When I was a little girl growing up on a farm, I had a habit of rescuing animals. ______ animal would die, and my little person guilt would kick in. Soon, I would feel the compelling need to take care of it’s poor little abandoned soul.
let me preface this with the fact that I really, really dislike cats.
now that has been said, meet Roscoe.
I met Roscoe in the middle of traffic, cold, wet, full of maggot eggs, crying, and trembling. Homeboy looked reaaaaal pathetic. As much as I dislike cats, I still have a heart. After searching for other nearby kittens, I realized that Roscoe was probably abandoned.
A wittle orphan.
What followed was like a terrible episode of Teen Mom.
Me: I just wanna do my own thang and get weird. but you’re like totally blockin’ me lil’ bro!
Roscoe: All I do is cry, wake you up every two hours to feed me, and poop on myself.
Me: You are ruining my life. Go to bed.
Roscoe: poop. cry. poop. cry louder.
As easy as it is to complain about my little orphan Annie, Roscoe further solidified yet another beautiful aspect of the Philippines- family.
Raising a family here is not a two person show. Naturally it isn’t in the U.S. either, but families raise their children with a certain level of autonomy. “You can’t tell her how to raise her kids!” “if you ever need help with the children- just let me know.”
Taking care of a kitten and playing pseudo-mom is a handful. Not only do you have to feed it every two hours, but you have to make sure that the insane insects, dogs and other animals don’t eat it. However, I was not alone. This pseudo-mommy was living in the Philippines. and raising a little one, albeit a kitten, was a family affair. I didn’t ask for help- but help was received.
One day after returning to my place on my lunch break to feed Roscoe, I noticed an extra fluffy towel in the box accompanied by a little bowl of food. My neighbors had been taking care of him while I was at work.
What started out as the neighbor girl peering into the box in amazement of the little rat the foreigner brought home, slowly turned into careful petting to soothe Roscoe when he was lonely.
Once Roscoe was moved to the office to hopefully be adopted by the pregnant cat, there was apparently no need for me to take care of him at all. Or for the cats to take care of him.
“No worries, ate! We already fed him!” the guards would explain to me with a smile. “Oh, bhe bhe is full na- he in box sleeping! You can go back to work!” “hahaha! he can’t walk well. awww! he falls!” the staff laughed as Roscoe provided their lunchtime entertainment.
Although Roscoe is just a kitten, and not that big of a responsibility, I truly came to appreciate the Filipino value of family. You do not carry a load alone. Your family is there to help you bear it- whether you want them to, or not.
and in Roscoe’s case. I really really needed it.