You’re up all night — with pussy galore
OH well, there you are minding your own business …
You’re walking to Madame’s sea rock, with Vento, your hunting dog.
You’re examing the cloudless sky while Vento has her nose to the ground.
You’re looking for clues about life in the blue yonder and Vento is off the leash, the one that extends.
It’s helped her learn to return to you and yesterday you also played your first game: throw and fetch.
She’s very clever is Vento, and it took only about three or four trial runs before she came back to you, with your Pooh Bear toy in her gentle mouth.
Yes, your Pooh. Such a cute one too, Pooh Bear dressed up like a bumble bee in a red and pink T-shirt with horizontal stripes. It wraps his torso.
He’s got little red wings on his back, and on his head, two red hearts on antennas.
Vento tossdes her head and throws Pooh into the air. She wags her tail.
We like this game and you wonder why you haven’t played it before.
Hello. It’s because today’s the day, duh, for it to be so.
You’re bonding nicely then …
Pitiful little kitten cries.
Mew, mew, mew, in stereo.
Then you see them.
Tiny kittens, so small their ears are just about flat on their miniscule heads.
Their eyes are still closed.
Vento and you find them at the same time … one, two, three.
Oh, drat. One is dead.
Splat. It’s four paws are spread out on the gravel, and the ants and other crawlies are feasting on it.
Poor thing. How lifeless. Inert. History.
Your heart is racing. Vento looks at you.
One’s ginger, one’s black.
They’re still breathing, and crying.
For a moment, you hesitate.
Leave them be, you think. It’s the way around here. Leave them.
But you can’t.
There’s something about ebbing life that makes you panic; that makes you want to save them.
Life. So vital.
Breath. A heartbeat. A reed-thin voice.
Mew, mew. Help me?
They hang on to your lefthand fingers, these little things, it doesn’t hurt.
Their claws, spread in a kind of terror you think, they are transparent, opaque, so soft you don’t feel them.
You hold them close.
Vento’s back on the leash in your right hand.
You hurry, for the black one is struggling.
There isn’t any milk at home, so what.
You put some sugar in warm water.
Then you grab the NoyNoy, a kind of milk we put in our tea and coffee here.
You remember the syringes. They’re in a kitchen drawer ready to be filled with the scorpion bite prophylactic.
You tear open the packet and dislodge the needle.
Their little mouths are difficult to see. Your glasses have misted up and the openings to their tummies are tiny, tiny.
You squirt the mixture down their throats, one at a time.
You put them in a box, one of the boxes you’ve used to sort out your writing.
They crawl around on the kikoi.
And go quiet.
Miss G, of Gaga Animal Care, she tells you to mimic a cat mom.
You must rub their tummies after you’ve fed them.
Then massage their faeces and urine exit points.
Miss G tells you that if you don’t do that, if you can’t get them to eliminate, their bodies will succumb to toxins. They’ll rot from the inside.
The touch treatment works.
This morning they’re still alive. They spread out their pale pink paws with their see-through nails, and squeak.
When they open their mouths, you squirt in some of the mixture in the syringe.
They don’t seem to like it, the way they shake their heads.
You’re going to see if you can get a type of a teat or something. You don’t want to hurt their soft toothless jaws with the hard end of the plastic syringe. You pick them up again, for another feed.
Blighters. They’ve got fleas!