Quest 2 Canaan (1)

I looked at the clock. It’s 10:40. The day had certainly run so fast, but I still have a few more thing to do. In the backyard, The Whiskers’ Syndicate had started to snooze. Some silhouette still pops up and turn, looking around, and small shadows are galloping against the two lamps that are left lightening. Though I don’t know who are still playing this late at night, but it seems like, they haven’t run out of battery.

Ten days ago, we started our repairs, with around 500 short of the full fund we need. I can’t wait any longer. The days had turned from thee storms a week into five, and as we sink deeper into the rainy season that will end next April, there will be more to come. So while we still have the sun, I’d start the repair anyway.

A few men who comes through some recommendations never made it near the contract. Either I hate them or the cats were too horrified of them. Construction is still the world of Mars(es) here, and like Mars, they live in the space where woman is not suppose to know or able to do what they can, so woman should shut up and sit nicely.

Not this woman, though. I inquire in detail of what they are capable of doing and how they do it. What are their education background, and if their past clients are reputable. Most, like I thought, learn it from experience. Engineering school is expensive, plus, that stereotype that men should be Supermen in order to not being humiliated (or have the right to boast) to their women.

Well, not this woman.

When I finally grow tired of fruitless search, I turned to my feet, and go from company to company and give them my situation, my budget, and see how they handle it on paper. Most just show me beautiful designs with hundreds of million to build, the other has no clue. Except for the last two.

When the second before last entered my house, they find it very clean. Nothing. No dust, no trash, no furniture;

No cats.

Even I think it’s too darn quiet.

I tried talking to them in the backyard as they told me their plan, but it’s so very quiet you can hear the wind.

I saw Bobtail, Kansai and some others peeked on me with huge, round eyes, crumpled together under the bamboo bushes, and those eyes sent me their message. As I guide them out of the house, I saw others, under the lemon tree, behind the washing machine, and bury themselves under the laundry, and they all echoes the same message.

“We hate them”

Sure, I have to listen. Those people are going to spend quite a good amount of time in my house so I don’t want to torment the cats more than I am now with the lack of drainage and incapability to raise fund. Besides, though I earned my Bachelor degree in Psychology with flying colours from one of the best university in the country, those cats are better psychologist than I am.

And heck there are 50 of them telling me the same thing.

A week later there’s another. I kind of think that they failed too, I give up, and just called the developer’s repairmen.

Cooper peeked out, stare at them with his high and mighty eyes, and jumped out leisurely trotting toward us.

At first I thought he lost his mind, but more follows after him, and some of the cats ended up sniffing their boots or just sit a little bit to the side and watch, but not with that huge, round eyes crumpled together like grapes.

So we made a deal, and the work started after Chinese New Year.

We started by clearing out the wild jungle:

Then we dig some trench for a foundation of the corridor.

We are going to close up part of the left side of the backyard and turn it into a corridor, so I don’t have to be Mary Poppins who jumps and skips through the backyard with an umbrella and a basket of cat food every time it rains.

And then, it will add some space for the cats to hang out in the cool of the highland’s rain without having to rush and cram themselves in the cattery.

We will move the water tower to the other side, so it’s more spacious. We will leave the lemon tree and have a void in the middle of the corridor for air, and for my personal fear that those manly guys will rip the lemon tree apart if we move them and it will be dead. I love lemons, and look at those juicy rounds hanging on the branches like Christmas ornaments!

Actually, it’s just me being a romantic. When we first moved into the house, I planted a small lemon tree that later become the kittens’ favourite toy, before it grow thorns. When the tree became “untouchables” the cats like to lounge about under its shade, and the lemon tree become our backyard icon. It survived the flood that first swept us in 2012, and now it is the sole survivor of the two floods in November and December 2013.

With time, the lemon tree represent the harshness with which life come to us, and embodies the spirit, perseverance and faith that we keep as we continue our journey, and the hope that like the lemon tree now, our effort will be abundantly fruitful .

