HERITAGE

To be, or not to be?

I only have a few minutes to decide.

It’s almost a miracle that I gained her trust enough, that Shy Tortie would come after me whenever I stood by the corner of the restaurant.

It’s almost a miracle that she would, although very slowly, let me touch her.

It’s a true miracle that one day, just two weeks ago, she would show me her two babies. One is yellow tabby who looks like miniature Fuuta, the other one is a gray and black tabby with little white socks just like one of the bosses of that parkland I always come to every night.

And I haven’t let go of that chance since. I come every day, without fail, as long as the weather allowed. On time or late or early, and even between the madness of Ramadhan traffic I would come and stand there as tall as possible by the corner.

After two weeks the babies let me touch them; pet them. A week later they let me hold them, and then they let me carry them.

Two days ago I saw them alone. Waiting on the pedestrian way, in the dark, among the little shrubs that people there sell for gardeners around town. They have never left their mother before, but they are at that age when mothers usually start to train them to be independent, and Shy Tortie is still young.

I waited, she was not there. I called, she was not there.

I looked at the two babies again.

I can trap them first and go get their mother later, risking the mother going frantic looking for them, or I just let this opportunity pass and get them with their mother, and risk losing their trust when their mother refuses to come in peace.

My instinct is always right, but this time it didn’t give me a clear answer.

I thought I’d just wait for their mother, but two steps away I turned back, squatted, opened my backpack carrier and got them inside.

They froze in fear the first night, but the next morning, stuck by me as if I am their mother. Just like that, so easily, so conveniently.

I haven’t see their mother since, even though I keep coming, but since the diner where the colony stayed delved further and further away, as their four owners keep fighting over their inheritance, Fergus has been going on longer and longer journey. Fuuta moved away, and Shy Tortie sort of drifted from one spot to the other around the park and the other one just few hundred meters away.

Still I will keep trying, I will keep coming. Shy Tortie is the youngest member of the colony that is now in the verge of collapsing, and left no one for her to look up to; and she will be alone in an empty town when Ramadhan wraps up, and the whole town shuts down for a month.

I have been there. Losing the elders to whom I clamp my anchor, and grow up alone, drifting from one place to the other, with only my guts telling me which one to enter and which one to pass.

It’s liberating, but also terrifying. It’s freedom, but also entrapment. Although there were so many times when I have to fall to the wrong place at the wrong time, I can speak, I can fight, I can run, I have rights; she does not. At least not here.

So here is for one prayer, and I hope you will all join me in your own way, that we will find each other again, so that even when the colony has to end, there will be three heritage that one day will tell the story in the past.

But this one, does not end with silence, or darkness, or suffering.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

COLLATERAL DAMAGE

There she goes again.

Whether it’s the tuna guy or the tofu seller right next to him who mumbles, or it was my head thinking out loud, I know at least three of us thinks the same.

All this woman does is boasting. Every day is different toot of her own horn and whatever in between; about her, about her cooking, about how much people love to buy from her food cart, about her great life, about either one or both of her sons who should be the center of the world and how she couldn’t understand why most people looks down on them.

I can’t see why either. They are typical, old school Sundanese boy. Sleep all day, no work, just sit around wooing girls, because even lifting a kettle for their mother is too heavy a job for them. Men shouldn’t do that kind of thing.

But who am I to judge? I only met them every Wednesday and Saturday and it’s only because my tuna guy open his stall in front of her house. Well, not really, she is just a maid who takes care of the house. The owner of the house is an active, high ranking navy officer so I figure he will be living somewhere else. That house was turned into a boarding house and she is the concierge sort of thing. To supplement her income, she had a cart selling food and snacks in front of the house.

One day about last year a long haired white kitten thought my leg (or maybe my dirty jeans) is a scratching post. Everyone was laughing while peering uneasily towards me. Prejudice and predicament dissolved as soon as I lifted the little kitten up, cradled her, and cood at her funny marking.

“Would you have a place for her in your house?”

The tofu seller never speaks to me, but that time, he did.

