Even warriors die.
That doesn't make it any easier on us when it happens.
We grieve. We feel pain.
My poor little friend. I can't express the sadness I feel. Yesterday evening, when I found out the news, I wasn't able to think about it. I wasn't able to think about it last night either, not without tears.
I can't believe he's gone.
We've all loved him so. He was always there, ever since I started high school, which was five years ago and five years isn't much for a cat. He was there even before Arthur. I knew his mother. And that small, fluffly bunch of his brothers and sisters which all disappeared very quickly. Only he and his sister survived the first summer. That's why we named her, Lucky. And only he returned after it. I remember him as a little kitten. He was small and grey and he had a strange voice. He meowed like no cat did. He was always picking fights with other cats and always coming back. The true fighter. The true warrior.
My little warrior.
That's how I named him.
There wasn't a cat in the neighbourhood he hadn't eyed and scared off with his gaze, there wasn't a thing either, he wouldn't do for his mother. When she was to have kittens again next summer, he was the one bringing her food and he was the one making sure she ate first when we gave them meat.
He was so full of mischief and tricks. And he was so smart. He knew the chances of getting food by the balcony weren't always high as we rarely went to the balcony and so he would wait by the window of my room while his mother stayed there. The second either the balcony or the window opened, both of them were there, waiting. Sometimes he wouldn't be seen. And so he used a little trick. He climbed on a white van parked right under our window. Everyone knew him as the cat from the car. When the van was gone after the two summers, he climbed any car as long as it was close. And waited.
Arthur liked him. He was the only cat he didn't mind seeing around. Even as a kitten, with Warrior three years his senior, he always went to the window and looked out for him. We knew the second he spotted his friend, we'd know. It was the first time he had shown his caring nature for someone like him. Arthur was selfless. He had enough food in his bowl and he wanted others to be just as happy and their bellies just as full.
Warrior disappeared that summer.
We hadn't heard from him for three years. I thought him dead. I didn't think he could survive in the new environment which wasn't ''cat-friendly''. Stray dogs took over and cats disappeared, one by one. Whenever I see one, I am surprised. I know the bitter truth. She or he would be gone by the next day.
About two weeks ago he came back.
I wouldn't have recognised him was it not for his trick of climbing the car. He was so small, so shabby. It was then that I knew his time was close, but I still wanted to hope. I brought him food and called Arthur. When he spotted him, he didn't move from the window. He missed his friend.
I missed him too.
Then he was gone again. We hoped to see more of him. He didn't come.
He came one more time, about three days ago. I wanted to take photos of the clouds through my window and as I looked out, I spotted him.
He was perched on the car and patiently waiting for someone to acknowledge it. When he spotted me, he jumped down and waited. I wanted to take a photo of him. For my album. But I was afraid of scaring him off. He was hungry. I knew it. But I didn't know how he'd react to a flash. And so I kept him company at the window while grandpa went down to give him food.
He had a feast that day.
And once again, he was gone.
Mum came home last night crying. I didn't dare ask what was wrong. I didn't cry. I needed for her to find strength in me. We both loved him more than anyone else in the house did. And she saw him last night, laying by the road, abandoned.
For such a strong male as he was to end to cruelly, so harshly, without anyone by him... my heart aches.
The authorities aren't allowing civilians to do anything. What will they do to him? Will they give him a proper burial? Find a place for him to rest? Or would they treat him cruelly? Will he see his brothers and sisters again?
I couldn't go out to see him. I couldn't face it. I couldn't. I want to remember him as he was. I want to remember him strong and willful, protective of his kin and trusting towards us, as someone who survived for seven long summers and who was the first cat I truly bonded with. I hope we had made his life beautiful. We cared for him. We loved him like our own.
Grandpa says it might not be him. I don't want to hope. I can't hope. But then again, it would mean another one died and no one cared. I wish for that cat to rest in peace, were it my little boy or some other stray.
Rest in peace, my little warrior, find your brothers and sisters and find Lucky. Heaven is for everyone who was loved and who loved. And they certainly belong there. Their souls were pure.
Rest in peace.