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The new water tower will be there

The water tower is as iconic as the lemon tree on its own history. We got it with a grant from SPCA International when they choose us as Shelter Of The Month in August 2012, when we moved into the house and by then haven’t got running water.

There is a question of why I insist the corridor to be on the left side of the backyard. Isn’t it just easier if we just make it on the left? Cut the bamboos and we have one straight line, clean and clear.

This is my answer:

hook

There’s a small hook at the left side of the wall, and at first it was covered with wire mesh so cats can’t go out to the street through the roof. However, more and more cats grow out the makeshift cat fence and use the hook as climbing point to go out. It is all right if they just lounge on the roof, either ours or the neighbours; but I will be in trouble if they decide to roam the valley not far behind the sanctuary, or worse, to the front and onto the street.

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Rexie II climbed from the hook, walking around the perimeter of the house and lounged on the other side of the house

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Blossom followed suit

If I made the corridor on the right side for convenience, I will have to spend more money fencing the hook, so I just make the corridor on the right side and the roof of the corridor will block their way up to the roof, and since there will be nothing on the right side to be used as a stepping stone, cats won’t go out and onto the street, and I can work in peace.

So… we put down the tank…

moving the torrent

Move the tower to the other side…

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And voila…

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So far so good.

Next?

We’re doomed.

No kidding, we’re doomed. But that’s another post. Just hang in there for a second and we’ll get there in the second part.

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

 

The destiny’s calling

One thing that I hate the most about this thunderstorms and crazy rain is that turn me into horrific looking creature.

When rain came pouring suddenly, cats will frantically try to run away from their playground. Some retain their sanity and run toward the house, while the others were distraught enough to run toward their damaged cattery, and trapped there with millions of leaks across the cattery’s roof to shower them, and a few waterfalls flowing from the  sides of the cattery that render them helpless as they have no where else to run.

Every time it happens I will come pick them up and carry them one by one from the cattery to the house, holding an umbrella in one hand and the cat in the other, walking back and forth through muddy backyard until there are none.

During the travel if the cat is calm enough to be carried at my side, they will just stay put. If they are too terrified and lost their mind, all the way through that 40 feet long backyard they will be yelling, clawing and biting me, leaving many bloody wounds that often give me scar mark on my arms, side and neck, sometimes my ears and cheek.

The creature that I try so hard to protect and rescue, are fighting so hard against me.

Then to make things worse my mother will nya nya on the phone whenever she has chance reminding me that I am a woman and a woman supposed to have a flawless skin instead of stripes all over. She will continue to complain about how I should take care of myself to the point that I almost lost control. And we know mothers. No point talking against them because they will just go round and find yet another reason to nya nya nya on us.

There is one solution for that though, but I don’t want to go around my house handling cats while dressing up like Sir Galahad.

On those days the only thing I can do is go out of the house to cool myself down, sometimes by leaving my cell phone at home so I don’t have to pick any call or answer any messages until my head cools down.

And then on one of those days, while sitting in a public transport, I saw a white and tabby cat lying on its side on the pedestrian under a garbage drum.

Since the traffic was so terrible I have no trouble jumping off the car and straight to the cat. He was thin and cold and lifeless, and I know that whatever I do, he probably don’t have much time left, so I just rap him in my jacket and walk away from the main road, where I can cradle and comfort him as he made his journey across.

He done so immediately, and very quickly, after he turn to see my face and meet my eyes. There was a glint of gladness pass through his dilated eyes, before he turned back and gone for good.

It will take hours if I take another bus home, so I walk with a dead cat in my hand for the whole hour, trying to converse with God on His reason sending a cat my way only to die in my arm minutes later.

I got home with a self-found understanding that perhaps that cat’s last wish is to know how it feels to have someone who love him, and since I am nearest to the location He dispatched me to answer the call and for that, I am honoured.

