Cat woman

in

There was a faraway look in her eyes.

It felt as though she was wandering in her own world, one solely of her will, one wholly from her imagination. This world, she felt, had given up hope on her. There was no reason why she shouldn’t give up on this world.
In fact, it was only fair that she abandon it the way she was abandoned.

Often saw this middle-aged lady in the estate, carrying a backpack and plastic bags of leftovers to feed stray cats. She would leave the food around on the ground for the felines to feast on.

Heard that she once got scratched badly while trying to trap a stray cat. She was intending to neuter it. Perhaps that was why the kitty lashed out at her. Was she doing good by castrating the cats? Didn’t know, I really didn’t.

What I knew was the consuming loneliness I sensed from her.

Some people radiated optimism; just being in their company would bring one joy. Others might bring out the recklessness in one. This lady, she evoked no such happiness or unruliness. She called forth an aching sense of discomfort from one – discomfort that reverberated alongside hers.

Sometimes, on my way home, I would see her. Her eyes were forlorn and her vision, casted towards the starless skies.

Was she with the cats by choice? Or was it because she has no else to keep company with?

Lord, may you guide and shelter us with your loving hands so that peace can seal the enveloping vacuum within. (Once again, I prayed. Not out of religious fervour but simply from sheer helplessness.)

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