The Feline Condition

bro cat wagefreedom baliOld Bro is 11 years old now. How many cats on this island live that long, especially ones born to die fast in arid squalor beside the Bypass Road on the way to Sanur, outside a nondescript cargo company warehouse?

Not many people-or cats-live in entirely enclosed apartments in Bali, but this ginger glides between aloof and affectionate in his little 45 sq m/480 sq ft 1-bedroom condo, staffed by two well-trained humans.

What commendable deeds must he have done in previous lifetimes to have landed here on a king-sized bed even before he was weened, not knowing now what it means to be overheated during the day, drenched during the rainy season, hungry or unloved.

As rare as it is to have a cat live so long, as unlikely for him to have been picked up with his brother (now no longer with us) and planted here, to have lived to a ripe old cat age and still doing well…with the sheer unlikelihood of it all I should really make it a point to pet him more, take the laptop to the couch so he can lay next to me as he loves to do (when it suits him), and generally appreciate him more.

Not take him for granted as much.

So improbable it is that he’d be here to enjoy, the same as my wife of course, and my friends of course, and with me too of course. That we’d all be here to share life with each other.

As with Bro we’re all on an insanely unlikely trajectory from who knows where to who knows where and as I look into his old eyes I’m struck for a moment with real appreciation, that it all might have been quite different, and it wasn’t, and here we are.