Unfortunately the long walk made me late for my physiotherapy appointment, so I have to take another queue and in effect, get back home even later at night. I don’t worry so much because although it’s the last bus, the route I take is never empty and the roads it passed is always crowded.

It was magical when at one point on my way, that crowded road is suddenly quiet for a few minutes, and we all hear a kitten’s loud cry for help.

It’s not just my imagination. I look around and saw everyone is stunned for a while that moment, as the car glides on and left the pitiful cry vanish further back.

The first to react is a young woman sitting beside me. She went straight back to her Blackberry and type as if nothing happened.

The next is me. I said ” Driver sir, please pull over as fast as you can, but do it safely”

So for the second time that day I jumped off  midway; but as I walked back to the place where we heard the cry, I found nothing.

I thought I stopped at the wrong place, so I continue walking, back and forth around three or four times but lost the voice.

Then the rain start to fall, and if I don’t jump on the next vehicle I will have to walk back home under showering rain in the dark cold night.

I whispered “Anyone called 112 My Lord?” (112 is Indonesia’s 911).

I stopped at the porch of a closed shop,  pulls out my rain coat, and caught a glimpse of a rolling tennis ball a few meters ahead.

Curiosity kills the cat (lady) so I walk closer and seemingly found the yelling culprit. A kitten as big as a tennis ball that’s not even able to see clearly yet.

The transport was coming so I just pick it up and put it into my bag, when a homeless woman passed behind me and say “There were two”

I lift myself up and replied “There’s only one, where’s the other?”

The woman laughed, and continue walking.

To stay (and look for the other kitten) or not to stay (and catch the last bus) that’s the question.

I stayed. I look around and under food stalls nearby but I found nothing. The baby in my backpack cried several time but no answer, so after a half an hour going round the place I put on my jacket and start walking; when I heard a familiar voice calling behind me

“Hey, are you coming?”

I look around and saw a bus driver grinning behind his steering wheel. I used his route very often that he knows me.

“I thought the other one was the last bus” I told him as I climb up.

“Yeah, the traffic, and this is the end of the holiday season. Every bus is 30 mins off schedule”

I sit on the empty bus, and remember my self- found knowledge that morning. Maybe the baby asked for just one more chance to be heard, and I am honoured to answer the call.

So where’s the baby?

SAM_0042

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

Brand New Breeze

original version of a feature on EFA/Etsy For Animal’s Blog

Dec 31,2013

 

As days became weeks, and advanced us towards the end of the month and year… we’d like to say that we’ve been carried away by the rush of the festive season, and especially for us, for me, this one Christmas had brought us to a higher plane.

We are so grateful to have been nominated, and chosen as EFA’s December Charity Of The Month, during which we were given the chance to experience a higher level of the Spirit of the Season.

In such a drive to raise the urgent fund for our sanctuary, which was damaged by recent storm, EFA also started a separate emergency fund raiser (for two more holding cages) which reached its goal in just one day, and continued to grow… the excess funds were transferred over to the general repair PitchIn fund raiser – thank you so much !

In the other side, our sister Lori work endlessly to reach out through our Facebook page; that a place usually as quiet as grave, now so bright and bustling, though probably not as hectic as the shopping malls at the end of the year.

Another sister, Ekeim, silently put her charms to work and get us a chance for an online auction to benefit The Whiskers’ Syndicate starting January 2014.

I am sure none of our blog post missed Care2News because another angel: Christine Steward, never forget to share each and every one of our adventures in Care2.

All of those will not be successful without you: our blog readers, our FB fans, our Google circle, and a few good men who share our story.

The magic is: all of those happened when I sustain wrist injury that render me unable to write properly and have to struggle even to finish one order from our Etsy shop.

Never in our lives we saw a response so quick, and with such compassion that our friends and family literally shifted from their currents and rushed to our aid. Never in our lives we experience such bond in which the whole team is no longer individuals that move toward the same goal, or people that share common love toward cats, but as a band of brothers and sisters, that stand and fall together, as one. It is at that moment that we can feel how powerful, united, and grand we all if each of us is willing to spend a little, even if it’s only sharing our story.

And so at the end of this season, as we embrace the New Year with the hope of better fares in our lives… as a person, as a member of our community, and overall as part of society, please allow us to humbly bow our gratitude to all of you. Each of the donations that were Pitched In are golden rays of the newly born sun to us as we too continue our journey.

The path we have to take is still long. Our fund raise is still far from done… and even today, stray, feral, abused and neglected cats (and several other animals) that called our sanctuary home are still seeking heaven’s approval for a better place to stay. While we will no longer have the privilege of being EFA’s COTM, we invite you to share the remaining of this journey together.

We have an online auction to benefit Whiskers’ Syndicate, courtesy of Auction for small rescues worldwide in facebook. If you have something new, or nearly new, that you would like to send away, you are invited to donate it for auction on our behalf. If you are on facebook just go to the link above and register yourself, and post the picture of your item(s) along with a clear description and price. Tell your friends and family about this great thing you do, and ask them to share your story so that people can join the auction and bid on your item. Kindly remember to mention that your item is to benefit The Whiskers’ Syndicate.

If you need something to buy and want it cheap and in good condition, you are also welcome to go to the link above and see if you are interested in something. Charity auctions usually sell good things in great price.

If you are not on Facebook but would like to donate items to the auctions, just contact us and we will come to you with all the requirements and post on your behalf.

We hope that the spirit with which we are showered this month can be carried over to the new Charity of The Month, and that every laughter, tears, loss, and gains during this magical season stays in all our hearts for a long long time.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone. This year, the star of Bethlehem is you.

All I Want For Christmas Is You

I’ve got a little angel falling from the sky last October, when I did some errands and was waiting for the next bus to come.

A man was strutting his brand new 250cc sports motorcycle (seriously, a racer motorbike to use in congested streets in Bandung?) and has been blowing the gas over and over to draw attention.

Eventually, on certain blow, the corner of my eyes caught a glimpse of a ball shaped shadow falling from the sky, right in front of the incoming bus, and catch it in reflex.

In my arms, a startled kittens stared blankly at me as the motorcycle continue to show off and while trying to make his way through the traffic jam. When the kitten finally realize that he landed on a wrong place, he tried frantically to get off my hand, and his unpredictable jerks gave me such trouble that I ended up twisted my right wrist trying to hold him from being crushed by the bus.

I pushed him into my bag because the sprain weaken my hold, and go away from the terminal as far as I can, then after he calmed down a little, I re-open my bag and try to dig for some pocket cat food, only to find out that I ran out of it already, and left with one bottle of Kewpie baby food that I just bought to feed sick kittens at home.

CODFISH TUNA AND VEGETABLE RISOTTO 1

I was kind of worried that he didn’t like it, but my laugh breaks loose when, out if his impatience, the tiny kitten didn’t wait until I come up with a small spoon, and instead tried to drill his head into the bottle for an immediate hunger relief, and as he did so, drill his cave into my heart.

Kewpiekewpie gendong

and Kewpie is his name

Kewpie did well as soon as he gets into the Whiskers’ Syndicate, although the vets told me that he got a terrible state of gastrointestinal condition, probably because he was separated from his mother too early and too long.

Unfortunately, Bandung still doesn’t have enough technology to address his problem and bring him back to health. Severe malnourishment had damaged Kewpie’s fragile system and that it’s possible that his days is not very much left because as healthy as he is, he is never as vibrant and lively as other kittens. I almost always find him sitting on the sideline watching, and he is tired so easily he slept away most of his days, unlike other kittens.

