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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Acceptance (01/12/04)

TITLE: The cat who loved me
By Mary C Legg


Bino crossed town in a children's shoebox. Smaller than a gerbil and about the size of a white mouse, he fit inside my hand. Although tiny, his piercing wail overrode gale force winds, echoing on the sixth floor of the communist apartment building. It rained. Mud slid away, exposing the garbage dump beneath the government flats. The metro stopped at Butovice. From there, it was another three kilometer walk through mud to the ugly housing estate. They all looked exactly alike: exactly the same construction inside and out. With no street signs, people exited and got lost. Welcome to the communist world.

The piercing cry of an abandoned lonely kitten penetrated the three-day storm. Winds roared at 100 kmph.. Unable to ignore the suffering animal, I went out. The colony of wild cats ignored me, refusing my repeated pleas. They waited until I left and then happily ate. The voice was not among them, but continued its pitiful howl. Determined, I plotted to discover and capture the animal. Such misery was too much to tolerate.

Before dawn and after dusk, I set food out, hoping to find him. Finally a wee valentine face appeared. Rejected, he was much smaller than other kittens. Distinctly marked, a true Czech wild cat, he was alienated. The kittens spurned his attempts to socialize.The Momma cats spat at him, although they nursed each other's kittens. Ostracised, he couldn't survive. When he approached the tins, the Toms knocked him away. Hounded, he cringed, alienated from society, in the the low foliage of the bushes. Only the sweet valentine shape of his face appeared in the evening lamplight.

Instinctively, we understood each other. Terrified, he would not come; but already he was mine. He needed a home and I needed him. Patiently I plotted, daily tempting and talking to him. Finally, hunger overwhelmed his terror. He edged to the food. Indecorously, I bagged him like a bird. Triumphantly, I returned to the bare flat. He howled. Offered food, he didn't eat. Perplexed, I examined him. He had no teeth.

He had no teeth. Stunned, I understood his hunger, and nursed him with my fingertip. His purrbox rumbled, beginning a very long relationship with a little sweetheart with a long name, Ariadne Cherubino Bunny. Three days later, Bino crossed town in a shoebox. Two days later, my back cracked. Incapacitated, I was unable to walk or sit, spending nearly six months, isolated in a flat in agonizing pain. With no money and no one to help me, I stared at walls and prayed.

A doctor came secretly to administer injections illicitly, often twenty at a time into my spine. He noticed the food laid out. Bino, too, was ill with yellow diarrhea, suffering seizures. Unable to keep food in his stomach, he squirted yellow gook over the floor. Terrified, he'd hide until it was cleaned. At times, he was comatose. In agony myself, the terror of my little friend dying, kept me awake night after night, feeding him an eggnog-solution plus salt through empty syringes. He survived, but received much ridicule.

Still, he was my friend and companion. He endured all those hours of agony. At night he'd hop from his hiding place to sit, purring on my ear, encouraging me to live. He knew instinctively that something was terribly wrong with his mother. He was with me all the years of excruciating pain as I battled time and time again to overcome hardships and physical limitations. He taught me courage: awakening from comas and recovering from seizures. Nearly ten years later, he came to sit on my lap.

But only after my landlord and his thugs broke into the flat and atttacked me. Bino was locked in; I out. A lawyer ordered the flat opened. Three hours later, Bino emerged from behind the wall cabinet, shaken and terrified.

Again we moved, hounded like rabbits on the run to his seventh flat... and finally he came, wanting to be held and to sit on my lap. Bino was my child. He experienced the pain and rejection of my life. He came, wanting to be held and loved at the very end, hallucinating and terrified. Maliciously, he was deliberately poisoned and died tormented. He was mine and I was his until the end. The people in the church ridiculed my tears, when I wept. They know little about love or acceptance. Love accepts tears, soothes fears and watches nights.

ecce non dormitabit neque domiet qui custodiet Israhel


Member Comments
Member Date
L.M. Lee01/22/04
gosh what a powerful story.