Threading Through The Red Sea Part 3: The Incredibles

Just as Easter blends death and suffering with healing and resurrection, the Syndicate had met their share of loss and victory.

Learning from prior experiences with Calici, most cats that can hold on to, or stop sneezing after 10 days more likely to survive. I have eight kittens with Calici and although they all hold on until the tenth day, four of them can’t make it back to their better side.

This is the story of the other four who stays:

Fantastic Four 2
From left to right: Friskies, Blossom, Tiger Lily, Mini

Some elder told me that it is the last drop that turns the cup over. In my case, it’s Friskies.

I call him that way because when I found him inside a deep gutter (it’s 2 meters or 6 feet 65 inches deep, I have to borrow a ladder to pick him up), he looks exactly like that yellow kitten in Friskies Cat Food bag. He was the smallest in the Syndicate and so I don’t put much hope when his symptoms start showing (see the black crust under his eyes and on his jaw).

The one who turned the table is Friskies, the weakest of the whole batch of sick kittens whom I took in. He was already sick when I met him on the street (see that black crusty residue under his eyes and mouth), and I took him in only so I can comfort him through the darkest hours of his short life.

I had forgotten that God works mysterious ways, and that’s not limited to human only. By the time I lost Patch, Friskies can no longer swallow anything. He was severely dehydrated and fully dependent on his iv to live on. On wee hours in the morning he often wake me up with his cries, asking to be comforted from his fevers. I haven’t got proper rest for the whole week now, and that took toll on my strength, as well as my spirit. Though I hate to admit it, at that time, I kind of rather let him go than watch him suffer longer.

Just when I was completely ready to let him go, I notice that he had stopped sneezing. His nose no longer runny. He still got watery eyes, but they are a lot sharper now than the first time I met him. It seems like he got over his critical period and get a grip on life.

He started to grow stronger, and soon enough, learned to sit instead of laying down on his side, and along with his slow recovery, he brought my morale back up.

I might not lose after all.

Unfortunately, however, I ran out of money, and the healthy ones need food too. So I called one of the vets on the clinic and asked if I can get some more antibiotics on credit. I told my vet that Friskies had just turned for the better, and I don’t want to give up now, despite the grim chance.

She laughed and tell me to come after her practice is over.

What awaits me is a box full of antibiotics, iv needles, Ringer Lactate and cans of Royal Canin Recovery. An invoice in an envelope too, actually, but I figured she can wait for another week with that big grin.

“How’s your score?” she asked “four to none” I said, sourly.

“Chin up. I’ve got more than twenty coming up here with the same infection, but none of them came back alive”

I can understand why. Here in Indonesia, vet is only useful when people want to know when to mate their “pet”, how much litter their “pet” is going to have, when their “pet” is having trouble laboring, while they want all the litter alive so they don’t have to score a “loss”, when they need vaccination before selling their puppies/kittens, and when their animals are old and need “sleeping”

With daily agenda like this, it’s no wonder that veterinary science in Indonesia has not gone far from 1950s curriculum, and that most new vets in this country is more adept in “breeding science” than healing science. Come right here to Bandung and I can show you that most of the vet here is either a licensed breeder or an animal show enthusiast.

While countries like Europe developed a more advanced way in handling Calici, most of the vets relies only on one shot of antibiotics and vitamins and leave the rest to God.

Surely, I will rely on God, but that doesn’t mean I will just sit there watching the cats die doing nothing. This Calici has to learn by now that I am no Rapunzel who sits forlornly inside her tower waiting for Knight in shining armor. More so because 2 months old Tiger Lily fought her hardest, clinging to life.


And at the same time, Blossom is getting better as well. Mini is catching up a few days later.

Like an hour of sunrise throws eight hours of night, one after another, the sick cats are getting better. They stop sneezing, and their eyes started to dry and come alive. They are still week and have to rely on tube feeding, but I can see that the antibiotics and immune booster start to work faster and better.

The night is over, but I can’t be happy yet. I still need to stay vigil to their condition until they completely stabilize.

Truly, like many articles and scientific journals, what truly heals cats with Calici is total care, even when the cat seems to stop living (can’t eat, can’t drink, can’t breath, can’t move), the readiness of their patron to become their second life is what turns the table. In my case, it’s my willingness, and the vets, and the Syndicate’s supporter to keep on living in their sake. I keep feeding them, re-hydrating them, keeping them warm, keeping their nose clean. I am ready to be late to work, and lie about my tardiness. I am ready to give anything, and not stop even though all hope seems to be gone. The vet keep pushing me to give them antibiotics, advising me on yet another method whenever new symptom came up, and the readers, my friends, the Syndicate’s supporter keep watching out for another ways to handle Calici. All this is what kept them alive until today.

The Incredibles, as the title said, is not only the cats, but also all of you.

With this post I wanted to say that, no matter what kind of disease, whether it is a small scab, a deadly virus, or a lurking cancer, whether you are in the best part of the world that has the best veterinary technology, or in the most remote of Africa, Amazon, or deep in the forests of Asia, when your animal is sick, and the avant garde treatment is far away, the first, and foremost healing that you can offer your animal is commitment. Commitment to become their shadow, commitment to become their life, commitment to hold on till the end, whatever the result is.

Because back then, when these cats said “I do” to go home with you, they gave you their nine lives, and have been living up to it; but now, when they are sick, or old, or weak, the only thing they need is one life. Just one.

So, like Moses raise his voice in gratitude when God guide them through the red sea, and away from Egypt, I too, raise my voice, in the name of The Whiskers’ Syndicate to you all for your support, your information, your input, your donation, prayers, good thoughts, and most importantly, not giving up on us, a bunch of castaways and useless, unimportant existence.

Here is the four champions taken today: Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10 days after their last sneeze.

Tiger lily

Happy Easter 2012


In reference of my statement about how vets in Indonesia lacks knowledge and training about wildlife conservancy and healing science, below is a link to a testimony by Dr. Liang Kaspe. She has been successful in breeding endangered animals in Surabaya zoo, her last successful story is assisting comodo dragon and her baby. The story is in Indonesian, but it is easily read with google translate or babelfish.

Dr. Liang Kaspe: Surabaya Zoo’s favorite Midwife

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Josie And The Whiskers' Syndicate

The first and only cat refuge in Bandung (West Java - Indonesia) a capital breeder of a nation without animal welfare law. We care for Bandung's unwanted animals, operate a TNR as much as our budget allows, and continue to educate people about compassion to animals

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