Still, I was so glad of the chance given to spend my life with such an angelic creature, that I didn’t pay too much attention on my hurting wrist then. I just want to shower him with every attention, give him good food, plenty of toys, nice beds, everything he probably can’t even dream of when he still live on the streets. At those time, my wrist is second to the last priority. I put ointments on my twisted wrist and ignore it, thinking that it’s just a small accident, and that it will heal as time pass by.

kewpie with martha

fast friends with Martha

He falls in love to a pet bed that I was making for sale, so I just let him have it and made a new one to be sent to Australia.

KewpieBed

Kewpie’s chosen home. He spent most of his life rolling all over inside the cave if not sleeping

kewpie in squid bed looking side

A kitten his age supposed to still be nursing instead of eating garbage

The cat bed followed Kewpie to his grave when monsoon came and a virus attacked his weak digestive system, and he left a big hole that he drilled into my heart during his short stay on earth.

I know it’s meant to be. Kewpie is still very young, he is still so small, and it is unfair for him to have to live less-than-perfect life without access to proper medication. I know it is best for him to leave soon, so he can go back to heaven and reborn as something better, but there’s still this gaping hole that he drilled into my heart.

Like the pain he left, the ache on my wrist lingers, and was growing worse. Every time I try to lift something, it stings right through my upper arms. Despite, I continue to use my wrist as if as nothing happened.

Or else, no one will keep the Whiskers’ Syndicate clean, alive, and running.

Quite a few friends and family know what happened to my wrist, but no one know about how it continue to worsen because I keep lying to everyone while trying hard to convince myself that it’s going to be OK, and it only take longer because instead of resting it, I continue to use it.

Soon enough it become too painful for me to type, and I am falling behind on answering emails and sending thank you note to supporters.

Then it becomes painful to click mouse so I skip resizing pictures for facebook or google+ and instead upload them as they are. Some seems to be OK, the other ones are just weird and I am obviously not satisfied with my work, but it’s the best thing I can do.

Last week I can’t even click a pen to use it to write without cringing in pain. It took me hours just to finish one post card that I sent along with every order, and I need the bus driver and post office staffs to help me carry items to be shipped even though they are less than 2 kilograms.

It is when my close friend Kay Meow remind me to seek help before it’s too late and my wrist turned into a bad arthritis. It’s a good advice and I intended to follow it, but The Whiskers’ Syndicate is at critical moment right now and I don’t feel like abandoning it even for a while to take care of myself, even if I want to.

I feel like I was pushed around trying to hold the momentum and fund raise for our defunct roof before the cats all died out of sickness or brawls. There is no way forty something adult cats stays together in less than 36 square meters (about 380 square feet) without at least clawing at each other.

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When our “Achoo” boy cleared up …

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another one gone worse.

The fund raising has been in itself, a roller coaster adventure. We have hope when we are referred to an online auctioneer that benefit animals, but there is no further contact from the auction house and our messages went unanswered. We are very happy that we are appointed as charity of the month by Etsy For Animals Team, in which portion of their sales in December 2013 will benefit our repair fund, but there is not much sales to hope for, until the team launched an emergency fund raising that ended up well enough to buy two extra large to contain the cats when it’s time to repair.

With new flourishing hope from the emergency fund raising, we are trying to knock more door to be included into other auctions that benefit animals, but we have little luck and the donation meter stuck for about a week, until a kind friend posted our story in a celebrity’s facebook page and people come to help, among which is our friend Nikki Prindle who set out in her personal campaign to collect donated items for the Whiskers’ Syndicate.

The last best news is that we will be included in an online auction that benefit our rescue in January and April 2014.

In the middle of all the uncertainty, I called my doctor, made an appointment, and listening to my story, he touched my wrist and move it around, a gesture so gentle yet left me shouting in sheer pain. It seems like, in the doctor’s world, even an idiot can easily ruled out that my wrist has gone bad enough, and in his own words: going to be a bad arthritis if I came see him a few days late.

And I planned to visit him a few days late if Kay Meow didn’t urge me to find help immediately.

