WHITE, LIKE RAINBOW

There is yet another cat, thrusting between him and the last of tuna by products on the plate: the fins, the gills, the galls.

Soon the roof above him will be lifted, and he will see the sky. He peers in a glint of worry as the man whose feet have become a familiar rubbing post for him arose and go around.

It’s about time. He always goes home at about this time. Lifting one bucket after another, piling it up tidily in the corner; finally, folding the new tarp given by a woman who came twice a week.

She doesn’t know him, he always run away; but this time he is too hungry and sick, this time, he doesn’t care.

Like many other she will just squeal and lift their legs, and then give him a push away.

Like many times he will just move away and wait patiently for others to finish the meal, his meal, that the tuna seller gave him with a little smile whenever nobody is looking, or women crowding him, bidding for whatever is left in his bucket.

Like no other he will not fight. He cannot hear them coming, although he can see all the blows coming; except when it comes from his back.

Like other people no one would have cared. They have their own world, he has his; where silence fills the day and peace fills his sleep.

He should be busy, come to think of it, he thought too much of everything that he didn’t see that yet another just land a slap on his sore cheek so they can have the last share of what should be his meal.

But of course, he should probably be wondering of what that one last girl was doing. She was squatting and watching him, with mouth opened and closed alternately. He cannot hear her, he cannot understand her.

However he can understand that smile; with a long – but fat – strip of white and clean tuna meat waving on his eyes.

However he can understand her language, though he cannot understand still, when she took him out of under that makeshift shelter and hold him like a baby.

And another woman pat his head, asking questions, perhaps, if her eyes are not deceiving, toward which the girl who holds him would nod.

He cannot understand, still, why it doesn’t feel like clear and present danger when both women emptied a sack and push him in, and sling him to the back of one of them, while other ride them elsewhere.

There are many different things. Towels laying around, mother and babies, babies running, and teens, and young females. The kind he chased around at times, but these ones in that place are all clean, and heavy, and chubby.

There are many different things, like cold bath in a scorching noon, and more strips of tuna, and foreign smells in towels, of many colors. Many, like rainbow.

There are many different things, like balls and funky smelling toys that allure him to play, to jump, to run, to roll, and it’s never ending pleasure. While he struggles to no avail to fight it, the two women always laughed.

There are many different things. Crackers and kibbles, chicken, and beef, and eggs. Every day, different food, different smell, but tastes all good; that he will always run and skip and jump to welcome.

There are many different cats, but none slap him, none take his food, none picked a fight, all sleep in peace, though their world seems to be merrier with something different. Something not silence.

Although, there are also these painful shots on his back, sticks thin and thick, long and short, poking into his ears. There are also these stings that lingers several days on his bottom.

And there is different shadow, well – he thought it was himself, on the mirror. He is white and clean, his cheek no longer sore and swollen, he is handsome, and well built, and tall.

Still, there is silence. The white peace that comes with him and follow him, no matter how many shades are the places and things he now belongs.

Perhaps he cannot trade those silent days yet, maybe never; but for a spot under the sun and away from rain? He didn’t know what he did, and that day will long be gone soon.

He just know that if one of the women flick their fingers in front of his eyes, it means there are more different things, as merry as others.

And he is okay with that, so long as he keeps the hugs and cradles.

~ Josie

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MUNDANE LOVE STORY

Once upon a hillside she lives alone, on the porch of a small shop; hoping for crumbs and mercy, of kids or adults buying snacks.

Her days become weeks, and weeks become months, and it all turns out to years.

She had never know that her fur was meant to be white; all she knows is the soot of the cars where she spends her night meant to make her warm, and the mud of the sewer a sprinkle on her syrup.

She has never know life meant to be fair; all she knows is stay away until little drops onto the floor, and when everyone is gone, then it will be her turn, licking the floor, while biting no longer work.

What to do? those crumbs are so tiny; sometimes, even just throat bone of chickens fried too dry.

Once upon that hillside she saw that little cat, just like her, years ago; so she crossed the street, and bring her to her porch, maybe they can share, though not much is there.

She never knows kindness does not pay; or should it? All she knows, patience is not her right, much less understanding, even more so: compassion.

All she knows, she was kicked to move her along her way faster, just so a man can be on his way. A man, certain religion said, is the prince of the world. He owns all women, he owns all the world, he owns all his right.

She never knows a kitten is supposed to run and jump, and fly. All she knows, the kitten cannot walk, just like it’s always been difficult to walk for her. Him with a swollen leg, her with hunger, both with weakness and disease.

All she knows, she was kicked once again to move her along her way, back to where she belongs at the curb of the universe.