“She was born in that house, and has no one to take care of her. I feed her everyday with my tuna, but if you can give her home it will be wonderful”, so the tuna guy said.

I told them I need to go to three more places and two banks, so it’s impossible for me to bring her, but I can come with a basket the next time I come for my tuna.

When the day comes, we found the kitten, but when I was about to put her in the crate the older son of the woman took her from my hand and claimed that it’s his cat, and that he has been taking good care of her.

All right.

Come the end of February, his mom was probing the possibility of “handing over the lady cat and her babies” to me.

I did not respond. The tuna guy and the tofu guy peered at each other with a there-she-goes-again-smile, but say nothing.

But every week when I come for my tuna it became the scene of Holywood blockbuster. The scene when the climax pop, and there is this little kid by the corner holding a stack of newspaper yelling “Extra! Extra!”

Except that the one who yells is a frankenfish with potbelly and unkempt hair.

“What is a frankenfish?” whispered the tofu guy.

I googled frankenfish and showed my phone to the two guys.

“Oh wow, the resemblance is uncanny” said my tuna guy, giggling.

“Especially the mouth”, said the tofu guy smiling.

I tried to flush the fire with an offer to just spay the cat and later her kittens, but Frankenfish woman wants nothing of it. She just keep tooting that I should just take them all because of this and that and finally, “because her son is going to military school”

I can see that the whole bunch of people who heard it turned crimson holding themselves from bursting into bags of laughter.

No deal then. I have too many cats, and my tuna guy feeds her well. Tofu guy said she slept in a ceiling of shops there at night or in the roofed part of the house’s front yard, so we can keep her there as a community cat.

By the end of March, every time I showed up in the fish stall, people there pretty much know where it will go.

Week after week the kitty just become dirtier and dirtier. Her fur matted, and the tuna guy said she had been kicked out of the house alongside her kittens, as soon as the woman learned that all four of her kittens has short hair, none like their mother.

I started to look for an adopter, because I really do have too many cats and it will be irresponsible of me to risk an outbreak. I know it will be almost impossible because people here just don’t adopt if they can buy (it’s the pride in buying vs picking up things from the street), but I try anyway.

Still one hectic Wednesday Frankenfish woman just have to box all the kittens, push the mother inside and have her son tied the box shut and shove it to “madam veterinarian” here who “can turn any ugly cat into most beautiful creature”

Since when I am a veterinarian? She once took a peek when I showed the guy photos of Marbella (whom I picked up in a school yard across the street from there) and she heard me tell the guys I gave her supplements and vitamins to keep her healthy (when they asked what I gave to make her so pretty)

She just kind of knit all the pieces according to her own will I guess.

Never mind.

Her son can’t even fold a box right. Her son can’t even tie raffia correctly.

Her son took forever flipping the box around so that the kittens were panicked and the mother cat went panicked, and it soon turned into a scene that she kept blowing up into wildfire and just keep fanning it.

My rider knew I stood there frozen and pale because I was too busy holding my fist close to me. Tuna guy knew I was silent because I bit my lips so hard it turned white. Tofu guy knew that if all of this didn’t end in two minutes someone is going to be sashimi.

So all three of them jumped into the scene, snatch the box from the spoiled brat who is going to military school, one other tied the box up and one held the panicking mother and gave her to me.

It was like pit stop. Five seconds and my rider ran with the box to his motorbike, tuna guy held my tuna for me and put it in my tote bag, and tofu guy warded people off and dispersed the crowd.

We usually rode easy, but I have never known my rider can steer with such speed and skill, I felt like we are riding Formula 1.

Two of her kittens has advanced stage of Panleukopenia, one has advanced stage of Calicivirus, and one other later stage of Chlamydia.

Mother was so stressed she did nothing but walk around her kitten’s crate like a mad animal.

She is savage to this day, although I have managed to habituate her enough to her new life that she can live among other cats without trying to kill them or kill herself. She can’t have any cats near her, much less kittens; she will freak out and flipped.

She let me touch her. These past two weeks she let me carry her. She let me pet her long enough without flipping and mauling my arm. She can sleep without waking up every few minutes and claw whoever inadvertently dozed nearby.

