I am standing here, alone, amidst the foggy wind by my terrace. In front of me, down there, empty road. Further across the mountain, twinkling light at sleepless downtown.
Behind me, the mountain and the rocks. The forest that rolls all the way to the horizon, speckled by the green grass of rice waving in the air.

10th of November, is Memorial Day here in Indonesia.

On this day, seventy four years ago, a whole town slung their bamboo lance, rolled up their sleeves, and went down the road. They have just declared the independence of the republic, but the colonialists just can’t forget the sweetness of our spices: cinnamon, sugar, nutmeg. They have enslaved us for three and a half centuries, what would we have left to fight their fat rear, thickened by the richness they rob from us?

On this day, at the end of World War II, my grandfather opened the gate of his home to various animals by the hills and through the valley, displaced and broken by war. His life has never been harder because of what he did. His family live morning to morning, hand to mouth, caring for the least of their brethren, starting the lineage of animal lovers that would never turn their back on needy animals.

Twenty six days after today, ten years ago, I opened my door to an abused pregnant cat, and another one, scorched on the road, far away from salvation. My life has never been the same.

I have been kicked out of a boarding house because I keep animals, where there shouldn’t be any, whatever the reason. I have been close to homelessness quite many times, I have always been in debt, even when I had a seven figure salary, and much more so now, after I quit my job, to care for all of these, who would otherwise be lost.

Just seventeen days before today, on my birthday, Facebook told me that I grow too fast, so they are restricting The Whiskers’ Syndicate, effectively cutting us off from the funds we urgently need to raise for our most recent rescue: a mother with abortion, four kittens abandoned in rice field, and Calicivirus outbreak in our region.

Meanwhile, came the bombardment of offer to advertise, to “boost” our posts; for various amount of money, to “reach more audience” as if the only way we can survive is to send whatever left we have away to Facebook.

By the time Facebook accepted my appeal and lifted the ban, we have lost more than ten rescues despite our best effort to juggle between additional (offline) work to keep the shelter running, managing the sanctuary, and feeding ourselves. We have lost countless on the street affected by the Calicivirus outbreak, and we barely have money to keep food in the bowl and a roof over our heads.

Five days with no access to the help we need had left a gaping hole I wouldn’t know how to recover.

By the time I wrote this post, three in the morning just off work, we have five critical cats, loan due in two days, mortgage in six days, food for the next breakfast, but then, that’s it.

Whether the founding fathers of my nation, my grandfather, myself, and those who will come after me, the decision to start something new and completely different means the hardship of standing on our own, the loneliness of laboring by ourselves, the pressure of staying in the cold outside of the box. People always say life is full of choices, no one ever mentions fear! or how the world can seem so vast.

But whether the founding fathers of my nation, my grandfather, myself, and those who will come after me; one step after another, one hope after another. Who knows where the road may go? One day the sign will be there and the road will be ours. Years of dreams just can’t be wrong!

Back to who I am, on to find my future.

Future that bring better lives to those who have no voice, future that brings chance to those whose right was denied, future that brings healing to those who are wounded,

Hope, to all who grieves.

~ 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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