All she knows, another motorcycle shielded her from another blow to that crumbling waist, and a pair of hands grabbed her.

She probably never know what she should do. All she knows, she was in another home, kept in a filthy cage.

But then, bathed with warm water, and fragrant shampoo, and wrapped in a thick, fluffy towel.

All she knows, she faced a bunch of delicious food, in a fancy bowl, filled to the brim.

And fresh water like the fountain.

And tiny pats on her back, and soft voices encouraging her to eat.

She had never known so many papers and wrapper; and people screaming “Pus! abscess!” and many tubes, and many tubs, and many bandages.

All she knows, that little kitten she was trying to be friend with lay next to her, clean, soft, with blue shoes on its bad leg.

All she knows, she was placed in a small crate with her baby, and transported hours away.

I hope she knows, maybe once upon a hillside, that she now has a home.

I hope she knows, maybe once upon a hillside, what life should be like: food in a bowl, filled to the brim; fresh water from the mountain spring, warm basket, fluffy towel.

Fur white and fragrant.

No more heat.

Maybe once upon a hillside our mundane love story, will be a fairy tale from the past.

A lesson for the future.

~ Josie

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TWO SIDES OF THE STORY

One cat learned to climb our laundry room and show it off to the other 89 cats.

The next morning we see six butts shades from under the conservatory roof as we had our morning tea.

In the afternoon we see about eight, and the next day, it seems like half the whole cattery had their butts spotting on the warm fiberglass roof every now and then.

We had fun counting all the butt spots then, then having a great time guessing whose butt was it that we saw on that corner or this corner.

But then one of the other neighbor texted and complained about cats lounging on her roof and she will not want to stand their smelling faeces on her ceiling.

Ceiling?

I went two houses over and saw builders taking down rain-stained ceiling and some dried out, bone white faecal remains. Those we all see in ancient leftovers in long abandoned houses.

And none of the mobsters ever climbed the roof until at most three days ago.

Do I have to argue? Some people won’t change their mind once they are set on blaming animals, even though those blackish molds on their ceiling smells stronger than the sewer just outside their house.

Still, something needs to be done with that tempting glass roof before some vile neighbor solve their ridiculous assumption in their own hands and mobsters start vanishing.

We here all know about people with sacks and muffled cries at night, roaming around before some cats were missing or some new one crying in the neighborhood losing their way around.

I know more about the pain of losing Cali and get him back out of sheer luck, just to see him dead two weeks later, because he did not get proper medication through his stray days.

And I haven’t seen Kaka for two or three days now.

He used to play in an empty lot across the street, and come home at night with dandelions all over his body, which he lovingly shared with our shirts and shorts. He used to chase lizards and moles out of fun, and no harm done except for all the grasses he stepped and rolled over.

If he is thirsty he went home, if he is hungry he went home. He knows he is the next mama’s boy and he doesn’t have to hunt nor beg for his well being. All he needs is looking at me (or the new caretaker) straight in the eye, and meow once.

But following his frantic, muffled, meows that the wind carries to add our worry did not turn into any fruitful find, though we keep on trying, and we keep on looking, and we keep on asking. Door to door, person to person. We are ready to beg for forgiveness and fall down to our knee if we have to, but we want our big brother back at all cost.

Late at night, what we got is this little guy; white and brown tabby, Crying and crying and crying somewhere inside car engine parked across the street; the car that belongs to the grandson of the old woman who always gives us trouble with her running mouth.

If I asked permission, I will have yet another trouble, so I just sneaked my way to under the car and retrieved him.

But even after he was well fed and choose his accidental new bed to curl up and release all his nerve wreck, we still hear that frantic meow.

We know it was Kaka. No one else calls that way but him.

So there we are, eleven twenty five near midnight, scaling around the corner once more.

This time, I saw that dark shadow bouncing from inside the parked car, and although my caretaker said it’s impossible, I turn my cellphone flashlight on and saw Kaka with is two paws on the window and horror on his face.

My caretaker ran to the house and bang the door. Even though she is a petite woman, she is no less fierce than me. She talked in composure and courtesy, but there was the hidden threat just like a cat’s growl when one tried to steal her baby.

There were many reasons, and some are legit. Kaka might be curious and slipped into the car when the owners left the door open too long; but that car has been parked there the whole day and we only heard the meowing from the evening.

I remember about Cali and how he lounged only around the front yard, and he still ended up missing and dumped somewhere.

I did not want to take anymore risk so I am cleaning the street from Sierra and other mobsters, including the aging Hanshin, and stuff all the climbing cats into the house until I have enough money to fix that conservatory roof.

