It will take a trilogy, perhaps, telling the story through the matching challenge.

I can end it, however, with just two words and one post.

The two words are THANK YOU.

The post is below:


This is Emmy; as you can see, sleeping with total abandon on Sheilla’s lap. It was the day after the matching challenge.

Together we have doubled USD 500. We spent half of the matched fund into the vet bill, so that we can have service when the need arise, and have just done hauling sacks of cat food we bought with the other half, extending the life of Whiskers’ Syndicate although for only few days.

It’s a bit cloudy just like our lives, but the wind is nice and it’s quiet after the rush hour.

Emmy used her privilege of being stunted and tiny to slip out of the door, as we sat by the porch trying to catch our breaths. We were close to be doomed and it’s especially painful because we’re doomed just $90 away from salvation.

But like Baby Emmy persevere through her unfortunate beginning, and climb through mountainous perils and challenges, we finished the matching challenge together, as one big village, and for four days to be exact, we will live.

If we all count it correctly, that four days ends today.

Tomorrow we will leave her alone, each of us with our jobs and chores, but as I walk out the door for the job that will provide part of our living, I will remember Emmy. The little two months old cat who looks like one month baby. The little cat who always lost the biting games because her peer had grown teeth, she is still eating puree.

I will remember Emmy; a wee girl with enormous will to live.

I hope The Whiskers’ Syndicate whom she believed in will remember her just the same, and stand together one more time to give her a chance four more days.

~ Josie



When he came to join us, Reo was being a sick cat. 
Five months later, Reo is being Reo (watch the video)


In the week after Reo came to join us, she would call, or text, asking how he is doing.
For months then she has been visiting the modern market near her residential complex just to see that super skinny, odd colored cat, who timidly approaches patrons and see if there is something left to eat.

He was always out of breath, so long as she recalled, such condition that robbed him his chance to hunt for scarce food against bajillion of cats dumped mercilessly to fend for themselves in the middle of nowhere.

She had asked her friend to keep the cat she came to name Reo, and her friend was more than capable. Reo moved from the streets of oblivion to a cat in golden cage. Her friend had taken care of Reo so compulsively well, he can only sit there and wait to be fed with silver spoon, literally. He cannot even move one bit without his “mother” worrying to death for his life.

So off she went looking for another place where Reo can actually live as he should be.

Reo has a ruptured diaphragm. He will be short of breath forever and ever, and surgery as suggested by the best surgeon in town will only give him 50% chance of living.

From OCD to Russian Roulette?

I will have space for Reo, but I am mean and I will have Reo own his ruptured diaphragm and short breath as long as he keeps his life.

I will also have him eat good food (raw food or grain free), aside from rows of supplements to bolster his lung, his immune, his muscles, his system.

Every time she texted, I sent her a short video of Reo trotting, hopping, skipping, jumping, running, running in laps, climbing. He is out of breath, but he is not sitting like a statue in a Pyramid somewhere under Egypt.

By the time I made this video, Reo is 4 kgs (8 lbs) of hard, lean muscle (from 1.7 kgs/ 3.5 lbs), lovely soft fur, velvety ears, and luxurious mane.

She hasn’t been texting me for a few months, and I can no longer contact her number.

I would have loved her (and all who support Whiskers’ Syndicate) to see Reo being a cat.




Please bring us hope and life

My heart is still raw. Though it’s been a month and a bit more, that tiny blue shirt that I have kept so close in the drawer by my bed still have my tears.

The day I decided to take Ditto home was also Friday. The day I looked at his picture: his decrepit, bald body; his squinted eye holding pain, that large bump under his armpit, his crouching figure, the rage in my heart as I learned how the “rescue” who accepted donations on his behalf and was supposed to care for him never gave him medication for his tumor, kept him in bird cage, and fed him fermented soybean.

The day I lost Ditto was the next Friday. The next Friday after one week of betterment, good food, warm home, and abundant love, The next Friday after medication that removed Ditto’s pain, after support therapy that saw him gaining weight. The next Friday after five other days of playing games and making friends with the rest of the shelter.

That Friday I learned that despite my plea and all the best efforts by small number of The Whiskers’ Syndicate‘s champions, we were still unable to secure enough fund to rid him of his tumor.

Hence, the decision to rid him off the life he just begun to enjoy, to rid him the hope he just begun to know, to rid him the love he so deserve.

Many told me it’s not my fault. It’s just circumstances. I believe them, but my heart is still bleeding. Many told me that it must be the best for Ditto; I believe them, but my tears is still falling.

All Ditto ask for is a chance, and I promised him he has friends all over the world ready to grant him his wish, but I failed to fulfill it.

Many also told me that regret won’t bring Ditto back alive, and that I should direct my grief and sorrow into preventing such failure to ever happened again

But it seems like it is going to happen again, and this time, it is not only to one cat, but ninety and many more.

