Little Match Girl


In the cold winter of 1845, Hans Christian Anderson wrote a tragic story about The Little Match Girl in the hope of nudging people to remember the poor and the needy in the middle of their shopping frenzy and party craze throughout holiday season.

Yet, one and a half century later, people still pass by the little match girl: the small business that hides in the cold nook of winter trying to sell what their hand can make, a kitten too young who shivers at the sting of the snow, or a little sanctuary in faraway land that was flood and mud infested when it’s passed by a typhoon.

I mean, who cares? You don’t want to be caught less fancy by your beholders when everyone in in their bling!

I hope you are not those who are captured in the middle of shopping frenzy and party crazy. I hope you are not those who, at the end of Christmas, find yourself back empty while watching the dead body that you could have help.

Even with the recent news about the flooding in our sanctuary, we still struggle to reach USD 800 in our Pitch In. Even when our friends and family reached out everywhere no one come and drop by to see if they can do something. Every day, I light up one of my matches and one after another, I got clearer picture that it is probably time for me to close down The Whiskers’ Syndicate.

wet cattery

under the sun

We are the first, and the only animal/cat sanctuary in Bandung, breeder capital of Indonesia, a country without animal welfare; and as such, when the rain and storm came slapping the highland, we become the only hope for animals to get some shelter, to have some towel and a little time to dried up and get little warm food.

Every night, we heard scratches on the front door and find hungry dog that can’t find food in the garbage. This particular night, under pouring rain that has just brought small flood into our sanctuary, we heard desperate meow from the roof of our porch and when I looked up, find one of the street cats that take residence in an empty lot at the corner of our residential cluster.

That black and white old man used to be a proud cat; the glint in his eyes, the way he raise his chin and straighten his tail as he walk at the rim of the street and on top of hot asphalt, day in, day out, since the day we moved into this house last year until tonight, when perhaps, for the first time in his life he has to beg for food and shelter.

He is not rejected, of course, though he has to stay in a cage because our sanctuary is full of the sick and the small and the mothers (who tend to claw on just anyone who passed their children). We don’t want our house to turn into a gladiator arena.

Still, when I am finally alone in the silence when the animals are asleep, I am carried into the clearer vision of those animals who will just go in and out of this house, that will become empty at the end of the last dime in my bank account.

I cannot sleep. When flood can ambush like a thief, the most common cause of casualties in the flood is because someone is too sound asleep. Besides, I am afraid to sleep, because I do not want to wake up to the day when I can no longer open my arms to stray animals.

The cost to repair our sanctuary reached a little bit over USD 5,000; and we need to buy more medicine, we need to buy more food, we need to take kittens to the vet every day, we need to make extra heater (it’s just light bulbs really, but we need around 50 of them), we need to clean the mud off everything, we need to buy new stove that’s rusty with all the dirt and is prone to leak some gas, we need to…

Make this short; it’s Mission Impossible, and you won’t even get to see some Tom Cruise.

Whiskers Syndicate Renovation 2013

At such time I didn’t realize that someone is watching. Someone from behind a glass window that might not be adorned with the fanciest holiday festive, but is watching over us and sharing the light of our matches.

To make additional income for the sanctuary I have been selling handmade gifts for pets and pets lover in Etsy, the largest online marketplace for anything hand made; and I am a member of Team EFA, Etsy For Animals, a group of hand-crafters who donates portion or all of their sales toward various animal charity.

Every month, Team EFA will choose one animal rescue as Charity Of The Month where we will donate portion or all of our sales. With such wonderful opportunity,  I am actively contribute to their Charity Of The Month (s) regardless of how much or less I made.

I just never dream that one of these days, when I thought I am coming to my last match, that my team leader Nicole Planchon of Brizel4TheAnimals secretly nominating The Whiskers’ Syndicate and we are chosen as their December Charity Of The Month.

Breath in relief, but just few times though. Team EFA has to make sales to help us get back on our feet, and herewith I invite you to peek in the nook of these marvellous small businesses that reach their hand out to benefit The Whiskers’ Syndicate and animals around the world.

If you are caught in the shopping frenzy and party crazy, click the picture at the bottom to buy this small busineses’ “matches” and share the joy and warmth of this holiday season with their items for you and yours and at the same time safe the lives of street animals who are flooded, cold and hungry in Bandung, breeder capital of Indonesia, a country without animal welfare.

wet and cold


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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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