She can eat with the others now. Eventually she is calm enough to be put into a crate so my vet can spay her and run some check up.

I lost my patience sometimes, especially with festivities in full swing, but it’s only been two months; and she lost all her world. Going as far as two feet away to letting me carry her is amazing.

Still, hopefully one day she will truly understand that she is no longer in the mouth of a frankenfish woman, and that not all parts of the world is thorn and prickles.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

P.S:
Today when I show up for tuna, frankenmom and hideouson came all smiles to me and ask if I can “gift” them an “unneutered male with long hair” to be kept “as investment”
Good thing a newspaper guy came and offer me to buy his leftover yesterday edition.

ONCE UPON A FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY

The initial schedule:
Ship out two orders, get some food, buy meat and vegetable, drop by the SOHO complex to pick up a cat for spaying, go home, clean the house, post and fundraising.
ETD: 11 am when people go to Friday prayers to avoid traffic
ETA: 4 pm when offices close (during Ramadhan office close early)

The actual event:

Shipping agent nearby closed, find another agent via Google. The other agent closed, find another agent, and another, and another. Give up and just go to other courier to send one package off, and inform the buyer that the shipping company she chose is closed, and asked whether she would like to change the courier, or wait until tomorrow morning. She choose tomorrow morning.

Get some food at 3 pm. Breakfast at 3 pm? that’s everyday for me. Nearby diner is open, but refused to serve until 4 pm and only for take out. Dine in start at 5:45 pm (Ramadhan fast breaking time). I was sent out with a lecture about respecting people who is fasting as an answer to a single question: “Can you accept take out?” Never mind. Some people have a hole in their head, some people have no hole in their ear, and some have both. I am too hungry to argue anyway.

Get myself a rice bowl and finish at 5 pm

Go to the chicken butcher shop and found out that boneless chicken breast is IDR 55K/kg. The previous day it’s 52K, the day before is 48 K and the day before that was 46K. The (upscale) supermarket where I work has a discount and boneless chicken breast is 53K/kg.

So, go to supermarket, join the loooooooooooooooooooooooooooong line of impatient people glaring at each other because they want to go fast breaking and the way the queue was moving, they won’t get out of the line until tomorrow. All 28 lines of cashier are opened and in service. Additional 8 express cashier provided, but since everyone bought twice the amount their usual stuffs during Ramadhan, it’s like we are going to have war with the entire NATO in twelve hours.

Finally dragged my cart out at 7:15 pm.

That’s OK. Take a deep breath. I can pay bill via mobile app and I still have deposit in there so everything is under control.

I put my groceries in the deposit counter, and since it’s 6:15 pm everyone is still fast breaking, road is absolute bliss while restaurants is like hell. No rider, so I walked to the colony.

You know, people seek heaven in all sort of ways, through religion, through cults, through materialistic pursuit, through suicide bombing (oh yes, I am still sour to those a holes who starts their Ramadhan suicide bombing police stations and churches while carrying their kids).

The restaurant where Fergus and Fuuta stayed is in the verge of bankrupt. It’s a really nice house. It’s spacious with good airflow and scenic, peaceful surrounding. It can really be heaven; but the heart of the four siblings who own it is burning, and restless as they keep backstabbing each other to get the more share of their parents’ inheritance. Heaven?

My heaven is simple. Whatever you do unto the least of My brethern, you do unto Me.

I don’t have to lose a limb for it, I don’t have to kill anyone. I only need to sit on the curbs, or on wet grass of a dark park, lit with only few pairs of glistening eyes and dancing tail.

The small rushing steps who tried to catch up to me as I walk along the pedestrian way, the laughters and greetings of the gamers community who, by now, know me as the cat lady from the east (side of Bandung), the group of online riders who, by now, know where I am going and won’t mind if one or two little cats come running to catch up with the pouches they all waiting for.

And if it so happened that they haven’t got their proper food after fast breaking at that 9 pm, we can always sit back on the curb for a cup of tea and a pack of rice.

