Inglorious Bastards

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor; she is a Canadian working in Bandung as an English teacher in a well known Christian School. She came to contact us around the time we are renovating the cattery, and she visited us every so often.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor; she has a peculiarly unique cell phone that conveniently and effectively screen messages for her that all sort of information and useful tips, suggestion etc etc are not received, while rubbish and thank you note on her supposed to be donation are received immediately.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor; she gave a lot. and I mean a lot, like around USD 60 – USD 90 every time she visits. That amount is the average donation we earn in two days through facebook.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor, however, use her own currency exchange that is lower than the actually currency exchange.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor, however, after she donates, she always ask me for information regarding something like deworming, or calming a stressed cat, or whatever, and she always want to see the product, and “buy” mine with her lower currency exchange, or ask me to do whatever, the total value of my effort or the items she asked for is larger than the value of her donation.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor; text me often asking about “a cat with this” or “a cat with that” or “do you know special food for hypothyroidism?” I asked her “who got hypothyroidism?” she said “oh, just asking”; but later on, when she visited she told me that she has been reading things on the internet and she think her cat has hypothyroidism. I asked her again if she confirm her diagnosis with a vet, because last time I accompany her taking that cat to the vet, the vet declared her healthy. The cat’s fur is soft and shiny, she is slightly overweight, and albeit our donor insisted that the vet check on her lung because there are “sounds” coming out of it (gee, she told me it was ear mites), the vet dismissed our donor and refuse to give her cat medicine because the cat is healthy.

When the next day I visited the vet again alone (with my own cat) I asked her what’s that “sounds in the lung” that our donor was complaining about.

The vet smiled and said “the cat’s purring”

About that hypothyroidism cat, turned out she has been feeding her salted fish instead of the brand cat food she told me over and over.

And so my life day in and day out were be-speckled with her asking me this and that and I refuse to give any diagnosis, or any food, any brand, anything, because I don’t want her to use my information and knowledge to treat whatever sickness she thinks her cats has. Most of the time I ask her to contact a vet. I know veterinary service in Bandung is not sophisticated, but compared to self diagnose and self treatment that can make a healthy cat gone worse, I would rather ask not-so-sophisticated vet.

At the beginning of October, I launched Catoberfest to celebrate the launching of The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s new website, and National Feral Cat Day. My day is longer and my night is busier because in between the cattery business and the cat management, I also walk to feed the ferals.

During those early October days, Constantine has already waning. His age clearly shows and his many, many days on the street eats him alive. He has difficulties walking. He can no longer chew dry food, he was always under the weather, he was always cold, he has problem with his bowel and overall digestion, he grew considerably weak and unmotivated and he was clingy.

His clingy part is a warning to me to the end of his days. I don’t wish him to die too soon, because he’s been only with us for three years, but I also have to take into account all the suffering that he must endure in his old days if I try to prolong his life more than he should.

I spend as much time as I can with him. Giving him extra treats (Pet Natural Vermont Daily Best Senior) that he loves, play with him although he can only sit on my lap trying to catch some toy, I keep him warmer by adding extra fleece blanket on his fluffy bed, and during his final days, change his food to the brand he likes the most.

During these days, our donor keep contacting me about a feral mother cat in her school. She was afraid that the cat got pregnant because her kittens started to be weaned. I suggested that if the cat is friendly, she trap the cat and spay her. Then she contacted me because she is afraid that the cat will be in pain due to the spaying surgery. Then she contacted me because she is afraid that when the cat recovered, something happened to the kittens. Then she contacted me because she…

The last time she contacted me, she said she already trap the cat and she wants the cat to stay at my place while she recovers.

I thought the deal was the cat stays with her. Why all of a sudden? I told her I am full. I have a dozen of kittens still need attention. I have just rescued another mama cat with internal injuries, I have to walk for the ferals, I have to prepare for the next events on Catoberfest. I said no.

Then she contacted me saying that she will bring the cat to the vet the same day and again, wants the cat to stay with me.

Though half angrily, I managed I politely ask her what the heck is going on, and she laments that her own cat was having seizures (all of a sudden?) and that she was stressed (again?) and whatever and that she wants to be with her cat.

“I would have, it’s just that [name of cat] is having her moments”

Her cat is having her moments? What about my kittens? What about mama cat? What about Constantine? Wait a second, did she even ask? did she even care if something maybe going on at the sanctuary that I refuse to home a feral cat?

I was still wondering how to respond her the best, because I want to respect her as donor (money is always tight around here) but before I even figure out half of it, she already showed up on my fence, with swollen eyes and red nose, with a carrier and a drunk cat inside.

I let her in, of course, and she acted like nothing happened. I am sure she noticed the anger I was trying to hold. I refuse to even touch the carrier, but she casually open it, pull the cat out  and place the cat inside an empty cage in the living room.

Just outside the cage, dying Constantine was looking at me wondering what was that taking over his bed.

I didn’t know how to answer him.

She noticed that I was cold and that I keep my distant. So she sob and ooooh and aaaah crying over the pain that cat must have gone through. When the cat was finally out of her sedation and cry, she rolled on the floor sobbing louder and oooh aahh even more and lamented how poor is the cat to be in pain.

Such softie! maybe a little bit over reacting?

I kept my calm long enough until she went home and on her way out, she pointed her index finger to me and say “I’ll be checking with you, Josie”

Oh my…

Constantine died the day after (his story: Brave). There was never any regret in my life greater than the loss of my warrior, especially because even when he told me his days are short, I still dare to split the little time he asked with a foreign cat.

