Pride Of Tomorrow

Half a century in the past, over a hundred leaders of Asian and African countries confer in Bandung; presenting what was later known as the first Asia-Africa conference that tipped the world over to the power of antsy, teeny countries along the south that; as they band together, rose stronger than the titans of the northern hemisphere.

Tomorrow, April 19, 2015, the 60th Asia-Africa Conference will restart in Jakarta with the whole new agenda. The conference will move over to its origin in Bandung on April 24th.

Bandung mayor Ridwan Kamil, a stellar urban design architect from UC Berkeley, is busy. The new breath of the conference will put this slumbering hillside town to the center of the world; so he’d better be quick. The road is being repaired, new lamps on the road, fountains, monuments, the renovation of the whole town square, just meters from the historical building. What used to be a brownish, smelly river strewn with garbage across the street from the historical building is now clean. A colonial crossing bridge just a few steps away that was taken over by gang members, street thugs and thieves and were left dilapidated were rebuild.

The roads around that used to be dark and dangerous, is now dry, clean, beautiful and bright.

Our mayor is trying to grab the opportunity of AAC to re-start the Bandung’s life into its glory in the centuries that past. Billions of money were poured down into making this 206 years old town into a 20 years old young woman that will be paraded to the front of over 150 countries. Indonesia should not lose face as one of the tigers of Asia no matter what.

Although turning around the corner from those illuminated street, our alley is still dark, silent, and merciless. Our road is still damp with rain, tears, and blood. The kin that I call my own has no place in such glory.

Every night I still walk alone on this wet, dark road, illuminated only by passing vehicles. When that brief moment of light passed, cats of all sizes and ages will jump out of their hiding, trying to cross the briefly empty road so they can say hello and get their share of tuna; probably the only food that keep them alive for that day. They have no flowery gardens, or refreshing fountains. All those dignitaries can enjoy ponds, we are still happy with our old puddle.

But it is exactly why I can feel the same electrifying excitement that runs the vein of my young mayor. Here comes that one big chance to re-start the town and put it back on track toward  a better future. Here comes that one big chance to move forward from our past as the colonialists’ resort town to the smart city that lives by the richness of its cultural and historical heritage.

It is exactly why when a friend offer me to help me sell my items in her event next May, I snap on that chance and work on it like there’s no tomorrow. Every night, after everyone is sleeping, one hour or two, as much as I can, I will try to make one toy. I will finish another batch of business card, bind a booklet about The Whiskers’ Syndicate. Here comes that one big chance to restart my life and put my Etsy income back on track after it was hit into a coma by PayPal. Here comes that one big chance to spread the word about a tiny sanctuary that is the only heartbeat of thousands of animals on the street of Bandung.

Here comes that one big chance to break away from our struggling past, and charge forward to our thriving future.

Don’t bust your fund, my friend said. But I am already busted. Living off my savings when my Etsy was on pause cost me everything. I’ve got nothing more to lose. I can only gain back what I lost.

So every day, I will empty my purse and save the coins so I will have enough money to send my items over. The more, the better. If I can skip a chocolate bar, or my favorite ice cream, I will. If I can skip one meal so I can save money, I will. If I can conquer my tiredness just long enough to finish another set of toys, I will.

Every night, instead of posting one or two things over the internet, I neglected my blog. I left Etsy completely to Andrea, I leave facebook completely to Lori.

Whatever I can do to support my furry, homeless next of kin, I will do it; so if you know an animal charity  or crafting event where you think you can represent Whiscraft (June onwards), bring it on; I’ll take my chances.

So that one day, I can proudly step over to the next cat on the line and say: Hey, we got room for more.

Hey, we have one more bowl of food, just in case you’re interested.

Hey, come on, we might have enough medicine left to get you back up and running.

Hey, we have enough money left. Let’s work overtime to fix another cat.

I took a turn, away from that heavenly looking road, and subconsciously started to whisper Hail Mary.

A few meters before me is a decrepit bus shelter, untouched by the make over, still sitting on a terribly busy road. Two years ago I ran for a half an hour toward that shelter, reaching out to the then empty box where three baby kittens were ousted from life. Two gone. The only one who survived long enough to go home with me, was Monday (her story here).

I jumped on the next bus home; leaving the shelter behind. My mind is now filled with faces of The Whiskers’ Syndicate calling for their dinner. When they are eating I will slip out of the house,  leaving behind the partying beasts to share the joy with their homeless next of kin.

When that bus turn we passed a gigantic banner with a mosaic of a smiling portrait of Nelson Mandela and a quote of his wisdom.

“It seems impossible until it’s done”

My job is to get all those impossible dreams done.

When I opened my fence, I saw Liam popped up at the window. Monday only stayed with us for four months and went away. Liam stays with us for four months and keep going. He had learned to walk again, and recently try to climb. He falls a lot of time, but it didn’t stop him.

It seems impossible, but he done it.

I make it my job to make sure he live long and strong enough to keep trying, and do more, and become the healthy and happy cat that he deserve.

Turning on my earphones as I wade through the sea of cats in my house, the first song played by my cell phone is an ending soundtrack of a Japanese animation series. I particularly like that song because the lyric might tell a slice of my life story, and a piece of my dream.

I seems impossible; but one by one, with all I have, I’ll get it done.

If you are interested, here is the song I wrote about. It’s in Japanese, but below is the translation:

Trying to bury the things that I’ve lost,
I’ve let go of my pride
I’m going to take it back with my own two hands
I can see the light of tomorrow

It seems as though you’ve had enough of playing alone
Are you reaching out with the voice in your heart?

Pressing my ear to the road at night
I might hear an answer

These reasonless thoughts
Are one pride that I’m certain of
Like a movie I saw a long time ago
I can see my future self

I can’t get used to “more than the two of us”
I can’t even hang out with someone

Just reminiscing about “back then…”
I don’t need anymore days like that

Trying to bury the things that I’ve lost,
I’ve let go of my pride
I’m going to take it back with my own two hands
I can see the light of tomorrow

Who can decide my goals?
The road doesn’t end here
I’m running because I want to be strong

When lost, and faced with two roads,
I choose the one that seems steep
It’s all right if I’m in pain, it’s all right that I’m hurt
I don’t want to have any regrets

These reasonless thoughts
Are one pride that I’m certain of
Like a movie I saw a long time ago
I can see my future self

Trying to bury the things that I’ve lost,
I’ve let go of my pride
I’m going to take it back with my own two hands
I can see the light of tomorrow
Pride of tomorrow

It’s a cheerful song despite the lyrics. Listen below.

June – Pride of Tomorrow

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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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