We are entering the strictest phase of Social and Physical Distancing started by our government last March, there is hope that start to brighten.

There are worries because people are still falling ill faster than a flick of a finger. The sheer ignorance shown by the residents of this archipelago are mind boggling, and now it costs everyone two weeks of their lives in self isolation or get locked in their own houses while police throw the keys. No, literally.

There are fears that two weeks of forced stay home will not be enough, there are fears that by the time this whole virus mess is over, no one will be left with anything to live on, much less pay the bills.

The hope is that, as more and more people have become aware about the pandemic and how it worked, more and more people will join the forces to adhere and enforce restrictions put in place. More and more people come together and help each other, more people choose humanity instead of the savage defiance they were showing at the beginning of the disaster.

There is hope that the end is near, and that we will be back to our lost world of normalcy really soon.

For Leon, however, there will be a new sense of normalcy. A new world he has just started to learn.

Just a brief moment, not so long ago, he thought he found himself an oasis. A different kind of person who cut a hole on his back wall, put a platform above the sewage alley, a little greenery, and a lot of food.

He would have to share; make a bee line for the large food bowl, in a queue for a bucket of fresh water; but in his corner of the world, where people all have more but care less, a little means a lot.

Until he contracted Upper Respiratory Infection.

A part of his true self wanted help, but his feral part prevented him. Fair weather provide relief, as he can eat and replenish his energy, but storm and wind would keep him away from his only source of life, sometimes for days; and there were more wind and storm than fair weather at the end of the spring.

Although his immune system has somewhat strengthened, now that he get good food, it’s still not strong enough, nor fast enough to fight the monsters inside him. Although his body can block the disease from destroying him completely, Leon paid for it with bleeding, rotting eyes that robbed him of his chance to survive.

After a long battle, his feral self gave up. Leon walked as best as he could, blood dripping from his eyes, tripping and crashing to the only safe place he knows: his food station.

He sat there and pray his luck has not yet run out.

Worker of his caretaker caught him, called their employer, employer called us, and we rushed him to the clinic.

Three vets, two vet techs, four hours surgery. Leon won the war for his life, but lost the battle for his eyes.

There were worries, fears, sympathy, pouring down as his story started to be heard. There were concerns and expression of pity. Leon is at the prime of his life, and he shouldn’t be defeated. Leon shouldn’t end like a loser sitting in the corner.

The hope is that, as I told many, Leon’s life is no longer threatened. He doesn’t have infection, he is not in pain.

The hope is, while his disease stole his life, it brings him home.

Home he would never know existed. Home with food, home with fresh water, home with warm blanket, home without storms and wind, home away from road danger, predators, careless people, ignorant crowd.

The hope is, he has his life, he has his chance, he is ready to move forward. The hope is, he has family, kittens who love to play around him, elderly ladies who take turn to sit beside him, shelf on the window where he can no longer see the world, but can listen to until he falls asleep, bamboo chair where he learn to walk, climb, jump in the dark, but experience in the light.

The hope is, Leon has us (and we are The Whiskers’ Syndicate)

~ 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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