He looked at my face as he ruled his judgement, and made a challenge:

He will overturn my arthritis, and completely heal them, but I have to:

1. Stop taking more jobs and stay with whatever I have now.

2. See and work with physiotherapist he recommends for the whole week.

3. Take heaps of medication that, like life, is sugar coated, but left a bad after taste.

When I got out of the hospital, my heart can’t sink any deeper. I really need to repair the cattery. I really need to help the cats, I really need to make it now, because once the year turned into a new one, we will be drowned in the merciless rainy season, and seriously, I need to keep everyone alive because I don’t know if my heart can take another ache if someone die out of pneumonia or Chlamydia and I can’t help it because the mobsters don’t have proper place to stay.

But I also need this hand. I am a rescuer, a seamstress, crafter, cook, cleaner, translator, blogger, and at the very bottom line I am right handed. I am ambidextrous and I have no trouble using my left hand, but I was born right handed so it’s still my dominant hand.

So here is my choice: I continue to do what I am doing now, and lost my hand (hence the cats will die because I cannot work with one hand) or step back and fail the fund raising effort and the cats will die from the harsh season.

I talked about this to my captain, and as I lamented about my failed efforts, she wrote:

 Maybe the Universe (God) is saying – look here are people to help you and I make them succeed. You need to take care of yourself and the kitties and slow down. You keep trying to NOT do that so God makes you not succeed to teach you lesson.

I was actually  startled long enough reading that, that she has to ping on me and ask “Are you listening?”

It seems like in my frantic rush, I forgot to stop, take a breath, and look around, and I did it long enough to missed the one door that God had left open.

We have people cancel their promise to us, we have people backed out from donating items to auction, we have people forgetting their pledge to donate citing various reasons to justify their spending (which is actually their right, so we’re not complaining, though disappointed), we have people moving away from us and care for his and her own joyful Christmas tirade.

But we also have those who dropped by and stay to lend their hand without having to be asked to do that. We have friends who take their own initiative and cover the holes that we have not yet touch, and we have those who try to share our story online and offline whether or not the seed they sow will grow, let alone bare fruit.

Most of all we have our faith that if God put us here, He will lead us through it, one way or another. We gone too far to turn back now, even if we can turn back. Whiskers’ Syndicate is the only animal sanctuary in Bandung, breeder capital of Indonesia, a country without animal welfare. Our house is the only place they can turn to, if they live long enough to get to us, so we can’t afford to just break down and cry and return all our rescues to the street and refuse all others who come.

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a street cat like this one is coming everyday and beg in front of our door since the flood

We can, actually. No one will blame us, but we won’t do it because we have one more thing that might work: YOU.

Animals have no one else to turn to but us, and we do not have anyone else to turn to but you.

1. We tell you once and we will tell you again: 1 USD equals more than 10 thousand Rupiah. You got your eyes right, which is why we always say a little bit bring huge help.

We need USD 5,600 to repair our sanctuary and we only have USD 1,000 as of today. Would you chip in just USD 1 to help our Christmas dream come true? Spare your change, throw us your coins here.

2. EFA/ Etsy For Animals team with members all over the world is on sale to benefit our cause during December 2013 only.

3. Join Lori Skaggs on our Quest2Canaan in Facebook. If you like animals, and especially cats, chances are there will be something that catch your heart off guard.

Help Lori share our stories. Sharing is free, and yet it saves lives.

4. Don’t feel like donating money? Our friend Nikki Prindle is helping us collecting items that are not available in Indonesia but is crucial for the cats. You can find what we need here (scroll to the bottom for a complete list)

We only do this because we believe that there is still good in people. We only do this because we believe that there’s still kindness left in every heart, we believe that if every small things that we are band together, we are strong. We believe in you, and at this moment, you should see that we stretch our hands and paws for our life and you can make it happen.

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

We believe that you are our Christmas miracle, and so all we need for Christmas is you.