Those days were our past two weeks leading to today, when fund comes only from a handful of our supporters (hint: less than ten) and Christine Alice’s fundraising page.

Food has been so meager in the bowl and everybody lost a stone or two.

All of a sudden we have about twenty five cats stuffed into thirty six square meters (387 sqft) house.

All of a sudden we have to sneak in and out of our own house so no one will burst out of the door and risk their lives. Cats are jerks and they just can’t listen to any reason even for their life’s sake.

All of a sudden cats start getting sick, and the more cats learned to climb and roam around, the more cats canned inside the house.

The more cats get sick, the more cats got angry, the more cats try to kill each other.

Our house will become living hell and cramped torture chamber until we can fix the roof, whenever God be merciful and fund becomes available.

Our piece of sanity comes from this little guy, who will not stop entertaining us by force with all his cutesy antics.

He is person’s cat. He made sense of all tension and cool down nerves gone tight, man and cats alike.

He follows us everywhere and will not see another day without us in his sight.

His name is Hachi.

For the time being he is healthy and happy, though probably won’t be for long if we just keep locking the cats inside to prevent death from snatching them.

We have had too many ripped from me lately, that any reasons or sense no matter how acceptable no longer acceptable.

I have had too many ripped from me lately, in cruelest of manners, that I will do my best (as usual) and many more to keep that sparkling eyes and sassy tabby alive to see the adulthood of his days.

Maybe ten Dollars at a time, maybe not, but as long as I rise, I will try to make him shine.

~ Josie

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BY HER SIDE

The sidewalk leading to our house, down to the corner that ends our cluster, is empty.

We waited, just for a little while, although we know there won’t be anyone there.

There will be no one there taking a sharp turn and running like wind to greet us, follow us into the house, and wait by the veranda until we disappear behind the door.

There will be no one there when we will open the door few minutes later, and find her in the dog house where she lounged. There will be no one now, to meow gently as we bent down and empty a few pouches of food she always like.

There will be no one there where she was always by our side.

When her little baby was crushed by a fancy car and left to die; she was there by her baby’s side.

When a kind heart came to trap her kitten and search for help, she was there by her rescue’s side.

When I picked her up for a second chance for her baby, she was by my side.

When her child finally lost her battle during surgery toward recovery, she was by their side.

When we took her home, alone, to live in peace ever and after, she was by our side.

When Hanshin grows old, and his age becomes a hindrance, she dropped all grudges, and stayed by his side.

When Kaka stands tall at the top of the stairs, calling for his long lost brother Cali, she was by his side.

Now when she suddenly slowed down and depressed, we want to be by her side.

When her tummy become bigger overnight and it sank our heart, we were by her side.

When the obvious verdict (wet FIP) was read, we were by her side.

When she reduced herself from an energetic kitty to a lethargic old woman with belly that bent her spine, we were by her side.

Like she lays herself by our sides during our storms, like she lays herself by our sides throughout our tears, like she lays herself by our sides along our laughter, we were by her side.

As she made her last journey to eternity, forever together with her child once more, we were by her side.

As we thought about the cruel unfairness of the universe, we were by her side. She lived as a stray, her kitten were crushed and left to die, failed to be rescued, and now, she got a fatal disease.

As the unfairness of all the world failed her, we stayed by her side.

With all the love that she had given us, with all the sweetness she showed us, with all the blessings she showers us with, despite all the cruelty that befell her.

Until her last breath ended her unfortunate story and exchange all with blessings and perpetual joy

We are by her side.

~ Josie

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Although Mama Sakura (named after the residential place where she lived) fell ill fairly briefly, her treatment left a burning hole in our pocket. All donation that we receive today will go toward her treatment ~ Josie

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SOMEONE LIKE HIM

Have you ever imagined? Someone like him. Homeless, loveless; but he is the reason I am here.

Have you ever imagined? Someone like him. Unwanted, thrown away, hopeless; but he is the reason I am going.

He is the reason I wake up in the morning even though my limbs refuse to shine.

He is the reason I keep walking, even though there is no more power in my swings.

He is the reason I keep trying, even though the road ahead is just dark alleys with no ends.

He is the apple of my eyes, the love of my life.

And I will call him with sweetest voice, because no other of my own kind would.

And I will embrace him with all my warmth, like no other of my own kind would

And I will offer him all I have, while no other of my kind would.

Even if one day my voice will turn coarse, my body will turn cold, and my worldly goods will come winding to an end.

Even if one day nothing left coming, for me to embrace him with.

Even if one day I might be joining him at the bottom of murky river that is called life; and never again given the chance to rise.

Someone like him, will still be the reason of my being.

~ Josie

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