At roughly the same time on Monday, two weeks ago, I stood by the arrival gate in Bandung’s tiny airport.

Whenever the glass door slid open, people on my left and right will be lifting their sign up high, each with different names on it. Some wore a well tailored suit from star hotels, some just plain working attire, and others just casual tour guide waiting for their customers.

From that same glass door I will be welcoming Susan Yuen, flying from Perth, Australia, to stay with us for ten days and help me run The Whiskers’ Syndicate.
I drove her to the hotel, tell each other’s story, and have dinner.

The next day, we go to war.

We dragged all the rusty and nasty cages from the cattery, tied them up, and left them for the garbage truck. We sweep and scrub the walls and the floor and flush the rest to the drain.

We dragged the now broken old washer, and I will try to sell it for as much as it is worth as is. I had the option to have it repaired, but we all know I have hard luck with local tradesmen. I still have 12 years worth of mortgage to pay, so I am not keen of having a washer blew up on my face or electrocute anyone.

We went out and bought new crates for the manic panic; four ladies who screamed and freaked and slammed themselves like ping pong ball on anything. I mean anything. Susan once asked me in worry when Sandy was screeching like a banshee. She was just freaked because Stubby perched on top of her crate.

We need three big crates, so the ladies can have some space, instead of cramping in one, and I wrote about that a while back, to see if someone or some group can sponsor one crate and other people sponsor another, but no one responded. No one except Sheila Thomas. So instead of three, we only have one big crate now, with Sandy, Sassy and Abby cramming inside. If Blossom come back from her stay with the vet, however, we will have trouble.

We put a table together, that we can use for eating. I had wanted it to be in the kitchen, but it’s tight in there, so we move it to the laundry room. Sometimes, we have to take turns. While humans usually watch animals eat in their enclosure at zoos, in my house all the animals watch us eat in our enclosure.

While Susan painted the half done door left by the builders, I scrubbed the tiles; filled with cement and grout and spatter of everything. See how dirty my mop become? That was after mopping and scrubbing about gazillionth time.

I called the welder brothers back, and showed them a roll of metal mesh I have left from the laundry room project. I asked them to make a new trellis for the cattery window while I took down the old one that has glass on it.

They finished in a few hours, and the cats are happier with their new window. They climbed up, jumped down, chased each other, turn around, climb upside down (butt first), sideways, half way and swings, pretzel with two front legs…

Good thing Spiderman is in America. He will be humiliated.

The next day, I fix the plumbing and the sink, rendered unusable after the builders fix the drain and broke another pipe, just when I have to go to the airport. I had a total meltdown over it because I have to break the wall once again, find another leak, found out that they repaired it poorly, change the whole pipe, buy another flexible pipe to connect the plumbing to the sink, replace the valve, and even changed the tap. The sink is only two days old, and the builders made me replace everything, and replacing everything cost me more than buying the whole new sink.

Amazing isn’t it?

We went out and purchased tarps that will replace the worn out horizontal blinds to break the wind and prevent rain from blowing into the cattery’s hallway.

And while we are buzzing in and out like crazy bees, hauling rubbish and fixing stuffs, where are the cats?

At first, they watch us in bewilderment.

Then, they cope with us running around everywhere for a while and keep themselves to the sides.

Since we’re not relenting,

they moved into my newly renovated kitchen.

~ 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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