So I was walking down the dirt road, watching my feet for cow manure, and secretly condemning all the litter I saw strewn about.
And there was a cat, meowing, crying. It was in such terrible condition. It’s face was crusted over, it had great gaping pink sores on it’s paws. It was completely emaciated, fur having fall out all over the place showing it’s black skin underneath. It had mucus in it’s eyelids and was screaming in such horrible pain. Others noticed, they acknowledged it’s vast pain, but walked by, ignored it. I couldn’t ignore it. I approached the cat, wearily, and eventually picked up the thing. I had no idea what I was going to do. Now not only were all the monks looking at the cat, but here they were looking at the only white guy around, holding a dying and decrepit cat.
I thought, ” I have to wash it” I went to a friends, I remembered his washbasin. I brought the cat there, and placed it in a sink. The cat was screaming, and it hated the water and was fighting me, but it was too weak, and it gave up. I continually washed it, getting soap and cleaning every inch of it’s body, from tail, to head, but I could not wash it’s face. It fought with me and it was very emotionally trying, but I washed the cat for about two hours or so. It had defecated in the sink, it was full of parasites, there was nothing I could do. I had committed to help this cat, this was my responsibility now. I eventually dried it off, wrapped it in a towel, and carried it like a child, eagerly wanting to be home. It was exhausted, every now and then it put up a fighting meow, but eventually it simply fell asleep in my arms. I walked past many people, some giving me biting glares, some faces of gross curiosity, some looking away, pretending not to see. All monks. I looked away from all of them and stead my course home.
When I got home, I realized it needed further drying. I had nothing, but wait, I had my towel. It was my only towel and I thought, “If I use this towel on this cat I can never use it again.” But it was beyond me, I went and got my towel, a nice towel, and dried off the cat. I placed the cat on the floor, and placed a good blanket I had, and placed the cat on it.
It was looking better than before, but worse. I placed next to it some milk in which I had crushed a small amount of an antibiotic. I cleaned the mucus from the underneath of his eyes with countless q-tips. I placed ointment on all it’s wounded, and wrapped it up gently, so that it might get out, but could begin to get some warmth. It laid there silently, in peace, breathing slowly. I felt I had finally done something. I was so grievous. I hated it. I hated that this cat was suffering so much. I hated that things here were so terrible, so dirty, that things were so wrong. I hated it that I couldn’t do anything. I cried.
I went to the shower and I bawled. Here was my son, dying, and there was nothing I could do. I had done all I could. I went about my day, leaving the cat there, and it was there when I got back, still breathing, still sleeping, at peace. It comforted my nerves. The next day the cat died. I came to my room and there was a vast stench, I went to the cat, and it was as hard as a rock. I was not grievous. I understood. We took the cat, placed it in a small bag. We buried it, but made sure not to bury the plastic, so that it could decompose just fine. I was happy, and joyous even. I felt happy that the cat could at least die in peace, that it could have some final moments of rest, of calm, of peace, of no pain, and of sanctuary. I had done what I could do. I said some prayers, and hoped one day it may be in a situation so that the hell it presently lived it may never have to live again. I gave it my fullest, and all of my love.