It was mid-January when I read about a cat shot and left in a box, with rotten legs and back. It was too late; the vet had to remove her rotting half to keep her alive.
I told my long-lost friend I’d take the cat, but it wasn’t until March that I got more news about her. Perhaps the recuperation process takes longer than it should; maybe it’s the whole clinic and their doubt and objection that a cat that costs millions to the rescuer would end up in a shelter.
It’s not the tenth time people look down on me, despite my reputation, yet none of them want to adopt the cat themselves, citing work, lack of funds, lack of time, family, all the cliches.
Then my friend got COVID, so Fortune the cat stayed in a small pen alone in that overfilled, cramped clinic and joined Whiskers’ Syndicate in June.
Though only half of her remains, Fortune the cat keeps all her nine lives. She appointed herself the new boss of my petshop, running across the whole place faster than a speeding bullet and making everyone know she is in charge and giving commands. She shook the world when one day she slipped out of the door to have a picnic on a patch of green grass just by the corner. A woman screamed in horror seeing her, caught in hysteria, while Fortune and I watch the stupidity unfurl with raised eyebrows.
But for the ultimate safety, Fortune is banned from taking a walk even to the front of the house. She has toys, she has food, and she finds a new kind of sport: chasing flies across the shop.
Fortune and I have long arguments about it, but like it or not, she uses diapers so she won’t drag her exposed bottom in the dirt and get an infection, and I don’t need to mop the shop every three minutes because she leaks everywhere, causing the whole shop to reek of urine.
When no one is watching, though, we’re just two girls trying to get by with life. I’d sit on the stairs, and she’d climb over, and we’d talk like best friends. We’d talk about how different we are and how the world outcasts us just because we are different.
We also talk about how her devilish, commanding presence draws the strings of many stiffened hearts. The couriers who come and go to pick up and deliver goods would crack open and tell us about their cat(s), guys who got mocked because their inclination toward cats is not macho. Lady drivers told us they always carry a bag of cat food whenever she is on duty (we gave her a free bag of food for our friends out there). Two best friends, both motorbike taxi drivers, hide packets of Whiskas and sneak a minute or two to feed street cats in every parking lot they visit (they also have a few bags for our parking lot cats).
When it’s time to call it a business day, I leave Fortune in the shop. She doesn’t want to get along with others, and others are irritated by her mega ultra brattitude. She chooses a cat carrier as her flat, so I lined the carrier with warm fleece, provide plenty of food and water, and she’d stay in the shop with our outdoor cats, travelling strays, and a few wildlife creatures, spending the night in the warmth of my shop.
Tomorrow is another day. So good night to all, and to all, a good night.
There are 160 other cats like Fortune in this little house on the hills, who try to leave their horrific past of abuse, neglect, hunger, and disease. Help me reverse their bad luck and keep them safe, cared and loved. paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate