The Old Man and the Cat

Works in Translation


Pratiwi Juliani, translated by Ian Rowland
Published as a part of Fiction – Body Literature, Jul 03, 2020

First published in Atraksi Lumba-lumba dan Kisah-kisah Lainnya as Seekor Kucing dan Gelandangan Tua.


There’s a square on the edge of a busy town. People go there in the late afternoon to sit and relax, to buy food or exercise. A short young man, with a very large nose, pulled up at one of the corners on his motor scooter, near the basketball court, right on the junction.

It was early afternoon, clear and oppressively hot. Next to the basketball court was a climbing wall, and beyond that a volleyball court. In front of them was a football pitch with grass grown sparse in the dry season. Then there was a roughly-paved jogging track and outside that the street, broad and clean. The jogging track was separated from the road by a low pavement. Eating stalls stretched the length of the pavement, selling ices, rujak, satay and lontong, and other plates of rice.

A parking attendant blew his whistle to get attention. The young man looked round. He started up his scooter and moved to where the attendant pointed: across the street, but still quite close and sheltered under a shady acacia tree.

Read the full story here.