CATS IN THE STORM

By MOHAMMED ABUALOLA

(written November 2013)

The infrastructure of Gaza is crumbling; when it rains, it floods.  In the winter of 2013, the storm changed the fate of many Gazans, as well as that of many animals.

We had a cat with her three kittens in our yard.  The mother was white, two of the kittens were white, and one was brown.  The kittens were so cute, like babies, learning to walk and play at only two weeks of age.  They easily overcame the fact that their father had left them before they were born, but the mother looked angry all the time.
The first day of the storm, the three kittens were nowhere to be found in our house or garden.  Their mother, whose leg had been injured, moved with difficulty, preventing her from climbing the wall to get out of our property.
The second day of the storm, my mother heard one of kittens in the yard, on the other side of the fence that surrounds our house.
We had to do something about it.
The first attempt was by a 15-year-old boy who climbed the fence.  He approached the scared little kitten and she bit his hand, sending him to the hospital for treatment.
The second attempt was by putting up a plank of wood so the kittens would walk back on it from the neighboring house to our house.  This succeeded in bringing back the brown kitten.
The third and last attempt was made by the courageous me, on the third day of the storm.
I climbed over the fence and saw one of the two white kittens.  When I got close to her, she hid under a pile of dry grass.
I came up with a plan that theoretically would have 100% of success.
I got a can of meat and placed it outside her hiding place.  I stayed there waiting for her to come out.  After a few minutes the little white kitten cautiously walked out from under the pile of grass and started eating the meat.  But as I moved my leg one inch, she ran one hundred yards away like a fleeting bird.
That night, this white kitten mysteriously appeared at our front door.
She was “screaming,” and you couldn’t tell if it was because she was freezing cold or because she was looking for her mother.  The kitten looked exhausted and frightened.  My brother carried her into the house and placed her on a pile of warm clothes.
She stayed like this all night long and died as dawn had just risen.
The mother and her brown kitten are alive and healthy in our house, while the third kitten’s fate remains unknown.
Mohammed-AbualolaisMohammed Abualola is 24 years old and lives in Al Maghazi refugee camp in Gaza.  He has a bachelor degree in accounting from IUG (Islamic University of Gaza), and works in procurement and administration at the NGO World Vision.  Mohammed loves reading and creative writing.  He wishes to live in a world where people accept each others’ differences.  His wish is to see a future where there is justice.
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