I got to the SOHO complex with 10 kgs (20 lbs) of chicken, various vegetables,and a dozen of milk carton at 10 pm.

I know she will be there. Sleeping at the bottom of a stairway near the convenience store, or lounging on a flipped table of closed food stalls at the opposite direction.

That night she was under the cart, trying to ward off the brown tabby who for years share the kingship with my golden boy. I saw the males come to the area yesterday, when I picked up the little girl, so I know I should be in a hurry or there will be kittens running around getting crushed by car.

How happy she was to meet me. I give the brown tabby his pouches and she ran straight to my arm.

It all changed when I tried to get her to my backpack carrier, but she would rather have stayed there when the brown tabby guy and two others came back, and we both ran off.

I got home at 11 pm.

The cats were totally pissed that they got the dinner late, and they show their anger by peeing and pooing everywhere, including in their food bowls.

Never mind, now I have reason to make them wait even longer as I wash those bowls. I know they will never learn, so I won’t bother getting myself grumpy and spend the only food I got that day down the sink.

I slept at 3 am. It will be sahur (last meal before start fasting for the day) at about that time, so I have to wait until all these mosques blared their speaker trying to wake people up before sunrise.

Oh, and Hanshin fought at the corner of the block at dawn.

Passed out at 6 am on Saturday, and jump out of the bed 8 am. It’s tuna day!

Usually it only takes me about 30 minutes, but during ramadhan I won’t reach that place before 9 am and people are shopping like crazy, so…

I still have to wait on a loooooong and chatty line of missus telling the guy whatever they want with their tuna, get my order, slip here and there between people with bulks and bulks of groceries (seriously, I don’t understand, how come people finish all those groceries in one day? They fast but they still eat three times a day, just on different time than usual, so why everyone suddenly eat like three times their usual portion?)

Never mind. I get myself a rider, load my tuna, and tell him to go home. I am still a bit sleepy and have tons of chores that I supposed to finish yesterday, and I haven’t posted!

Gosh, I forgot to pay the phone bill that I thought I would do through the apps yesterday.

I got home, pay the rider, grabbed my cellphone and start typing.

But the name listed under that ID is not mine. I checked again and was sure I entered all the numbers right, but the name is still not mine. I log out and login again and do it one more time. It’s still that guy’s name (whoever it is) and this bill is sky high.

OK. I hid tuna in the cooker, ran back out, waved a rider, and went to the phone company because it’s Saturday, it’s 11:30 and they closed at noon.

When we got to the parking lot, I rushed in, pushed my hand into my bag and….

I forgot my phone.

Oh well.

I went to the cashier, tell her my customer ID, and let her check.

Miss Josie?

Yes, that’s me. You sure it’s my name right? Not Wimpy someone whose bill is IDR 780K?

Yes, it’s your name. Josie, right? Your bill is IDR 250K.

Oh, God, yes.

I paid, ran back out, and straight back home.

I stepped into my house at 2 pm.

The cats were totally pissed that they got their tuna late, and they show their anger by peeing and pooing everywhere, including in their food bowls.

Never mind, now I have reason to make them wait even longer as I wash those bowls. I know they will never learn, so I won’t bother getting myself grumpy because I haven’t eat, although the cats won’t care.

Get the tuna served, wash the laundry, clean the house, and ran back out for the colony at 6:30 when everyone elbows and shoves each other in the restaurant, and have the road all for myself.

Got back home at 10 pm.

I haven’t posted, but I am dead tired.

Two friends checked with me and told me I should rest because I won’t produce anything half sleeping.

So I sleep, and wake up at 8 am on Sunday.

Yeah, right.

I ran out of the room before it’s deja vu season 3 because cats will be mad even when their food is five minutes late and I am not sure if the fix cap of my meat grinder would unscrew. Somehow it got stuck on Friday, so I have been pulling off all the trick I can get everywhere but it won’t open. Whatever bits of meat and vegs left in that tube start rotting by this time and I reeeeeealy not into buying new USD 400 meat grinder.

I had soaked it in hot water the night before, so I hope a little super power just out of bed will do the magic.

