The storm is raging behind me; as I stood there in darkness like a stone pillar challenging the sky. It’s so riotous one cannot hear anything but the fight between thunder and water falling. It’s so fierce there are no place left to dry. But at the tip of my fingers, there is peace. The chain of breaths, the solemn heartbeat, that almost invisible smile, that can be seen only when lightning struck.

The past two weeks is like The Battle on Helm’s Deep; and Mr. Grey at the center of it all. All forces of men, all kind. The long and arduous journey toward the fort, just like how the world is rooting for him to be better, so that he can have his jaw refurbished. The silent worry that creeps to the depth of the soul, the hope that leaks in every step, the deep breath as the sun falls, and that long, never ending night with cold, damp, suffocating wait at the top of the hill: for the break of dawn, or the break of war.

The story predates that battle, with an unnamed blue cat running toward us, as if he can ram through our fence; his cry seared the sky. The untold story of how he lives among princes, when he was still belonging to someone. The crashing of the world when a vehicle hit him on the face and broke his jaw in two. Whether those who call themselves his owner simply showed their true colors; or whether it is Mr. Grey himself who choose to run away in his terror, and found himself lost, there will always be stories left untold. That grey cat was like a sage? mage? hermit? He was like a wizard who kept so many secrets, sweet and sour, as he walked through the world emanating only his wisdom, his youthful smile, his unwavering heart. He is like Gandalf the Grey that comes to see the hobbits at the break of the dawn. He is like the old man the Fellowship look up to, until he fell to his perceived death, when he fought the beast that needed to be beaten for the better future to happen.

Playing that prelude in my head, I no longer see Grey as the victim of the savages of men, I see a hero who stands his ground and fight to the end. Grey is not the smallest of brethren who cower and whimper under the storm. He is the storm.

As the next thunder blares as if to break the earth in two, the power went out. Soon there is that long beep and one red dot in that dark room beamed like a little eye watching. That red eye has been keeping Grey alive in his long slumber, but no matter what reasons, hopes, “what ifs” I piled up, the truth deep down cannot be unheard: I cannot keep that red eye open for too much longer. First thing in the morning I will call my partner and we will be there to see the end.

The lightning that comes next, blasted so bright the rest of that room went bright. From the shade of the corner of the room, it must have looked like my face was split in two, because the vet tech who has been standing there widen her eyes watching me.

I kneel down on one knee and kiss Grey goodbye for that night. I rub my thumb on his forehead between his closed eyes. I let his now clean, soft fur touch the depth of my soul as it brushes through my palm.

I walked silently toward the door, look at my vet, and nod my head: in respect, in gratitude, in admiration. She has been the general who stand in front of everyone, leading the war between life and death for Mr. Grey; for all of us.

I walk to the door and heard one of the vet techs whispers. “She is so heartless. She can stand there with stiff face and sharp eyes and still walk into the storm firm and tall. She made her decisions with straight face. She is like that storm. How unfortunate Mr. Grey to have walked across her”

No one will ever know whether the storm is raging, or playing, or crying or all.

I am the storm.

~ Josie


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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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