What of its owner, Ma? Sean used to ask, to which I used to reply, “The Cat owns her life, Sean, she is the real owner of herself.” So, we left our relationship with the Cat at that. She would arrive at close to midnight, meowmewing outside our door and either Ja or me would wake up to open the door. She would enter the living room, walking to and fro, telling us stories about what happened to her outside, and we would listen with keen interest, even if we don’t understand her cat language. Then, at 3 am or 5 am, the Cat would wake us up again, meowmeowing, asking us to open the door, hungry for the first stirring of life in the idle lot outside. For aside for her nightly prowl, the Cat had a voracious appetite for small things that move (including Ja's toes when Ja is sleeping).
But the cat suddenly stopped coming one day in November, shortly after my trip to the T'boli mining site and the Ampatuan massacre site. I sensed an air of finality only hours after the cat's failure to return, as if, something was amiss, something suddenly turned quiet. I never sensed such a deafening silence. Then, somewhere in my gut, I suddenly knew the cat is no longer coming back. Why? Whatever happened to this dear, dear cat?