We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon. From one tiny cat suffering alone, slowly dying on a hot paving block as he didn’t know where he was going, to a bedraggled mother cat carrying a massive tumour for years and years, waiting for death to come by the uncaring roadside. We came many times to those days where it’s a thick wall all around.
Many times we come to that point when we were suffocating in that bricked dark room, we no longer need a door, we no longer want a window, even an air inlet means life.
Many times I come to the blind morning like now, sitting alone, crying alone, praying alone, as I think about 160 cats behind that door whose life are on my shoulder, just like Pochi, who choose to sit on that narrow bone below my neck, while there is a soft pillow right next to me.
Many times now, I no longer remember, since we last reached our weekly goal of USD 600 to put food on the table, to bring medicine to the sick, treatment to those who survive their battle on Helm’s Deep, and comfort for the disabled and the old. USD 600 a week barely covers it all. It brings the most basic care, but I insisted for only USD 600 a week, instead of the many thousands the bigger companies are plowing their followers every day, not because I am rich, but because I know that my Whiskers’ Syndicate people are hard working men and women who have to put food on their own table, vacation, school for children, insurance, medical, and many more.
USD 600 a week barely covers it all. It brings the most basic care, but I insisted for only USD 600 a week for years, even though prices are increasing everywhere, not so I can hire expensive marketing agencies to target and spam those I call my friends; USD 600 a week buys me enough time so I can work on other important liabilities. Like USD 450 per month mortgage that give everyone the home to protect them, like USD 250 per month utility bills that put light, warmth, water, and cooked food. Like another USD 250 per month to spay and neuter all the kittens we all go squeaky and cuddly about so they don’t have to repeat the evil circle that put them on the street and cruelty, clinging for life and crying for mercy.
It is my gratitude to everyone who helps, because I know that even if I live another ten thousand years I wouldn’t be able to pay these caring people even half of all the blessings and opportunity they afforded me to do toward these cats.
So what happened to all the weeks that passed with less than USD 600 a week? Those will be the few hours of my sleep, the one and a half hour of food break, three hours when I should really be putting an update on Facebook before someone thinks I’m a scammer, or the page is drowned by the system (and there goes all the life support). Those will be the Saturdays when I can only envy those who sit calmly on the corner sipping tea, sit in Starbucks, or chat with family and friends under the warm sun and gentle wind.
All the weeks that passed with less than USD 600 goes away, taking my savings for that USD 450 mortgage, USD 250 utility bills and USD 250 neutering fund. All the weeks that passed with less than USD 600 will come back as a foreclosure warning, dark and cold house, and no Internet to send those jokes and memes everyone love.
Such a letter about foreclosure came not by an owl yesterday afternoon, yet it makes my world spinning faster. If I do not raise USD 950 by the end of June, there will be nothing left of us.
I put little Pochi down for the third time, because I am afraid she will slip and fall to the hard floor, hitting various objects as she meets gravity. It’s for her safety, not out of my unwilling sore neck, but she sat on that fluffy pillow, looking at me with her sleepy eyes, and crawl back to my shoulder.
There is this little pride trickled into my heavy heart, that these cats have faith in me even when this time will really be our end. But cats are part of the Gods and they can sense so much more than us humans. So maybe they are telling me that this too shall pass? What if this is not faith, but them trying to convey their sweetest goodbye as the impending doom is truly near?
The rooster is crooning. It’s time to go. Twenty seven in five colonies, thirty more along the way in between, sometimes there, sometimes not.
We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.
“We have always held to the hope, the belief, the conviction that there is a better life, a better world, beyond the horizon.”
Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd President of the United States of America: 1933 – 1945)
on his Address on Hemisphere Defense, Dayton, Ohio. October 12, 1940