It was still numb everywhere. It was still numb in town, two days after Eid holiday. It was still numb in the household, bank sitting on our money and put us in a stringent spending situation, while vet service for two critical cats – the crushed girl and Gata – must go on.

It was still numb in my mind, because of the little baby who was fed soy milk by some teen with plentiful emojis, and some people firmly told me off that I should be grateful they are trying to help, even when I never put any blame.

Sure, live with suffocating baby for three days and helplessly just watch and hope it die, because there is nothing that can be done. It’s easy to type so wise because the weight of pain is not on them.

It was still numb in my heart, Cali had just gone away.

And yet there was this message, asking for help for three babies dumped by neighbors in front of a cat owner’s house. It’s too common. It happened to us too here. It’s an unwritten norm that if someone has a cat, or is known to like cats, it gives everyone else permission to dump cats on the property. It’s not a sin, however ridiculous or vile the reason. It is sin, however, to keep our address private to prevent ourselves being the talk of the town, and people come in droves, each with their unwanted animals. Don’t forget to save our address; so that next time there is yet another unwanted cat, they know where to go.

It was still numb in my heart, because I am raw with losses and worry; it was easy to say no, but the baby was delivered by night anyway.

They have just opened their eyes. They haven’t been fed for days. they were dry and cold, but maybe, since it’s still numb in me, it’s easier to bare.

Their eyes were filled with pus. Their noses were stuffed with snot, their throat suffocated by mucus.

I hoped I had bought that oxygen set, but there was always something else.

They are too small to be given antibiotics, they are too weak for everything.

I only have heating pad and love, and one shot of boldness to give them strong antibiotics that can either kill them or save them.

It saved them.

It didn’t save me. I had planned to scale back during the holidays to catch up with my other self. The past affairs had crushed and strain me so much I can’t answer 7+12 immediately. The failing fundraising, the sinking ship, the kitty season, the loss of sleep, the two surgery cats, Cali, irregular food intake, stress. One week into the holiday one third of my hair had turned grey.

But three more to go, so three more I go. One day at a time, one step at a time, one breath at a time.

One of them, the smallest and the weakest, crossed over two days ago, but two are still hanging on to life, and they found friendship in the yellow baby and many others who came by just for a sniff or a little sit down in their basket for some warmth.

In the scorching heat of summer, at the peak of this hoax climate change, some more warmth can be welcomed, but as of late, temperature dropped so extremely it crushes everyone in the head. It’s been decades since the hillside see fog again, but we have one that lingers day and night for the past three days.

They are hypothermic today, so instead of posting early I was busy trying to keep them warm. I am posting even in odd hours because if I don’t show up, fundraising will drop, and we’re just at the cusp of matching the challenge. If I want these babies to live another day, I need the money. I ran out of polite, gentle, subtle words, so I put the blatant one. I can’t have sleep, I can’t have food on time yet, I am running behind all the chores, and this place looks beyond disgusting mess, but if I can help it, let me, no, let the cats have their money. Money can’t buy everything, but most of their things money can buy.

And then let the babies whose sin was to be innocently born into this world have their chance.

~ 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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