Back in September, we had the honor of a visit from twin stars. Medical students in Bandung’s Ivy League, who had just finished their final exam and sought to revive and relive their love for cats as they anxiously waited for their grades.

During their visit we had talked about a young community cat whom they cared for around their boarding, and their intention to fix her, only to have the cat disappear and come back to them pregnant.

They wondered if the young mother could come and stay over, as they had to return to their homeland after their study, and I couldn’t let an animal down if I can help it. Rather than giving money to the security of their boarding, which may or may not care for the cat, I agreed that it is the cat’s best interest to stay with us.

The day before their departure, one of the twins came with a lady cat I came to call Malaya, an amalgamation of the names of her twin carer and a tribute to Malaysia, where they came from.

Her small physique hid Malaya’s pregnancy so well. My vet confirmed that she was indeed pregnant, but we both mistook the age of her pregnancy earlier than it should be.

So I found myself running back and forth between the house and the cattery when Malaya screamed and cried the whole day at the heat of the renovation fiasco. I thought she was stressed, just like everyone else in the house (though I am not sure if it really stressed the builders). I tried calming her down, put her in a cage to give her some sense of extra security, but the tension and commotion becames too much to ignore.

When I ran yet once more to the cattery as the builders were leaving, Malaya had given birth to a white and tabby baby.

She was quiet as she showed her baby to me, and so was the baby. It was stillborn.

I gave her a booster injection, I gave her goat’s milk and Pet Natural Vermont – Calming to help her hold herself together.

On top of her pen, some of the motherly ladies of The Whiskers’ Syndicate gathered to give their support. Though Malaya was annoyed at first, she came to understand the communal good will and accepted her new company.

And born was her second, and her only surviving baby.

Unlike the first, this one is all black, and is chubby, and is very healthy. Malaya does not have all the milk she needs, even with only one baby, and the builders have shifted my things so many times, I no longer know where to look for my kitten formula. So, off I go to buy goat’s milk, all the way to the other side of town, on a cold rainy night that was so deep.

I have since tried to take photos of the weeny baby, and of the young mother, but exactly two hundred and forty three snaps later and three occasions in which my phone was knocked down into the litter box, I gave up. I can’t even get a decent photo with a camera and a tripod.

I thought that, well, I’ll just hark the nativity a few months later when the baby weans. It won’t be Christmas then, but woman and cat do as they like. Malaya is a woman and she is a cat, so she can do what she wants even more.

It’s just so happened that it was cold and windy last night, and I was jumped out of my sleep when Pascal annoyed the heck out of Lady Sparky Terror and the two ended up fighting fiercely at two in the morning.

I couldn’t go back to sleep, the baby is crying and Malaya is restless. So I picked the baby with its blanket and rock him back to sleep, singing Christmas lullabies.

At the break of dawn, peace on earth. Malaya granted me a close up picture of her baby, though in my opinion, the best picture is she herself drinking with one eye peering at the camera.

~ Josie



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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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