A Friend and a Brother

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.

Proverbs 17:17

I think Parker is both.

Parker is my visually impaired kitten. There is a layer of translucent glaze over his right eye which I think allows him to see shadowy but not clear images. According to the kind woman who gave him and Piper his blind brother to me, they were like that when she picked them up from the garbage bin during one of those volunteer trips (see blog on 28 July).

Sometimes when Parker sleeps in a curl beside me, looking as if he is the most contented living thing in the world, I would whisper to him silently: “You sure have come a long way from the time before you were picked up, pal.”

I don’t know anything about Parker’s life before he was rescued, beyond what the advertisement for adoption said, which is that they belonged to the same litter. Which means they were probably just born when they were found. Were they abandoned? Or was their mother a stray cat? The latter is more likely the case. When we took them to an animal clinic to be neutered, the vet said they were born visual problems were caused by viruses most probably transmitted by their mother. Anyway, I always wonder how, with that big handicap, they would have struggled to survive in the extreme adversity of a street life. Would they have stuck together like they do now? Would Piper, with no eyesight at all, have made it? Would Parker have helped his brother and how, himself having a physical challenge too?

But I’m sure Parker would have helped Piper, because that is exactly what I’ve seen him do all his young life. Maybe it is what he really means to do, being such a kind and loving cat. Maybe to help his sibling is just something genetically programmed in an animal. Or maybe, as the Bible quote says, he is a brother “born to help in time of need”. Anyway, what has actually happened since Day One is that the racket and movement that this incredibly active and curious little rascal makes has been very good reference for his blind brother. Most of the time, be it exploring the surroundings or finding a new plaything, all Piper needs to do is follow. And of course, like all cats, they play by fighting, and that’s their natural way to sharpen their survival skills. The videos in my 28 and 29 July blogs show how Parker played with, and actually helped, his brother.

(to be continued)

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