It’s not Fourth of July.

In Indonesia, Independence Day is a time to gather, with friends, with family, for fun games, parades, carnival, music, traditional sports, marathon. It’s never about fireworks; they are banned in Indonesia anyway as more people become aware of its danger. It’s never about the crazy parties, though some do anyway. It’s about remembering togetherness, about rekindling connections, about commemorating the unity in diversity, and the fighting spirit that brought the largest archipelago in the world, into one of the biggest economy, democracy, and plurality throughout 74 years of moving as one.

It’s about our war cry that never fades: Freedom or Die.

Deep in the ravine, by the river, five kittens are still fighting for their lives. In silence, in desolation, in the spirit of brotherhood that knits them as one even without the mother who keeps them together. Literally in the road less traveled.

It was the sharp eyes of a boy scout who alerted his mother about the war that was almost lost. It was the courage of a woman who picked them up from the lips of death in their box, and brought them home.

It was the call late into the midst of the celebration of liberty. “Hi, I found five kittens by the river in the ravine…”

I couldn’t come right away. There was a children’s marathon that is the tradition of our region that passed right in front of our house, and the struggling kittens were at the border of our town with the other.

I rode early that Sunday morning, as soon as all the roadblocks were cleared. There are still cultural festivities the day following the independence day. The day I thought I would come to pass in peace.

They were horrible, to say the least, but admirable at the same time. Discarded to die for God knows how long, sick, hungry, cold, and weak, they clung to life and came to us as soon as we opened our arms.

They have wounds and scrapes for trying to eat anything during their stranded days, but they took all we can offer.

All five of them have intestinal infection, each of them has respiratory infection. All diseases required different medications.

Three different antibiotics in one day for two months old emaciated kittens is tricky, not to mention the parasites. Since the vets are closed until Monday (if not after), we are left with our instinct.

We bought our time by trying anything to get the kittens to eat. It took us the whole day, giving them food every hour.

But then one of them came to the plate, and then the others. Then we took our chances by treating their intestinal infection first, because it’s worse than the other.

We call the black one Assam; the black and white Darjeeling. The white with less tabby patch is Earl Grey, and the other white with more tabby patch is EB: English Breakfast.

The worse of the five, the Siamese, is Ceylon.

They had the chance and a good (re)start, but have a long way to go. They are only 10 weeks old.

Just like they reached out to the universe for their saviour; just like the boy scout reached out to us, we are reaching out to you to extend their 10 weeks into 100, 100 into 300, and 300 into 3 years.

The universe heard their call and answered; the boy scout followed his heart and acted; we accept his request and offer our home.

Will you hear them call and lend them your help?

~ 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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