Across the road, there lives a little grey and white cat. His name is Mogwai.
I worry about Mogwai. He had a bad disagreement with a car a while back, and it was over 48 hours before a neighbour found him delirious and mangled in their front yard, and they recoiled from the fat white maggots feeding on the torn wounds near his hip.
The vets set his leg back into place but incompetent charlatans that they were, bandaged it too tightly, and too straight. His post-operative care was ...insufficient, shall we say, though no fault of the vet's this time.
It was weeks before the bandage came off, and by the time it did, Mogwai had lost the use of his leg. It healed poorly, and in the wrong position. He hesitated to put any weight on it, mewling in pain every time he tried to stand.
Mogwai was always a timid puss to begin with, but before the accident he had definite spunk and verve. He was curious, and he'd play with Podae and the Fatpuss out on the street.
But once he re-emerged from his caged confines, blinking in the light and frightened of the way the wind felt on his fur, he shied away at the faintest noise. The sound of a car approaching sent him into a reeling panic, perhaps as he remembered the agony he writhed inside for those two days before being discovered.
It's good to see the Mogger out on the street again, though he's tiny and can't stand well, and looks malnourished. Whenever I see him I try to feed him something, just to help him gain some weight. He's about the size of a 14-week old kitten, while his brother Greed is sleek and starting to fill out properly. I have the feeling Mog will always be the puny kid with a sunken chest, though it wasn't always going to be like that.
I stroke him, running my fingers along his narrow ribcage, feeling the bones flex and tremble under my fingertips.
He's famished. He starves and craves and whimpers for nourishment - of both food and love. I want someone to cherish him, to pamper him with kisses and a cosy bed, to worry when the twilight is falling and call him inside, to feel the shudder of concern about his health, to know the anguished cramp of utter adoration, to cradle him against their chest and help him feel safe again.