“Hurry up, they are coming!”

It was close to a hiss, but such alarming tension with which the words were delivered was so out of character, the pure bliss that surrounded me evaporated faster than the thick fog by the dawn.

Okay, so we had a few times when scary strangers came toward us when we feed the strays at the park and ask for money. We always said we have none, and they never harm the cats, but safe is better than sorry, so as much as I wanted to stand my ground and make sure the cats are safe, I always walked back to the motorbike so Sheilla can drive us away.

Still it was unusual. It’s 2 am in the morning around dark park and the town is dead except for the strays and us. Two innocent girls are not supposed to be anywhere near any dark park nor hanging around slums, but most of the time, as soon as I see the cats running toward me with little arches on their upright tails, all is good in this world.

When they come surrounding me with purrs and little meows, all is good in this world. When they prance and dance upon strips of fish or pouches of cat food, all is good in this world. So I stood up in a snap and saw where Sheilla was staring. The fear in her tone is still in the air. Few ten feet away, three dark shadows of men are walking toward us. Not too fast, casually even, they seemed to chat among themselves. The wind carries their voices, on and off.

I looked at her, then I looked at a bunch of strays around my feet, happily chewing their steamed tuna; but one second and I got caught by the pressing distress that kept pumping from her gestures.

I rushed down the pedestrian way, not minding to put my ransom bag nor take off the gloves.

We should have driven past them, but then Sheilla make a big turn around in such a rush. The three shadows haven’t even come out to the light and they are not pacing.

We took a detour at the other end of the park, and proceed to our next destination by different route. The route we always avoid because it’s dark and it’s even quieter than the usual one. The corner of that road is famous for their sound system; such as, if one has a car and want the sound system customized, however it is, one goes to that corner where there are rows of stalls, and ask who has what they want.

A teak box with two holes lay around, almost blocking the pedestrian way. There must have been two speakers in those two holes, but that night, the one on the left has a brown tabby kitten, watching her sister wandering around just close by – she must be looking for food.

I pointed at the box and Sheilla stopped. She must feel safer about half kilometer away from those three shadows; besides we never abandon kittens, especially two months old kittens.

A gray tabby and white female was sitting around another corner, just ten steps away, but she did not care about the two kittens. She was busy courting a black cat our sights missed in the darkest before dawn.

One of the girls had a damaged eye. She must have broken that eye when she contracted URI, brought about by drenches of rain, and cold windy nights, away from their mother. We wouldn’t be able to do anything about that bad eye, and vets will definitely ask for it to be removed to prevent infection; but even with an eye like that, she still cheerfully explored her surroundings.

Her sister, in the other hand, was drop dead serious. She watched the other like the world is going to crumble when the other is lost, and she had no qualms growling, biting and scratching once she saw her sister picked up, put in my jacket, while she was in the other.

Even when we are all finally home, this girl never lost a beat taking care of her sister.

I wanted to ask Sheilla what caused her alarm that we have to be in such a thrilling runaway, but I felt tiny paws on my ankle and when I looked down the one eyed baby bent her neck backward ninety degree just to look at me straight in the eye.

She was hungry; her sister was hungry.

I took one breath and gave them soft food to eat. It seemed like they haven’t eaten for days.

Well, if we had not got caught up by the bad gust of air, if we didn’t listen to that voice in Sheilla’s heart calling, if we didn’t make a detour, if we didn’t take that road less travelled, the twins would probably be frozen by morning.

~ Josie

Can you guess their names? Anna and Elsa. Can you guess which one is which? They are both loved. They are both well cared for, but it takes a village to raise a child, and we have two. Perhaps you will lend your protective arm, and secure their chance for better future? paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

Two little tabby kittens, rescued.

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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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