I put on my rubber gloves so it won’t be slippery, and when I still can’t unscrew it, I tap it lightly with a rubber hammer.

It unscrewed, but when I lift it back to the sink praising the Lord, it broke in two.

[insert swearword here]

OK Josie, take a deep breath. At least you only need to buy USD 33 fix cap and not the entire USD 400 meat grinder.

I had to buy it online though, and it’s Sunday so it will take few days.

It means, I have to run back out of the house to buy minced meat, and whatever, ran home, cook it and get it served before my house blow up.

The traffic is mad, the heat is mad, the queue is mad, and of course the cats are mad.

Yeah, we’re all mad here.

Reach home with pounds of minced meat at 3 pm, cats had their food at 5 pm (of course they pee and poo in their food bowl, they are Gods and Gods don’t wait. So what about they pull out their food out of magic? They are Gods right?)

Never mind. Food served, order placed, stock enough for two days.

By then, I need to go to the colony, and after that I need to haul all the garbage out because Monday is garbage day.

I throw myself down on the bed near midnight and realize the fundraising must be in a mess and I was nowhere near the crowd through the weekend.

But there was this little tapping on the back of my head, and then, on the back of my hand.

I turned around and saw the little crushed boy. He sat by my hand and look at me with his little, round, beady eyes.

“Hi there sweety, you want your chew?” He is teething.

Instead he rolls around on my cheek and play with his tail. It’s his favorite thing. He loves to find little nooks and crannies and he loves to snuggle. He can jump and he can climb now. He runs around the house like bouncing pinball and he made everyone lick him at least twice.

At least all ends well with him.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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FIGHT SONG

What happened was that I was sitting on the curb at that time, by a food cart, in a somewhat empty sidewalk, waiting for my fried rice to be cooked.

Not many cars there, in fact the only car parking nearby was the D 999 JI. Black Kia Picanto. D is Bandung area code and while you can have two alphabet letters or three at the end of the license, all cars have four numbers on it, unless you “buy” a certain number you want (e.g. 999 or 123, or 555) from police for a few times the price of normal license.

This old man just walked in from the other direction, went into the car, and turned on the light. I assumed he was an old man because he has graying hair and graying beard.

I stood up and gestured at him to wait for a minute because there were two kittens under his car. His window was down at that moment and he hasn’t start the car, so I was sure he heard what I say.

So it’s not like I just crawl under his car all of a sudden.

He went out and asked me what was going on. I told him again that there were two kittens under his car.

Then I squatted to retrieve the kittens.

At that time he just put his toes by my nose (It was so close I can touch his shoes when I turn my head) and said “Cats? Then rid of cats out of my way, and rid you out of my sight”

Flat, cold, but it sounded like a stinky loud fart to me. Rid of cats out of his way and rid me out of his sight.

I hadn’t answer. He just turned away, went back to his car, and retreat it, with one of the kitten (I managed to save one) mere half inch from the wheel and my arm and face somewhere under the car bumper.

I can’t get it out of my mind. I was so angry, and even more so because I was conscious enough not to grab a paving stone just arm length to my left and slam it on his face.

Hence angry vibes on my Facebook status.

Just a bit later my mother wrote in Whatsapp.

“What about you [should have] used lasso and bait on the cats instead of crawling in”
“It is natural for the man to do what he did, he has the right and he is protecting his property”

She didn’t know how it happened, she never asked. I didn’t write the detail on my status, and she even wasn’t there.

And I should have put that bait under the car and lassoed the kittens.

Oh gee, thanks!

I was already struggling to contain my emotion, but I tried to straightened her up and told her that she shouldn’t judge if she wasn’t there, but what I got was more tantrum, more passive aggressive, more crap.

All of those happened when Newton’s system suddenly shut down and I was in the middle of running all over places pulling this pipe and that bottle.

I lost Newton that night; a punch on my face before I even start to digest what was happening.

It was like one of my organs was ripped out of me while standing.

Aside from all those, Ramadhan is coming. The festivities that people always ignore because they don’t understand, no matter how much I tried to explain.