The cat flourished by the way. I didn’t know what our donor give her, but I give her the same food I gave the mobsters. She got grain free, gluten free food, special vitamins, and she recovered without a single piece of antibiotics.

Our donor still texted us every single day asking how she is doing, but I can see it in her face how shocked she is to see “her baby” came out even better than when she trap her.

Two days later I came to meet Liam (his stories: Someday It’ll be Saturday night and It’s Kinda Cool)

On my birthday she sent me a happy birthday message through The Whiskers’ Syndicate facebook page, and then she text me asking if she can come for visit.

I was in the middle of cleaning ten litter boxes and feeding 75 cats so I thought I’d finish my work first and then I replied to her text.

After 75 cats comes a dozen of kittens waiting for their turn and she called. She sang me happy birthday, and asked me to open the door because she is already in front of my house.

I let her in.

She gave me her birthday present, and then she asked me how the cats are doing, and how mama cat was doing (she convinced me that mama cat is either pregnant or have dead fetus inside, I told her it was internal injuries, and when I spay her it was internal injuries plus early sign of pyometra. No babies)

And then she keeps changing topics while shifting deeper into the house, until finally she said she need to use the bathroom and since she’s been in my house before, she knows where it is and take the liberty of using it.

Across the bathroom is the kitchen. I have pulled out can food and Liam’s special food from the fridge and was ready to mix when she came. She continue talking, but I can barely listen, much less pay attention because below me a dozen of kittens were screaming and running around, scratching my legs asking for their food. And yet she doesn’t seems to be fazed.

When a kitten tried to jump to the top of the fridge (seriously) and fall, I was about to turn around when she stop right there in the middle of her sentence (she didn’t even finish the word she was saying) and extend her hear trying to see what’s on the fridge.

“What’s that? What are you feeding the cats?” she asked, not even watching me, “Friskas [sic] and?” She kept trying to elongate her neck to see everything but she can’t come near because I was standing between her and the fridge, and that part of my body covered her sight.

I was too shocked to answer.  I couldn’t believe that someone can just stop dead in the middle of her sentence and drop everything just because she wants to sneak on what I was doing.

Since I stop answering her, she finally said good bye and moved on, but that was half an hour later.

Yesterday she texted me again, asking about 4 weeks old kitten with “a loose stool” that she tried to feed egg yolk and Promina. Promina is a cheap baby porridge that contains milk.

I figured right away that it was probably the harsh lactose of Promina that cause the diarhea so I recommend becarbon (the black pills) as first aid, and I reminded her that Promina contains milk that cause diarrhea.

Remember that she has this peculiarly weird cell phone that censor messages and only display what she wants to know?

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And then I lamented how her cell phone effectively blocks important contents, twice, just to make sure she receive it.

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She is cool about it.

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This afternoon she is using Facebook page messenger.

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So my first aid suggestion of giving the kitten becarbon does work, but the diarrhea is worse because she still feeding the kitten that Promina thing. For some worm to go out with the stool while alive is a bad sign. It means the walls of the intestine was so weak or the kitten doesn’t have anything else in the intestine to flush out.

If I asked yet again, as with previous cases, she will just said that she didn’t receive the message, which is a lie, but I was finally fed up with her antics. I might be wrong, of course, but I was guessing she was trying to do what I did with Friskies Tuna that she sneaked on when she visited on my birthday.

That Friskies Tuna was for Liam. He loves tuna so very much he’d gobble everything that smells like tuna. I use that tuna to mix his supplements, vitamins, and essence of chicken because the cordyceps are a little bit bitter; but that is not Liam’s main food. Liam has Taste of The Wild or Instict and Royal Canin Recovery.

But Friskies can is too harsh for 4 weeks old kitten, and if you keep giving the kitten harsh porridge with processed milk on it (and who knows what other chemicals) it’s no wonder the kitten will die slowly out of diarhea.

The Whiskers’ Syndicate’s donor; she is rich woman who lives in the most elite part of town. Her house, which she called “located on a slum” cost billions of Rupiah. She can have three or four vacation in a year, and the last time she went out, she and her friend chartered a plane to fly to Timor Leste.  She lives alone and she has a mad and an errand man at her disposal. She has the membership of the elite runner’s club.

Ten minutes drive from her house there’s a sophisticated pet shop that sells KMR, or Royal Canin or other brand milk replacer for kittens. That pet shop sells good kitten food; science diet i/d for diarrhea perhaps, if anything? Next to that pet shop, side to side, is a vet practice. That vet is the same vet who handles Charlie when I rescue him, it is also the vet that my vet clinic recommends because he is experienced in handling tumor, and the vet successfully save Sporty and Peta’s lives.

Ten minutes drive, if only she is willing, she is within reach of the best veterinary resources in town, and yet she choose the convenience of spamming me. I don’t mind giving her an advice for first aid, but I am not a vet. I don’t see the animals, I don’t know the history, I don’t touch the animals and I do not have sufficient education, experience, equipments, nor authority to diagnose and prescribe some cure. And she choses Promina over sacrificing a little bit of her huge pile of money and a tiny bit of her time if the kitten’s life is truly important to her and if she really is a cat lover.

And she probably choose to send her question through facebook because she knows The Whiskers’ Syndicate has several admins and she probably hope that I would fear enough for my reputation to bow to her cheap measure.

I am taking my chances instead. All of the admins of The Whiskers’ Syndicate knows me in and out. They have been with me long before she popped up in our lives and I can count on them to at least give me the chance to tell my side of the story.

So here it goes:

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Her response?

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That said, ladies and gentlemen,

You don’t get 500 million friends, without making a few enemies

~ Mark Zuckenberg, Founder and CEO of Facebook

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate


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