It was a normal Saturday afternoon. I made time to watch the sunset and jog outside when I went across a stray kitten in the middle of the road. I had to carry him out of there because cars were passing by, and they might hit him. I looked at the kitten and his eyes were filled with gound, and it was obvious that he was thin. He kept on crying, so I felt like I had to do something. I have 0 experience of raising a cat. Of course, I thought of the practical things that I had to deal with such as his food, shelter, and responsibility. But at that moment, I told myself to deal with those later on. I had to save this kitten.
I carried him to the nearest 7 eleven and the guard of the condo permitted me to take him home since no one was feeding and taking care of him. I told Kuya guard that I’d just buy water and ask for a box inside the store, so I could take him home with me. Inside the store, a million things ran on my mind — what-ifs. What if I won’t be able to take care of him… What if he dies because of me… What will I say to my fam… we already own a dog, so I’m worried that Charles might attack him. But I still got that box. I asked permission again to Kuya guard and got his name, just in case. I promised to take care of him nonetheless and even bring him with me when I jog, so Kuya guard would see that he’s doing well. I even took a picture of him to remember this moment! I was happy that I became a cat mom by accident.
I was walking home carrying the kitten in the box. And I had to stop for a while to drink the water I bought, when a teenage boy turned around and said, “Uy Whitey! Ate pusa ko po ‘yan. Kahapon pa po siya nawawala.” Wow, what a coincidence! I doubted him because Kuya guard mentioned that he’s been a stray for days now. So I immediately answered, “Weh? Paano?” I kept on asking questions to convince myself that he’s the owner of Whitey. He said that the kitten had a cold because his mom took him for a bath. He lost his sense of smell so he wasn’t able to return to their house. They kept on looking for him and even thought he was dead.
At some point I still wanted to keep the cat, so I said maybe I can keep him for them if they own a lot of cats at home. He answered that his mom was looking for “Whitey 2” and he was their only cat. They named him “Whitey 2" because they also own 1 white dog named “Whitey.” He even said that his mom took the kitten to the vet, for he was actually sick. That is when I knew I had to give the kitten back. They really cared for him, more than I would ever do. I guess…
So I said, “Sige na nga, uwi mo na siya ulit.” I was surprised that they live a few blocks away from our house. I walked him to their home, just so I could still visit the kitten I adopted for 15 minutes. The guy’s mom was really happy to see Whitey 2 again and thanked me over and over for bringing him home.
All my life, I plan ahead. I never take on a challenge or new things if I know that I am not ready. One thing that scares me is uncertainty, so I always try my best to prepare. But what I learned today is that, when life gives us things we never expect, sometimes we have to loosen up and take it. I had the choice to leave the cat, but I took him with me anyway. I had worries and even doubted myself, yet I just knew that keeping him would be worth the journey. I cared for him already, it was enough for me. After all, “the heart has reasons of its own which reasons does not know.”
While it took courage for me to adopt a kitten, it was harder when I had to give him back. Maybe the cat wasn’t meant for me, but what I learned from meeting him was.
Parañaque City, Philippines
September 18, 2021