Angah had always been there. Even before I came to Insyirah. When I first met him, he was nothing special to me. I can even list his bad points much much more than his good points. He had ordinary stripes and color, ordinary appetite, ordinary eye color. He don’t know how to catch rats. He was afraid of female cats. He smelt weird. He hated bath. He hated cat food and ate what we eat. The funniest thing about him was he loved vegetables very much, especially mustard green. Whenever I gave him fried mihun (that was his favorite) he would finish the vegetables first.
We used to have Angah and Ayong at Insyirah. When Ayong was gone, Angah seemed lost. There were never husband and wife – because Angah was super terrified of Ayong – but they were always together. They ate together. They waited for us in front of the door every single morning before we came out to give them food. When we got back home, they’ll ‘greet’ us at the lawn together. When I tend my plants in the lawn, they’d sit around, watching.
A few weeks after Ayong was gone, Angah became thinner and thinner. Then, my housemate, who was his ‘original’ master, left to get married. I don’t know if these are the causes, but they said he was also getting old. He became even thinner day by day. He lost appetite. He slept longer than usual. He slept at cold places – near bathroom, under the washing machine, under kitchen sink. People said it is a sign that a cat is almost gone.
One day, I said to him, “Angah, if you are going to leave us like Ayong, please don’t go far away so we can see your body after you are gone. Unlike Ayong, we want to be sure when you left us for real.” When I said this, as I stroked his fur, he stared at me and “meow” after I finished. I replied, “Does that mean you understand me, Angah? I hope you do because there’s no way I can tell”.
Above is a picture of Angah a few days before he left. At this time he’s already super thin and he’s suffering from a sickness like human diarrhea. After this picture was taken, he went missing for a few days.
But he came back one rainy and stormy night. It was Thursday.
He went into the house. He was all wet. His body was smeared here and there with poo. So I said, “Angah, you are covered with poo. You are not allowed into the house. I want to bath you but it’s raining now. I’m afraid you’ll get fever. I’m sorry you’ll have to sleep outside tonight” and I pushed him outside through the front door.
Before I closed the door, we stared at each other silently for a few minutes. This is the moment that I’ll never forget. Because that was the last time I ever seen Angah. I kept thinking,
‘If on that very moment, I changed my mind and bath Angah anyway, something else might turned out.
If I didn’t pushed Angah outside, he might die in front of me.
If I let him stay in the house that night, I might…’
But then I remind myself, life and death are matters of HIM. It is not in our hands to decide. If that was Angah saying goodbye to me, then I can’t be grateful enough. To think that Angah remembered me before he went away, I can never be grateful enough.
Angah was just a cat. But he left big prints in my heart and thus, my memory. A friend said, “Cats are Heaven’s creatures. Those who took care of them are fortunate.” I pray so.
Angah Comot, I pray I can see you in heaven. Ameen.