Basically, Ramadhan in like what would likely happened if one day, out of clear blue sky God said “Tomorrow is the end of the world and the fanciest, most fashionable, prettiest, handsomest, people with the best of possessions will live, and the rest will perish”

Ramadhan is like Mardi Gras, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Cinco de Mayo, Independence Day, Christmas and Armageddon happens in the same day for 30 consecutive days.

All of my friends said “We will prepare for it, we will fund raise for more in advance”

But all these five years, none of them get into the mind of anybody. Because it doesn’t happen to them. So when the idea of “preparing before hand and explain to people what is going to happen” I said “Forget it”

Ramadhan starts today, but even a week before eggs that used to be IDR 18,000/kg (1 kg = 2 lbs) becomes IDR 25,000/kg. Chicken that used to be IDR 42,000/kg becomes 52,000/kg and beef that used to be 80,000/kg becomes 122,000/kg.

None of my donors is Lawrence of Arabia or Prince Al Something ibn Someone who will understand what is going on, so I am on my own. I had to figure things out before we all die in starvation.

So I have Ramadhan, I had this old man, and I had my mother giving the right to total stranger to abuse her own daughter, I had Newton going away.

I went blank. I messed up the days, I thought today was Wednesday (it’s Thursday here), I mistaken the time, I fumbled on my schedule, my fund raising is in disarray, I couldn’t sleep, I forgot to eat, I just flew out of my rails and went astray.

The next thing I know, I find myself sitting in that SOHO complex, between people chatting and smoking, thinking what am I doing and what I am supposed to do.

Then I realized that in my hurry l left my cellphone at home so I either go back home and spend double amount of money back and forth, or just go with bus and be quick so I can catch up the last line.

What would it be? It’s really funny, but even to such simple question, I didn’t know the answer.

And there was this little tortie, out of nowhere, walking her tiny steps from around the corner, to nearby food cart selling meatballs. She was sitting right in front, looking all the way up to the end of her neck capacity.

Nothing happened.

So she stood, walk her tiny steps to the next cart, sit right in front, looking all the way up to the end of her neck capacity.

The old lady there, who people call “grandma” was smiling to her, cheering her up, turn her back, and move on.

Feels familiar.

So she stood, walk her tiny steps to the next cart, sit right in front, looking all the way up to the end of her neck capacity.

She found herself taken away by a gigantic arm to the corner, and given one pouch of fragrant smelling food that she gobbled down growling.

So there’s my answer.

I put her in my bag, went back home, put her down, took my cellphone, and off to the colony.

She set herself apart from the other, even until today. She watch and interact with the others, she is quiet and unassuming, and at the end of the day, follow me to my bedroom, set herself a spot in the far corner, and call it the day.

She probably doesn’t know why she was where she was, she probably doesn’t know what happened to her life, she doesn’t know where her mother is now, she doesn’t know the way to go back to the family she knew, she definitely doesn’t know what will happen, she doesn’t know what is best to do.

She only know to walk her tiny steps to one of the carts, look up, and sat still.
For who knows how long, it doesn’t produce anything, but that particular day, it produced everything.

Life goes on, so does she, so should I.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

“Fight Song” is a song by Rachel Platten.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

Losing friends and I’m chasing sleep
Everybody’s worried about me
In too deep
Say I’m in too deep (in too deep)
And it’s been two years I miss my home
But there’s a fire burning in my bones
Still believe
Yeah, I still believe

And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
A lot of fight left in me

Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Into motion
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
I might only have one match
But I can make an explosion

This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong (I’ll be strong)
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me
Know I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me

EXCLAMATION

In all their constriction, contraption in life, animals live to survive. Those who thrive, survived, those who flaws, abandoned.

But abandonment is personal to me. Life is a mystery, so why judge, when tomorrow is not written?

You have to make the rules, not follow them.

So although I don’t have even two percent of what it would take to repair our days old home, I walked anyway. The other option is not an option. Our sanctuary was just hit by typhoon. The cattery was destroyed, the whole backyard is underwater, and when it rains, all fifty of us stuck in the kitchen without electricity, no internet, no food.

