Farewell To A Friend (Tribute To Pak Ngah Ben)


I am truly lost for words on how to say farewell to this friend.

 A humble man who had dedicated his life to rescuing, saving and helping stray cats, Pak Ngah Ben was a well known man among the circle of rescuers. He had rescued so many strays, cared and nursed them back to health and treat them with so much love.

His rescued strays, from ugly and sick cats turned into such beautiful cats that people thought they were of high breed.

It was quite late in the evening of Friday, 31 December 2014 when another close friend, Emi called my mobile. George and I were returning back home from one of our evening drives. That was when she shared the news that our friend has just passed away after Maghrib prayers.

We promptly make a detour and drove to the other side of the city to his house. It was already 11.30 pm. We arrived at his apartment but was told by the neighbour that his jenazah (remains) was sent to the nearby surau.

There were a lot of people there. I approached the wife, Mak Ngah and we both broke down. And next to us was the remain of Pak Ngah, covered in batik sarung and looking as if he was in deep slumber. The Al Quran readings around us were drowning my thoughts.

It was too terrible to accept the loss as I just saw his FB posting not more than 5 hours ago. He was there, and then, he was gone.

This evening, as I perused old photographs of the various events we had joined together, I realized that there was no picture of us together. The last visit to his house was after the Eidil Fitri last year when we paid him, his wife and the furkids a visit.

Widdy at Pak Ngah Ben's houseThis was taken during that visit. The furkid I was holding was named Widdy, a stray that now looked like a Persian or some exotic looking cat, thanks to his daddy.

A real loss to the rescue circle, and to friends who appreciate him for his friendship.

Rest in peace, Pak Ngah. We will all miss you.

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