On our second day as illegal Indonesian immigrants (Sunday), we found a kitten.A kitten so small it’s eyes hadn’t opened yet- meuwing helplessly under a tree – squirming at the pain caused by the puncture wounds in it’s neck and the ants biting their way into it’s flesh. Next to it lay its dead brother.
We just stood and starred. And eventually James bent down, picked it up and stroked the ants off it’s trembling body. The silence was deafening, there were big decisions to make here: We could put it back down and walk away like nothing had happened. We could try find someone else to take it in. We could help it find rest faster. Or we could get completely involved and do what we could to nurse it into catfulness.
The silence shattered as our footsteps wondered off in search of milk. “Can we call her Ninja?” I asked “because Ninjas never die.” And that’s how “Ninja Taracat” came into our lives.
She had a 50/50 chance of survival.
I sat on the roof of the yacht that evening pondering life (and stitching curtains). Nobody has a clue how long they have on the planet – it could be 20 years – it could be 120 – either way, life is flipping short.
Mine flashed before my eyes as I listened to the shrieks from below as James washed the maggots from the wounds. I contemplated the things I’d done with my life: childhood tree climbings, flying lessons, those awkward high school years, uni, the spectrum of bizarre jobs I’d acquired over the years, people I’d met, places I’d traveled.
|The crash helmet indicates that I may have been accident prone from an early age!|
|I don’t know why I thought this picture appropriate.|
|17000 km in a little car that never should have made the drive to Mongolia|
I started jotting down a list of random life memories…. then I tried to squat a mosquito and threw my pen over board and went to get a new one.
Down below, Ninja TC had stopped crying and started taking in milk.At last!
Coated in deet infused mosquito repelant and with a brand new pen, I continued my list and thought long and hard about what I’d be doing with my life if I’d taken a career seriously or if I’d never caught the travel bug or if I’d settled down and bought a goat or… I suddenly remembered what we all know but seldom remember: It doesn’t matter who we are, what we do, where we do it, it doesn’t matter what our past has held – it’s up to us to be make sure we make the most of every second of the now for however long we have to live it.
Solomon, allegedly the wisest man to ever have lived, once said [probably in Greek or Hebrew, but I don’t speak either so you get English]:
James stayed up all night nursing Ninja. In the early hours of the morning she died. At least we knew that everything that could be done for her was. She may not have lived very long and I was too scared to get to know her well, I didn’t want to have to say goodbye, but she made an impact on my life all the same.
You only die once. Make sure your life ends doing something you love. Make sure you die happy. But please don’t die any time soon!