You Better Watch Out, Santa Claus Is Moving Out Of Town!

as appeared in a feature in EFA/Etsy For Animals’ blog
by Nicole Planchon of Brizel4Animals

Goodday EFA peeps and cat supporters worldwide.

I have a special announcement and mission relating to an *emergency* fund raiser that I’d like to put forward today. It relates to an expense for a much needed item that our COTM recipient, The Whiskers’ Syndicate is in need of rather urgently.

If you havent already had a chance to familiarize yourself with our Charity of the Month and the challenges that they are facing at the moment… you can view our second COTM blog feature outlining their specific difficulties in detail.

The short of it is… that the residuals of the typhoon that hit the Philippines last month caused excessive rain storms in Bandung, Indonesia where The Whiskers’ Syndicate is located and as a consequence- the roof to their cattery was damaged. Estimated costs of repairs on fixing that and getting this unique cat sanctuary back on their feet is $5600. As of today, the PitchIn for this specific fund raising event is at $890- so they are only 15% there with 85% yet to be donated.

 

I’m sure you will all agree that Christmas Miracles are much needed at this time.

Apart from the roof repairs, part of this $5600 budget is/was to purchase four large cages to help keep safe those felines that have fallen ill with all the original flooding and from further recurring flooding issues since the roof remains un-repaired. The grounds are so saturated- drainage is slow, if at all existent and all new incoming rain compounds the problem further.

new cages

The Whiskers’ Syndicate is home to forty felines and with a very small sized main house- all forty of them are having to seek shelter in it. Due to these stressful conditions- some of the cats are having behavioral issues so a time-out space is also needed. There’s half a dozen reasons I can give you why having these cages are essential right now: sick cats, pregnant strays, misbehavin’, healing from injuries, shy newcomers, safe haven from roofers are six good reasons right there.

Samson on top

The EXCiTiNG news is that Ace Hardware is having an end of year sale and two cages have already been acquired at a 15% discount. Another two are on order and should be arriving within the next 24hrs. So in spite of only having 15% of the fundraiser in, so far, the four cages that were on the budget list will have been purchased at a discount and their benefits put into action right away.

Trying the hammock

Here’s the rub: the truth is… four cages aren’t enough but funds cannot be diverted for another two needed cages since they are not on the budget. That doesn’t mean they are not essential- it just means that saving for the roof work must come first despite the compromised day to day situation.

Ace Hardware will only be receiving 6 cages THIS weekend- & two of those have already sold to The Whiskers’ Syndicate. I would like to propose a separate fundraiser to purchase two more cages *within the next few days*. Their cost is an approximate $250 but only if we can urgently snag two more up at the discount *right away*. This is not a pressure tactic- this is simply the reality check on achieving our goal this weekend.

The emergency situation at this sanctuary makes everything a ‘make it or break it’ deal. You simply cannot imagine what its like to do rescue work in Bandung, Indonesia. Many would have given up by now, but not Josie, so please – can you spare some of your dollars for this ? or if you prefer, donate to the bigger goal of getting the roof repairs done ! It looks so bleak at the moment… but if everyone puts in a little- it would help a lot.

For this cage fundraiser… Click on the PitchIn above to make a donation… 50 people donating $5 each would make another two cages a much needed reality… or 25 with $10 to spare would be just grand too. less or more ? Great- whatever works for you… we can’t do this without you.

For this cage fundraiser… Click on the PitchIn above to make a donation… 50 people donating $5 each would make another two cages a much needed reality… or 25 with $10 to spare would be just grand too. less or more ? Great- whatever works for you… we can’t do this without you.

Once we’ve reached our goal with this specific cage fundraiser… overages will go towards roof repair- you can click below to donate to this BiGGER endeavor…

  Thank you SO much !
whiskers fb cover christmas 2013

 

Thank you for your consideration

your time and help are truly appreciated !