And he was born in the middle of all those chaos.

One from only two litters, and his mother was reluctant about raising him, and abandoned him right out after the first month.

He kept going. His mother just keep kicking him away, but he just keep going. He wouldn’t cry, he wouldn’t give up, he wouldn’t die.

He just kept coming. If he cannot come when his mother was awake, he will come when his mother was sleeping. It doesn’t matter even if it’s just one sip. He would find his mother’s breasts, and try his best to suck as gentle as possible.

To live as long as possible.

Those days, we don’t have online shop yet, and even if we had, we had limited to no electricity, no signal, nothing.

All we have is a small convenience store just five minutes climb, where I ran every morning to post, and my big sister Lori would go around asking for help.

All we have is a lactose free newborn formula, and eggs with price of gold.

Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.

By the end of April, four months after we begin renovation, he had learned how to walk. He is smaller than other kittens, but he walked anyway. If he cannot go to one place, he will ask the bigger cat.

He might get kicked, he might be ignored, he might be pushed away. He has no fear; he has no shame. If one cat slap him, he will find other. If the other cat kick him, hiss at him, rejects him, he will go find yet another, and another, and another.

If nothing works, he will come to me. We can only see further if we are standing upon the shoulders of giants.

All he has is love. It’s imprinted on him, can’t you see?

So he loves his mother still, he care for others still. He has no hate. If he got hate, he comes to me.

And I always grant him what he wants, because he never wants anything bad, anything silly. He only wants simple things. Opened window, a place under the sun, extra cutlet of sweet smelling bacon.

Because only those who was kicked away by their own mother knows how it feels.

He and I are the same.

What I cannot grant, though he never asked, is cure.

Sir Isaac Newton, as I named him, has chronic FCV. His mother pass it down to him, and tried to bury the trace by rejecting him. Calicivirus that will mangle his tongue so badly he cannot eat or drink. Calicivirus that will turn his day upside down, Calicivirus that will flare up every turn of the season, Calicivirus that weigh him down with such gravity, he can never be heavier than 2 kgs (4 lbs).

His mother thought he would never survive, but there he is. I thought, he wouldn’t live long, because an animal who is abandoned by his mother has fatal flaw, but there he is.

There are days when he can run a thousand miles. There are days when he rolls under the sun. There are days when he fights the other male.

There are days when all he can do is lift his head, and swallow all the small drips of broth I put in his mouth.

Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation.

So we never asked. We walked anyway. Day after day, under the sun, under the moon, in between the rain, among the wind; and last night, after four years, he stood there on the bridge.

And now Newton is now standing on the shoulders of giant, and see further into the sky, look deeper down to earth, and run free across the universe.

~ Josie

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You have to make the rules, not follow them.
Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy.
Live your life as an Exclamation rather than an Explanation.
Quotes by Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton PRS 25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27 was an English mathematician, astronomer, theologian, author and physicist (described in his own day as a “natural philosopher”) who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution.

NO LONGER

She is no longer trailing dust and debris wherever she goes; she is no longer scratching left and right, and shake shake shake like at a disco.

She no longer lets me take pictures of her without exhausting all my day and the patience that comes with her jumping on my camera or bumping the lens.

She no longer stays in the laundry room; she picked my bathroom mat, and no longer let anyone step on it except me.

She no longer wants her sea cucumber jelly, she no longer wants her ADE C treats, she no longer wants her brush.

She is no longer dependent.

She is no longer meek.

She swats everyone who plays and bumps on her and she broke all the kittens’ hearts. She made each of them cry at least once, and though she never took their food from them, she won’t hesitate to mash them if they try to do something funny.

She will growl if two kittens or more are chasing back and forth and make her dizzy, and although she never harms them, she prefers they chase and roll somewhere else.

She is no longer shy. She loves attention and now that I no longer complain about the bumps and crusts whenever I rub her, it means she can hog my hand all she wants.

She will soon, no longer have chance a to be a mother. If my vet gives her a clear, she will go for her spay together with Cali.

She is Grizabella, and she is on her new life journey.

~ Josie

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate