Pet supplies now available from the rescue shelter’s own shop!

The supporters of The Whiskers Syndicate have been sent this video, and want to share it with you, so you can see what your donations are helping to do. Josie says:

“This is the teeny weeny pet supply shop that you have helped me build by lending me your hand, and that that I now have time to manage. Thank you so very much.”

It may be a teeny weeny shop right now, but we hope very much to build it up! It’s in the back of the shelter, which means that Josie can manage it from home, which is invaluable in so many ways 💚

Here we have our shopkeepers, Winnie and Reno. Both prefer to be away from other cats, so have moved into the shop, and we think the job suits them to a T:

If you’d like to contribute to this, or to the care of the 90-plus cats in the shelter, please follow the link below:


Peek a boo

Had we followed our mind, it will be the peaceful, slow Sunday we so far only can dream of.

Instead, we thought of the stretch of chores awaiting the next day, dragged ourselves one more time, and rode all the way to the end, and restocked groceries.

Done, the cashier gave us a bigger smile than ever before that whole day, but there had to be one tiny cry, muffled, burrowed, short, desperate, that sent us scrambling as we rushed down to the parking lot.

There was no doubt that we were hearing things. We saw an empty pouch of Whiskas Junior just at the mouth of the pile of junk at that corner.

We looked at each other; Sheilla and I; and then we climbed discarded showcases, tables, shelves, even broken wheelchairs.

Sheilla crawled in, I held the flashlight in one hand, and held the hope high in the other. Hope high that no one spotted us and decided to be involved.

It took longer than we thought. At a glance it was just a pile of junk, but come to look at it again, it’s a pile of junk as tall and as wide as truck.

For her, it must be a jungle; scary and safe at the same time.

So which one is she to choose? Let a pair of stranger’s arms reaching out to her? For one moment she just keeps going deeper, and sees if her pursuer gives up.

When she sat in the corner, nowhere else to go, she let fate lead her to where she should be.

In Sheilla’s arms, inside our jacket, in our home.

For one day she sat by the grinder watching life pass by. Kittens chasing each other, mothers watching their children, old cats lounging at the side, two women around whom the world seems to go round.

The next day she ran without fear to the large plate with chicken, that she probably thought she would never get.

When she remembered how it all began, she would be back to the corner, but every time we found her, we said “Peek a boo!”

And she would run to the smile that flourished just for her.

~ Josie

Caring for the colony

Starting with just one cat, the colony we cared for has expanded to more than a dozen adults and at least six kittens.

They live in various spots around the parking lot of a hospital adjacent to our church, but every midnight, when Cinderella turned from a princess back into a pauper, they were raised from a pauper to pampered pets.

It never ceases to delight us, seeing them running across the parking lot from every direction – big jumps, small steps, tiny runs – swarming at us like the story of little Indians, or Gulliver in his travels.

Along the days, some of them learned to trust us enough that we can trap, spay/neuter and return them (TNR).

It was just in time when our last matching challenge came by, and it was just in such great need that our sister rescue Western Iowa’s Feral and Homeless Cat Program sent us USD 100 which then turned into USD 200.

In their flaming spirit to combat overpopulation by TNR, and as a token of our gratitude, we dedicated their doubled USD 100 to TNR for our colony.

We started with a special cat; a mother with three weaning kittens. One of them had fallen ill and can no longer eat nor move properly, but he is still afraid to be close to us.

So was their mother, actually. She will let us come close and pet her once or twice before moving away, but that particular night, she led her weakened baby right into our trap and braced herself as her kitten struggled and screamed in fear as we carried him away.

A few days later, she took the courage to let us carry her away as well, just so she can visit her son. She was upset when, instead, we handed her over to our vet to be spayed, but was overjoyed to see her baby alive and receiving treatments. The two days they spent together was the most heartwarming of nights in our shelter.

It took us a long way to nurse the baby back from the brink of death, but now Joseph is a healthy boy and is growing into a happy teen.

There are ten more adult cats we need to trap and neuter. Three males, seven females. One male cat needs USD 25 for neutering, and one female will cost us USD 35. We need USD 320 in total to spay and neuter the entire colony. We currently have USD 200 and used USD 35 for the special mother, so we need USD 155 to reach our goal.

There are only two of us, so we cannot be as fast as other groups, but why not turn the disadvantages to our favor? Our lack of resources busy us time to raise more funds for the TNR as we go. It is true that it takes only 16 people to raise USD 155, but we also need to raise funds for the rest of the shelter, and we have long way to go in that part, so everything in moderation.

Help us give the colony a chance



The first and second photos is our special mother cat 
The other photos are of the colony members.

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


The man at the other side wrote that he cannot afford to do anything else for that cat beyond feeding him.

I told him we all do what we can.

He said that he cannot take the cat in, that the cat would live on his porch under the car.

I told him, we are grateful that someone cared enough.

In each of his sentences, there is the word “pity”

But then he told me that the cat is mangy, so they do not want to touch him.

Oh well, some people just don’t understand.

He told me his location, and I fell silent.

I know that place; but he went on to describe how good is the environment, how large is the area, how safe is around there.

He lives in the most elite part of town, with gates and securities, tall fences, and houses as big as a football stadium.

I told him we can take care of the cat, but we will neuter him and return him where he was because we are already over crowded.

Once he learned that we are willing, he told me that it’s actually his girlfriend’s house, and it’s his girlfriend who feed the cat and many other strays around the area, and that the girlfriend will contact me.

The girlfriend contacted me and went straight to ask that we picked the cat, whom she called “Sicko”, on Sunday evening because they both are working out of town.

I told her I will confirm when we’re on our way, and done as I said.

When we arrived, she told us that she has been waiting for a long time as she and her boy friend shook our hand for few seconds, and then point her hand to her shiny clean porch: “That’s the cat”

Straight to business is better, at times. It cuts off time so I can be done before my curiosity takes over and I start asking question too frank for some people.

Truth hurts.

It was brief. The cat was just sitting there. It was like lifting a pillow and put it in the bag.

They only grin as we went away.

The next morning they went mad because I was thinking about what happened out loud in my personal page.

He said everybody have limitation. They can only afford to feed the cat and many others

I am familiar with limitation. I am full of those; but he made one hundred times of the average people in town, and lives among the elites.

The vet surgeon who helped us numerous times, and has been in our stories every now and then, is less than a half hour drive from his place.

He said he never hurt the cat. I believe he ever hurt the cat, He just doesn’t want to touch the cat because it has mange.

He said he feed the cats twice a day.

When the cat arrived, he can barely stand straight. He walked like a drunkard, and he fell every three seconds to one side or the other..

She said she was so compassionate to animals, she took in cats even though her parents were against it.

She said she is getting married so she shouldn’t touch stray cats to avoid toxoplasmosis.

When I saw what must be her cat in her profile picture, I cannot help thinking about the story of a rich man and Lazarus who lived by his table scrap and crumbs. The difference is too obvious.

The video in the comment is the cat finishing his fourth plate of steamed beef loin. You can decide for yourself whether that is the behavior of a cat fed twice a day.

She claimed that she has been trying to give the cat medicine and ointments for months to no avail.
He said that they don’t want to touch the cat because the cat is mangy.

The cat does not have mange. He lost in a street fight and suffered claws, scratches and bite wounds, Those wounds got infected, and the infection gives the cat blood poisoning.

And the expert vet surgeon and his entire team, who are always friendly to rescues and people who rescue, open practice less than 30 mins drive.

For the whole day the two of them sent me their angry defenses and accusations.

I read everything, but I didn’t bother to answer. I have a lot more important things to do.

The more silence, the more she rant; and the more she rant (and she rants on social media), the more she exposes herself.

He said I am not sincere in helping them. I helped the cat, they can help themselves.

She demanded a public apology within 24 hours.

I will give my apology.

I came over to the cat she called “Sicko” and rename him “Arthur”

I hold Arthur in my arm and tell him “I am sorry I took so long” I really do.

I will give him as much chance as he needs to heal and reclaim his dignity.

I will stand by him as he fights his way back through and through.

And I will let my actions speak louder than all of their words.

~ Josie

Thank you, Whiskers Syndicate!

I have expounded many lives and death in the past decade, but just about today, the words escape me. We have had so many matching challenges before, and after ten years of tepid reactions most of the time, the passion with which you have answered my call swept me off my feet. Never, never in my life I have been so afraid for our lives because this time is especially challenging. So many cats with terminal illness come to us, so many kittens dumped on the street, there is not enough time for us to give one a name.

And yet, here we are; in the heart of the glorious victory you all give to the abused, neglected, malformed and homeless cats of Bandung.

Here we are, basking in the warmth of the sun you made to shine upon the lesser of our brethren.

For all of those, there is not enough gratitude ever in the world to offer you.

If there is any regret, it was the power failure that crippled the whole nation on Sunday, August 4th.

Electricity went out at noon in Jakarta, our capital city, and soon widens to the whole of Java and Bali. What we all thought would last only a few hours, ended up keeping us dark for over twelve hours.

Followed right after, internet went down, then ATMs went down, then the cellphone signal went down.

For one whole day our country was thrown back into the stone age.

For twelve hours, Romeo and Maki were on their own, as their life support equipment died down.

All of the progresses we made thus far, were gone.

It was painful watching TV, when the power went back on the next day, despite only in major areas. It was painful watching the director of the electrical company in all her calm and composure going round and round like an idiot at the face of our angry president.

It was painful that this woman, impeccable French manicure, perfect make up, skin as glass, and that brilliant large diamond ring around her finger, shrug the catastrophe off as a mere accident. In many thousand years she wouldn’t have known what sort of hell she brought into the country’s economy and life aspects of the small folk she will never come to know existed.

Never the less, we are grateful that despite all the setbacks that we have to catch back up, Romeo and Maki survived.

Whatever happened is a glaring reminder of how fragile we are, and much more so, how vulnerable are the animals who never chose to be born in this lawless country, yet have to survive the hell hole anyway.

Whatever happened reminds me that everyday, we could lose someone at any moment, and therefore I would love them more fiercely and freely, and without fear, not because there is nothing to lose, but because everything can always be lost.

Whatever happened underlines and highlights the importance of our work.

So, as we celebrate the glory of our love, I hope we would not stop too long. I hope we will take this chance to move forward and keep building the wall that will keep our little friends safe.

I hope to see you again soon as we go through more ventures to safe life today. We can change the world tomorrow.

Thank you, everyone. Truly, there will be no salvation for these cats without you.

~ Josie T Liem