It was a long day that day, and it was a longer day the day before. It’s still a long day yet before and heck, five days after that, it’s still a long day today.
We have nursing babies, we have nursing mother, we have sick kittens and we have sick adults. We have bad weather and we have jobs. We have chores; and piles upon piles of them. We have twenty four / seven shenanigans from lonely cats who dirty protest at our overbooked day while they are actually, as they should be, sleeping twenty hours a day.
But this message in our Instagram account was something different. Even after we swear to God we cannot, and please, please, please, stop sending cats our way for a wee little time, that message in broken Indonesian (and English) took us to a long, deep, breath.
A picture of a super-emaciated cat, curling on a makeshift bed, trying to make himself comfortable. A foreigner who has limited resource, and is now looking for a chance on his behalf even in the short time frame she has.
I said yes.
I explained our situation, and that once the cat recovered completely, he will be a neutered community cat.
That answer usually caused some misjudgments, several harsh labeling, and even accusation, but I am, and I have to get the truth out in the open, first hand. I didn’t expect fire, but I didn’t expect a complete understanding either.
It was still a wow moment that I got the later.
When the couple who found him finally came, the cat had soiled his towel, peed in their car, and wreck havoc in his crate, but there was no less smile in their faces.
Then came the whole story.
Ninoy is Indonesian and Lili is German. They got married and live in Germany. They were visiting Ninoy’s parents and somewhere in Bekasi (between Jakarta and Bandung) they found a group of street cats in poor condition.
One of them truly tried, although he can no longer walk, he can no longer live. They cannot save them all, so they choose only one. They brought him to the vet, and he was given an injection against bacteria that caused his severe lung infection.
Unfortunately, there was no care sheet given, and they have to rely on their instinct and good will to care for the cat until they can find help before running out of time and go back to Germany.
As anyone can guess it, no one is interested.
While their cat quite casually feel immediately at home and drag himself into the line behind Sheilla (who was cooking cat food) I told them the story of Whiskers’ Syndicate. In exchange, they told me theirs. How they ended up adopting two stray dogs in very poor condition during their vacation in Italy; how they wish they can care for more, how they still care regardless.
I decided to name the cat Lino, in honor of his wonderful rescuers, with hope that their enthusiasm and kindness will inspire their rescue to keep fighting.
Just the way they remind me that, as dark as it can be in the corner of my world, not all that wanders are lost.
Lino is now comfortable. He received medical treatment and although very, very, very slowly, regain himself. Aside from a rampant and resistant Chlamydia (due to late treatment), he got scabies that ate half of his upper body. He was anemic and lethargic. He can only move several steps when he arrived, but one week later, in the second photo, he just finished a chicken drumstick all by himself.
We are The Whiskers’ Syndicate; we are not here to change the world. We are here to give the chance to whom it was denied, and help them live long and prosper, in their own term. Lili and Ninoy made the first step for Lino, now it’s up to us to give him the journey of a thousand mile he deserve.