two and a half bad news, or vice versa

In term of time, it’s no more than two weeks.

In term of walking through those two weeks, however, it’s been a roller coaster ride. At the end of June, I confided to some of my friends that despite my very limited (financial) reserve, I’d go with a mortgage anyway.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate had grown too large for another rent, and with the stress they have to endure during the change, I don’t think it’s wise to ask the refugees, especially the young ones, to go through just another. Besides, we all know how un-coping cats are in term of stress.

Since then I am sure a lot of people had seen my posts literally everywhere. I have been plunging on a massive campaign to raise the number of money I have never have thought I would have typed in before, and at the same trying to believe that if this is God’s will, a path will be opened for me, and especially for the Syndicate.

My first attempt of a mortgage application is a complete failure.  Despite adequate data in my part, the house I am looking for is deemed “too old” by the appraisers and I only get half the price I have to pay to buy the house. Plus, I found out that the owner of the house for sale has not been paying its tax for the past five years.

Well, at least I know I am eligible for a mortgage, it’s just that I am applying for the wrong house. So I look for another house in the same neighborhood.

I spend two weeks, right into the middle of the second week in July for another house in the neighborhood… and get nothing.

Every day after work I go round the entire hillside to look for appropriate house, and all I found are small cubicles that’s probably enough to live in alone, but too small for 30 cats.; and the other rest are – well – villas. It’s hill side, so everyone thinks that that fact can upgrade their house prices by 30%, by playing blind to another fact: it’s the outskirt of town, not the city center, much less the “suburban”

And every time I went up and down, I come to pass a small house at the fork of two roads that has been sitting idly, with tall grass protruding from its cracked carport, and paint starting to dry out and fade under the scorching sun. On it’s porch there’s a small sign saying “Marketing” with a row of numbers below it, but I didn’t pay attention to the poor house enough, because all this time, I believe that the now trendy (in Indonesia) “cluster houses” price is sky high, or so the brochures said.

I was wrong.

When I call the “marketing” just for the heck of it, she told me that their company will be joining a housing fair at the end of the week and if I can care to wait until then, I might probably get some discount, because that house is the only one left from the entire cluster.

And then within that weekend, I got a bargain for about 50 million Rupiah, that’s about USD 5,300, making the house price is “only” around USD 37,000 (instead of USD 42,000).

But that means I have to pay USD 11,000 for down payment.

I have USD 1,000 in hand, and together, we raised USD 2,200 last month, which means I now have USD 3,000 in hand. That’s still a gaping difference, but I submit my application anyway. The process take 2 weeks, and that means I only have a few days to pack and move, or be homeless, but I move onward anyway. I went too far to turn back now.

Enough with the suspense. Let’s hold breath and grip our chair a little bit now; here comes the commercial.

The house I am now applying is 36 square meter (387 square feet) living area. Smaller than the previous one I am applying.


it has 155 square meters land (1668 square feet). So it means the Syndicate will have over 100 square meters (1076 square feet) all for themselves.

And why didn’t I see this before?

Because that excess land is hidden behind the house, and since the back of the house faces a hillside, there’s no way anyone can see that if they didn’t go into the house, unless they went hiking from the hill.

End of commercial. You can start breathing again now, but don’t let go of your chair grip just yet.

The developer agreed to renovate the house. That means new carport (I don’t have car but I don’t want to have grass as tall as me protruding from the front), re-paint, repair on the bathroom, and change all the moth invested windows. All new.

Then, I got a call Friday afternoon, from the bank. They say I got the mortgage, though I won’t be able to move until I pay the down payment in full.

So, there are the two bad news:

  1. My first mortgage failed, that means I won’t get a large house for the shelter, aside from losing half of the month for waiting.
  2. I don’t have enough money for the down payment yet.

and the half:

I won’t get the mortgage if I can’t raise USD 11,000 for the down payment (that means USD 7,000 more) and be homeless this end of the month.

Hence, here I am again, hanging between heaven and hell, with thirty tails of cats behind me. I know I have been reckless, and that I should have raised enough fund before I am even applying for a mortgage. I know I probably have to give in earlier and find a rent instead of pushing my luck with a permanent home.

But if I gave in, the cats won’t have home. If I back off, I might have saved 30 cat’s lives, but I won’t have enough money left to help save those who are still on the street. There will be no way I will be able to spay and neuter them, I won’t have enough money to go round and feed them, and only heaven knows how they would live until I manage to gather enough money to help them.

That’s why I made this gambling decision, and come to you literally cap-on-hand to turn the two and a half bad news, into three good ones.

The two and a half bad news:

  1. My first mortgage failed, that means I won’t get a large house for the shelter aside from wasting half of the month left for waiting (in vain!)
  2. I don’t have enough money for the down payment yet.

1/2: I won’t get the mortgage if I can’t raise USD 11,000 for the down payment (that means USD 7,000 more) and be homeless this end of the month.

The three good news:

  1. Raise USD 6,500 and allow us to get the mortgage.
  2. Give The Whiskers’ Syndicate a permanent home and save them from the deadly stress to have to settle into new place every year (and the threat of crazy neighbors who love to kill and torture animals).
  3. Build the first TNR facility for street cats in Indonesia (well, Bandung is only a start) and remember that this TNR will be the first in Indonesia, a pilot project that will determine the future of strays in the country.

Are you joining us for this last coaster ride?

New update:

Jul 23, 2012 Some of my friends nominated the Whiskers’ Syndicate for an emergency grant from SPCA International. If you’d like to join the few good men, contact us.

The nomination form requires our detailed information, hence we can’t put it on display here, especially because there will be our clear address typed in and last time someone know about it, they dump 6 baby kittens on our doorstep. Isn’t that sweet? Not that we don’t want to take them in though…. but please, contact us anyway.

Thanks in advance!

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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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