the factory, coarse and smelly. And two women who never stop wandering around. With medicine, with food, with funny tasting vitamins, they said, and with a syringe that stings but makes him feel better afterwards.
Then, like men and women in the outskirts of town, Spooky wakes up by the window. The sun had risen behind him, but the birds are chirpy on the electricity cable atop the porch. He looks at the curly green forest far away, and listening to the morning breeze.
Sometimes it whispers a story about the city, some other time the news from the countryside where he used to live.
When the clock bangs, he would wake up with the remaining three legs, and walk a little funny to the left side of the kitchen counter.
Yesterday has history; some good, some not so much; but today has the promise of better tomorrow, so like able men and women, Spooky does his best.