Willful Misconduct

for @MinaANDMaya

Hi, my name is Josie and I willfully use illegal copy of Windows 8.1 and Microsoft Office.

Report me if you want, chase me if you like; but I'll run. I'll do whatever I can to avoid capture, I'd kill if I have to.

I know there's no free lunch. I know that whoever work in Microsoft need pay and food for their families, I know that I should be willing to pay USD 100 for each so that Bill and Melinda can continue to feed and educate some unfortunate kids in Africa.

But I also know that Mousy need medical intervention and if I must choose, and I did, I would rather be a pirate and embezzle USD 200 (that's over two million Indonesian Rupiah, by the way) than living a good citizen but let Mousy's life slip away and do nothing.

I met Mousy when he was just a few months old; tiptoe-ing from below that gawker's stall toward the leg of the bench where I sit, filling my hungry tummy with junk food (it's cheap). I was still a new recruit then, and few month prior had just started my own rescue operation.

I saw his pink nose, perfect and moist, sniffing my socks. It must have smelled all other cats in my boarding house, then he scan my shoes, then he got carried away and when he realize he went too far out from where he supposed to be hiding, he peeked above and saw me grin.

One half of meatball fall from the sky, at least for him; and he much it like it's not gonna happen again in centuries. Then another half, and another half, and another half. Perfectly sized to his bite size.

And then he followed me home.

He was perfect little kitten then; but about three years later, his nose start to grow. Just a little lump by the bridge of his nose. I have one too, something hard like my nose was broken and mend and where it broke has some lump on the bone. It never bothered me, and Mousy's lump never bothered him either, so I let it be. Everyone is different.

Two months later I asked a veterinarian and he said as long as it doesn't bother him, let him be. Don't fix what's not broken right? I let him be.

But that lump grow. Very, very slowly, but it grow, covering his nose, though it never seem to bother Mousy. He doesn't have difficulties breathing, he doesn't have any abnormalities (except for a big nose), he plays fine, he sleeps fine, he eats fine, he lives fine.

I keep consulting the vets (plural), and they all agree that as long as the growth doesn't bother him, they won't do anything invasive and make it angry.

Until Mousy sneezed blood last month.

I rushed him to the clinic, and the vet decided it's time to cut his nose open and remove the growth. By then Mousy was five years old, 15 pounds healthy cat who can trash and tilt the whole surgery table  and literally turn the room into a mess. He needs extra dose of sedation before he is calm enough for the vet to start the procedure.

The surgery itself lasted about five hours long, and require four senior veterinarians, two vet techs and gazillion of tools, equipments, injections et cetera.

The surgery cost me USD 300, and I draw that money I have been saving to buy that Windows and Office license in a whim. I know I was making the right choice, I know that I am taking the best decision between two bad options, and I know that I am very stupid in using that money (you will know why soon); but I am an animal rescuer. Life matters more to me compared to anything else.

Indonesia, where I live, does not have animal welfare law; and The Whiskers' Syndicate is the first (and only) animal sanctuary. We are not supported by the government, we live solely at the mercy of donations we raised over social media, and since I left my company job three years ago I made a living as a blogger, translator, and selling crafts on Etsy. We have enough to live day by day, but we'd tumble on any sudden cost unless I made extra income.

Without software license I have to rely completely on my cell phone. I can fund raise through social media using my cell phone, but it's a little difficult to compose a good blog post or translate long documents without a computer. Now you see why I said I was being stupid?

Mousy will need other procedures to make sure his nose won't grow back, or if it does grow back, I want to make sure I give the best I can until his end. It means it will take longer for me to save enough money to buy the licenses, it means loss of opportunity, and loss of money because I can't take up writing job. I'll be in catch 22 all over, and this time who knows how long. Meanwhile, I will be using pirated software with limited functionality.

Nevertheless, I choose, and I don't regret it. Mousy deserve a chance to live, and I will make sure he get it as much as I can.

So help me God.