I always find him waiting by my bedroom door, every morning. He looks upon me gently, but I feel strains of toughness in his stance. He knows he is living, he knows he wants to live.

Noel would not budge even then, when I closed my bedroom door behind me, tip toeing across rows of sleeping cats and kittens overtaking the bathroom mat by the bulk; but those demure eyes will spring to life when I come back out.

He follows me as fast as the others, though with only two front legs. He earns his place among others around the big plates; always the big plates. We gave him food separately in a smaller plate we thought would suit him more, and put him away so others won’t disturb him. He would just look at us, annoyed, turn his head away and drag himself back to the big plate with such a big grumpy look on his cutie pie face.

Noel wouldn’t take less than what a cat’s worth. He knows he is living, he knows he wants to live. He knows who to love, and he knows what love to ask in return. He learns to climb the side of our beds, he learns how to climb the cat tree by the window. He won’t go all the way to the top, but he knows the perfect spot where the first face we would see when we get to the front door is his. No treats waving from the other side of the window? Just door key in our hands? Big grumpy look so sadistic we would rather run back and come again with something he likes.

Noel wouldn’t squirm, nor bite, or claw, whenever we lift him up and put him in carrier. He would enjoy his trip, watching all the different cars and views every time. He would let our vets poke him and twist him, give him massage, scrape and swab wherever. He gave that big grumpy look when blood was drawn.

Noel has a very long list of health issues. First to take care of? Persistent and hell-full of tape worm in his weakened, underweight, malnourished body. Tape worms that suck all the life out of him, tape worm that probably suck all the life out of his mother and make him and his sister road side orphans.

It was not just Drontal or whatever the name like all those flyers said. Those dewormer has terms and conditions, and he missed more than one of those. In fact, we ought to be very careful. One wrong step and he’d be gone in a whiff. But Noel knows he is living, Noel knows he wants to live, so he puts up with it. First the super bitter dewormer, then something to help his intestines cope with all the scars left by those nasty worms’ claw and suckers, then supplements to strengthen his body, bland-smelling food that his two caretakers insist is good. How does a bland-smelling food be good? Chicken is good, beef is good, fish? even better. So he lets the two ladies know that he wouldn’t have any of those bland-smelling food unless they follow the annoying procedure with the tastiest broth and stew.

And then, nerve medicine. He wouldn’t walk again, at least not walk with paw facing down like the other. He will forever walk with his knee, while dragging the rest of his body with his front legs. But Noel knows he is living, Noel wants to live. So one week into his Neurobion and traditional herb and whatever it is, he can lift his hip, and sit like a “normal” cat. He runs – his way – faster. He climbs – his way – faster. He can feel that he is stronger so he lives stronger. He eats more, his stools improve, his stamina improves and so does his big grumpy look. He “walks” to his specially made, low wall litter box and finds out someone else had used it, and the two ladies neglected to scoop them out, and he gives his big grumpy look, sadistic enough one of them drops whatever she was doing and cleans the litter box for him. His litter box is special. It has special litter that doesn’t stick or track, 100% absorbent, and is always kept clean. Otherwise he will drag poo poo everywhere around the house, obviously with a big grumpy look.

Noel’s pee improves. He used to have tea-coloured urine with blood every now and then; it was painful and the two ladies went crazy as soon as they saw what he made. He just got home from the vet the previous day and they came back again just so the vet can add to the list of their missions and make his prescription longer.

But Noel knows he is living. Noel wants to live, so he puts up with it. Noel knows he is living. Noel knows he is home for Christmas, Noel knows it’s not only in his dreams. Noel wants to live, so Noel puts up with everything. Big, sadistic, grumpy look, yes, but otherwise no complaint, no squirms, no claws, no bites.

I know Noel is living. I can see it in his eyes, I can touch it in his fur, I can sense his weight when I lift him. I can hear it in his fur. He is much different than when I first picked him up.

I know Noel knows he is home for Christmas, not only for Christmas, not only in his dreams.

I know Noel wants to live; so I put up with it. No matter what strain I already have in my back providing the finances. No matter what trouble I have already in, no matter what more less I should have.

I know Noel wants to live, so even though people keeps blocking me I keep asking for help, I keep going, and going, and going. Even though I have to end up knocking on hell’s door, if hell can help me help Noel live I will forsake heaven.

I don’t need praises, I don’t need to be told my stories are beautiful, it’s their stories, not mine. I just translate those into human language.

Noel knows who he is and what he deserves, so he fights for it. I need Noel to know he will not fight in vain. I need Noel to know he will keep on living.

~ Josie

We have USD 1,000 matching challenge ongoing. I will set aside USD 500 from total fund so Noel can be sure he will have his treatments and that he can now have hope for a better future; but first, we need to match the challenge. Chip in below if you are interested:

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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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