20 November 2015

Me and The Unnamed Kitten, and My Hatred Towards Cats (Part 2)

(Read Part 1 Here)

Flashback #1

I was eleven. It was a dark cloudy day, and it’s going to rain any second now. My mother was talking to the Babu Roti, buying sandwich loaf for tomorrow’s breakfast. Two loaves of Kunci Emas are usually enough to last for two days, and when it’s full house, one morning.

The Babu Roti was trying to get the business done quickly, it was apparent that he was not willing to brave the coming storm. A kitten was playing by his motorcycle, crawling alternatively at both my mom’s feet and the Babu’s, playing carelessly like a baby kitten would do. 

The kitten was a few months old, in fact just two weeks before I remember it had just learned walking. The kitten was born to my aunt’s cat, a total of three siblings. One of them went missing, probably by abduction by its own father. One of them was eaten by its own mother, who might eat them out of desperation and fear of leaving them alone. It’s always like that in our kampong and I am not sure if it’s the same at everywhere else. Either the kitten’s father eats them, or the mother who couldn’t leave the kittens for fear of being eaten by their father, and in turn becoming fatigue and desperate from starvation while having to breastfeed its kittens at the same time that eats them. Either case, the victims are always the kittens. The father eats them for it sees competition in their social structure, and their mother who eats them for food. 

This one kitten, out of sheer luck survived both its mother’s and father’s feeding frenzy. The mother gave birth to it in a box, and my aunt shown them to me from the first day she found them in the box until one by one of them gone.

So this one kitten, now playing in front of me and my mother was the last surviving member of its siblings. 

As the Babu Roti and Mak went talking and Mak allowed me to choose my roti (it’s always the sliced marble cake if Mak being generous, and most of the time roti kelapa), we completely forgotten about the kitten as it has now gone silent.

The Babu Roti, after handed over some change to my mother, quickly sped off. As soon as the motorcycle moves, a silent shriek erupted. It was the kitten, who laid down under the tire of the motorcycle. The motorcycle ran over the kitten, and now the kitten was screaming. Its usual soft meow was now a shriek.  

The kitten ran straightaway to me, one-leg limp, broken or crushed by the weight of the motorcycle plus the rider, with non-stop meows of pain. 

The Babu Roti was shocked and he stopped his motorcycle. “Ayoo kakak. Adik. Mintak maaf, saya tak nampak ada kucing.” Apologized the Babu Roti to my mother and me before he had to go before it rains. 

My mom went into the house with all the breads, leaving me with the cat. Not knowing what to do, I sat in front of the door, with the kitten on my lap. It was still meowing from the terrible pain, and from both of its eyes, tears came out – at first small droplets of pearls, and not long after in small streams.

It kept meowing, as if asking me to stop the pain. 

“MAK! Tolong Mak kucing ni!” 

At first the meowing was loud and constant, until it began to slow down. My mom, clueless as to what was the best course of action to be taken in such case, handed me a bottle of afiat oil and a piece of cloth. 

I spread the oil on the cat’s limp and I tried to bandage the broken limb. I was thinking of doing something greater, but I was just eleven and it has started to rain heavily.

I was sure if the kitten could make it through the night, it could survive this ordeal. 

“Sabar Nyau, sabar. Tahan sikit. Esok saya bawak jumpa Dr ye Nyau. Tahanlah sikit.” I consoled the cat, calling it Nyau like any other cat that I met. My voice gave me confidence as well that this cat would make it. 

The cat’s eyes kept staring into mine, begging me to help it. We were there for a few minutes, with the cat on my lap. I kept stroking the cat's fur hoping it would make it feel better, and now it was storming outside. 

The cat kept meowing, and I knew it was in great pain. But the meowing was getting slow, and the cat put its head on my lap. Never did I know it was the last ever move it would do. The meowing stopped abruptly, and the kitten did not move any more. 

Even at eleven, I knew it was death. 

As soon as the meowing stopped, I lost it. My eyes began to water, and I began crying. 

If this cannot shred an innocent heart of an eleven year old kid, I don’t know what could. 

With the kitten on my lap, tears kept falling down from my cheeks onto the dead body of the feline. “Nyau, bangun Nyau. Jangan mati lagi! Esok kita jumpa doktor!” I kept saying that in my heart while I was sobbing histerically, hoping somehow miracle could happen to me. 

I didn’t know anything that I could do to change this fate, but I feel like I’ve failed to protect this kitten from pain and death. It was so very small. It deserved to run and play freely like any other cats. 

With the piece of cloth still bandaging the kitten's limb, I placed the cat in a box, the final resting place. I went inside my house while still crying not knowing how to feel except that I felt my heart was broken into thousand tiny pieces. 
I cried myself to sleep that night. And the night after.

(To Be Continued)

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  1. At 11, death is not such an abstract concept to be understood. A 4yo could know that.

    I will be waiting for the part when that hatred comes.

    1. it was my openness to the concept of death without denying it when i was eleven that i thought was quite remarkable, especially for a kid like me who lived in a fantasy world of his own


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