Just a little miracle

IT WAS raining cats and dogs that afternoon of December 6, 2020, and apparently, one kitten took it literally.

I was at mom’s house around four streets away from mine, as it was my late brother’s birthday and we were having family lunch.

I intended to just have lunch, but it rained hard for hours. Dogdog looks forward to our afternoon walks and seeing me arrive at dusk means we won’t be taking that walk. But on that late afternoon, Dogdog looked more forlorn than usual, so I decided to take him out.

We walked our usual way, me dragging her at the start, and her dragging me after, and then we took turns dragging each other. Two corners from the house, it was Dogdog’s turn to do the dragging before stopping to sniff the sodden debris-littered sidewalk. Amid that debris of leaves and twigs, a loud meow emanated.

In that dark corner, Dogdog found a drenched kitten all curled up.

I’m not a saint and I already have six cats at home, including one that was a squawling abandoned kitten just six months before. And I just spent a few thousands to have her spayed. I was not about to rescue another one. But the kitten cries were so pitiful, and I couldn’t help but think what made me decide to walk the dog even in the dark, when normally, I wouldn’t.

Just last June 20, 2020, this less than a week old kitten was brought to me by mom’s cleaning lady. They don’t know what to do with it, she said. I named her Labada (laundry) because I was doing the laundry when the cleaning woman arrived with the kitten. I had to suspend all my houseworks as I had to go to the mall to buy her milk and milk bottle from the petshop. Under community quarantine conditions, going to the mall was a major production complete with major washing up upon arrival back home.

I squinted again at the wet earth on that dark corner to memorize where the squirming mass was and noticed that it was covered with white grain-like things – maggot eggs. If that doesn’t make your skin crawl. I walked Dogdog home, got a rag to wrap the maggot egg-covered kitten with. By then it has quieted down and rolled itself into a tight almost invisible blob in the dark. Its eyes were still closed, which would make him less than a week old.

Without Dogdog, I wouldn’t even know there was a critter there.

I went straight to the bathroom sink and gave the kitten a good washing, making sure the last maggot egg was flushed down the drain. I poured Liquid Sosa into the drainpipe after as I was imagining maggots climbing back up from my bathroom sink. Yeah, just what nightmares are made of.

Maggot eggs. Cringe. That’s why I named him Magoo. For Maggots. I wanted to name him Maggots, but friends were cringing.

The kitten was such a trooper and didn’t give me much trouble except for the every two hours feeding time, which means bye-bye sleep for one whole month. He’s almost two months old now and just last 27 January 2021 climbed the stairs all by himself. That was one momentous time for my tiny family of cats and a dog as he joined the cats for their morning meal.

Meet Dogdog.

Until now, I can’t help but wonder why I decided to walk Dogdog on that dark December dusk and have resigned myself to rearing this new member because, well, it was his destiny to be rescued and who are we to deny someone’s destiny? Indeed, there will be times in our lives when we just have to do as the Universe decides for us. If I can’t handle a kitten, how do I expect to handle the bigger gifts destiny holds for me? A few more hours in that condition, that kitten would have died of hypothermia.

That is how Magoo came into my life. May this be the last kitten I need to rescue for the next several years… Please, Universe, please.

This was published in Sun.Star Davao as an Opinion article. I’m sharing this here so I can post photos with it. The Sun.Star Davao article is here: https://www.sunstar.com.ph/article/1884293/Davao/Opinion/Estremera-Just-a-little-miracle

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