 

The Whiskers’ Syndicate is a private animal/cat sanctuary, they are the first, and only one operating in the breeder capital of Indonesia… a country without animal welfare, where even vets are backyard breeders.

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

Away With A Stranger

as appeared in a feature in EFA/Etsy For Animals’ blog
by josie t liem

home alone

One of the perks of having a cat is that they require less daily “maintenance” than dogs. They don’t have to be walked two or three times a day. If you have cats and you are running late at work, you don’t have to worry about being late for their walk. You know the cats will be fine. This is NOT to say that cats should be ignored or “left” for long amounts of time.

During my recent visits to the vet, which always seem to turn into an impromptu vet tech job, I saw the vet treat a terribly ill cat who, as it turns out, was left home alone for two weeks.

Basically she was left with a huge bowl of food and water. However, the water somehow spilled and ruined all the food. Vets believe this happened on day 1 or 2 so the cat had no food to eat for 2 weeks and no water. We worked on that cat from 10 am in the morning to 2 am the next morning and successfully treated the cat, but it now suffers permanent damage & the vet bills cost a pretty penny to the owner. Luckily, the owner’s mother loves the cat enough that she kept the cat for herself after that, otherwise the vet and I were sure that the cat would either be sold off or worse, thrown to the street.

The vets said that the longest someone should leave their cats is about 24 hours. Maybe 36 hours. In extreme circumstances 48 hours, but honestly, my preference is no longer than 24 hours. Cats can get sick and no one is there to give attention, and it can be a long, agonizing death. There are more than one occasion where I heard crying patients in the lobby with stories of how they come home from a vacation to a dead cat.

I’m sure lots of cats are successfully left for periods of time without incident; but because cats (and other animals) are “some one” not “some thing” expendable, I would prefer that their human check on them every day to make sure the cats have proper food and water, clean environment, and to check if the cats are safe and healthy.

Ideally, I prefer my “pet sitter” (can be anyone actually) to also spend a little time playing with them or sitting around – even if that means watching a movie, reading comic books, or just being “around”. If I come home to a dead cat – I’d have serious issues with that !

Boarding vs Pet Sitter

There’s also the option of boarding your cats. The pros are that you don’t have to let a stranger into your house, and if the boarding house knows what they are doing, they’d be taking care of your cats well enough.

The cons are that, you’d never know… One thing for sure, is that cats easily stress out because they dont adapt easily to new environments. And it’s not easy to find trust-able boarding. I also get a lot of clients complaining about their cats getting fleas from boarding… worms, scabies, even fatal sickness like upper respiratory infections or other viruses. Boarding house is not the owner of your pet, so they don’t always care about ‘maintenance’ issues. Your pets can be given different food or miss out on their vitamins or medications.

If you hire a pet sitter, however, you have someone checking your house, getting your mail and making your home looked “lived in” whilst you are away. If you are lucky, you can sometimes find someone who is willing to stay at your home. A pet sitter that stays at your home can give your pets plenty of attention. However, you have to find the right person. Office and staffs at veterinary clinics can make good candidates for this job. They are animal-people and are trained to detect medical problems should they arise. Your cat is in his own environment which is generally less stressful and most importantly, your cat will eat his own food and have his own routine. I am sure we all know that a change of food or an addition of treats can sometimes induce gastrointestinal upset, or hard-to-handle allergies. Unfortunately if you hire a wrong person, they can invite unwanted people or event into your house when you are not around. Plenty to worry about !

Whether you choose a kennel or pet sitter – make sure to provide clear instruction on what food your cat should be fed and any required medications. A good kennel or pet sitter will often play or sit with the cats several times a day. Give clear instructions on what you expect of his activity, playtime and interaction to be. Also, ensure that you provide good contact information in both instances in the case of an emergency.

If you are not planning to go away this holiday? That’s great, just make sure your pets stay safely inside the house.

Happy Holidays!

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate