Once upon a time, my brother heard a faint meowing in the drain I think, that he soon discovered a small black kitten. It was so small, so skinny and so wet. It was very tired that it kept falling asleep. We thought it was dead or was going to die that whenever he was motionless, we'd poked and wake him up. We nurse him back to health but we were always concerned because it's head was always tilted to one side. That trait was stuck with him and we'd always make fun of it. It was cute. I named him Kage, Japanese for shadow as he was all black. But Kak Omm and Fara began calling him Minche, a character from an Indonesia drama much to my displeasure. But it stick throughout. The only one calling him Kage was me...
Kak Omm used to wrap him up and put him in the basket, and place him next to the radio playing Korean song when he was still a kitten. He would fall asleep blissfully. Fara and Farid would play with him. He was mischievous and playful. I too would join the fun. He was allowed in the house because we all loved him and he was clean and he behaves. He was a loving cat, and when we got Tsabalala, Kage would always sleep with him and care him as it it was his own. I remember how Tsabalala suckled Kage's fur at the chest, and he would lick the kitten in affection. However weird he was, Kage was a good, a very good cat. We always assume cats, or animals had no feelings, but Kage made me think otherwise, especially with his funny antics.
As he got older, he started disappearing and comes back all dirty. He did this many many times and we got used to him being missing, but he always comes back nevertheless. But, as time goes by, he was sickly and smelly. His fur began to fall and his skin was filled with cuts and scabs. I tried to bathe him and put some anticeptic but it didn't really work. He keeps disappearing anyways and comes back worse. I have to admit, i might not have done all i can to cure him. We all take him for granted. I wanted to send him to the vet, but financially, i was inadequate. I promised myself, my first paycheck I'd send him to the vet for a whole makeover. Give him all the vaccination and get him cured for whatever disease he has. Get him all healthy again.
Recently I was posted to SMK Kabong, Saratok. I was happy of course, finally, my own money i could squander on Tsabalala and Kage. I didn't even say goodbye to him. He was as usual, missing and I didn't bother to look for him anyways. He would always be at home i thought. Tsabalala was there, so i just said goodbye to him. I didn't think much of it really. Kage was always there, either sleeping or coming for food. We all never played with him anymore and he was too busy chasing girls and protecting his territory.
One night, my housemate and I had a chat, and i was telling her all about Kage and Tsabalala. Then, i got into my room. Out of the blue, my brother called me. While crying, he explained, Kage is dead. My brother had accidentally ran him over. My response was.."oh...okay. Its not your fault. Don't feel bad" and my brother hung up. I didn't feel anything. I just walked to the living room and told my housemate, Helen, and said "My brother just called...Kage is dead". I didn't feel anything.
This weekend, i got home from Kabong, because monday was a holiday. Tsabalala was there as usual, and Kage was not. After two nights at home, it still had not dawned on me. Kak Omm explained the gory details last night and it still did not sink in my head yet that Kage is gone forever. To tell you the truth, i didn't want to believe it. I mean, what do you mean he's gone? He's always there. Meowing for food. Just now, my dad talked about Kage again. Saying how gruesome it was. I started to imagine his cracked skull, his eyes half popped, and how he squirmed in pain. I remembered when he was a kitten, his head tilted to one side, running sideways when we call him. I remember still his funny voice meows,rather annoyingly. He had the funniest voice, too weird for a normal cat. It always made me smile. But now he's gone, and I didn't get to see him one last time. All those talk of getting him to the vet was all bullshit now. I don't know why I'm crying now after all these time. I really miss him. I tried to look for his picture but its gone. All of it was in my old harddisc, and it was broken ages ago. I kick myself for not keeping a picture of him. I know its stupid to cry over a cat....but i love him so much. I have wronged him many times. I should have cared for him better. Now i don't have a chance.