It seems like I am going to fail one more time, and see Bumpy, who keeps on fighting his cancer (and is winning), see Thelma who keeps on living with just three legs, see Wei Ling and the world in front of her.

It seems like as I am failing to do my best on the matching challenge, I will have to see baby Emmy who just begun her life, comes back to ashes and dust.

There is desperation and there is frustration, when all the good intention and the kindest will does not resonate with the world.

But that we only have little more to match, there is hope that help is still near, and that the chance these abused, neglected cats deserve is still within reach.

So I am knocking at the heaven’s door that is in your heart, cap in hand, with memories of all who we lost, and the plea of all who still living, that the mobsters of Whiskers’ Syndicate and their friends in the colonies can still believe in our humanity.



By the time we reached the address sent to us, it was almost noon. The sun shone brightly that day, and it’s hot everywhere especially this summer, but that rather secluded strip of housing were surrounded by big trees, so along the slow wind and the serenity around, it’s kind of nice.

There was a tiny girl peeking from behind the opening of the garage in that fenceless house. I thought I’d asked her, but she ran inside before I made my first step. So I called instead.

I didn’t know who to call, really, I only know her Instagram username as I learned about her story through its messaging system. She found a box of abandoned baby kittens on her way home from campus, and with the help of her friend was caring for the babies. As her studies become increasingly demanding, she was struggling with bottle feeding six babies once every hour. Before she lost the war, especially because she has no knowledge about caring for cats, she sought help.

I really don’t need extra six babies; but looking around, the extra six babies (and their college student surrogate) really need me.

No one answered the call, but a petite young woman, who looked very similar to the one who peeked on us earlier, came from the front door with a clean box of dirty, hungry, desperate babies.

Well, at least she tried to keep the babies clean, looking at the pile of dirty and smelly boxes at the corner of the garbage.

It was brief, sort of. She came down on me with barrage of questions, out of pure curiosity about the welfare of the cats and how she managed thus far, and I answered whichever question I managed to catch.

And then, we bade farewell to each other, I picked up the babies, and she ran into the house.

Oh well.

But, putting on my helmet, a tiny hand tapped on Sheilla’s shoulder, and as we turned around, the girl we just saw pushed two bank notes into her hand, turned around, and went back running inside, wiping her tears.

We looked at each other – Sheilla and I. It was a little bit of a comic story we read in our teen years, but we smile regardless. There is still hope on humanity, and our respect toward the college girl only grows. She did her best for the babies, now the baton passed to us.

It was clear to us by the scream and screech of the babies all the way home, down to our living room, and as they scrambled like an army of the undead into our kitchen, that they have been on their own for so long, despite the best effort by the college student lady to catch up on their behalf.

It was unclear to us whether it was pure magic, miracle, twilight zone, or heaven when Igor started putting them together, and lay down beside them, letting them nurse on him. We are not mistaken. That cat was Igor, and as the name suggested, and the two bells he always had, is male.

The kittens fell silent for a few minutes; but failing to get what they so sorely missed (from their own mother) they went back scrambling and screaming.

Like a genie from the lamp, we got three bottles ready; but still it was unclear to us the magic of it all, when we found Penny collected the babies one after another into an empty container we reserved for them, and let them nurse from her. Penny is young, and she was spayed before she came into heat.

The kittens fell silent for longer time; thus we didn’t waste any time to start picking them up and bottle feed them, putting them back to Penny’s side as they slowly fell into slumber, for the first time feeling the warmth of a mother.

In the next days, until they start to wean and learn to eat by themselves, it takes a village. Igor, Penny, Flash, Mama Pearl, The old lady from the slum, Mama White… took turns lying on their sides and lend the babies their lives, their licks, their love.

Then comes the pang of reality. The toll of being dumped, the toll of being under nourished for so long, the toll of having to claw back into life too early, too far.

One by one the babies perished. Sickness, weakness, but the village goes on.

Like hope stayed in Pandora’s box, one remain, and Emmy is getting stronger, although slowly. She is the smallest, and weakest, and prone to all sort of sickness.She is also the loudest, the most demanding, and the most relentless of more than 25 kittens (less than 2 months) crowding our house.

But the village goes on, and so do we. Whenever Emmy chased one of us with her nasty screams, we will put down everything, pull our blendered food, and give her as much food as we want; or whatever she wants, really. From pats to hugs, to piggy back ride to cradle to the rest of the world. In the day, at night, during breaks, even when we sleep.

Tomorrow, Emmy will be six weeks old. She looks like she is still four weeks baby cat, but she has the love of the whole village, and the whole village goes on.

One evening we told the village as they finished their dinner, that the whole village has us two.

We two hope Emmy and her village has you too.

~ Josie


Catober Fest – and why we need your contribution

We are kicking off this year’s Catober Fest with a matching challenge, and I am kicking off the matching challenge with the plight of this kitten.

There was no Sunday for us. Donations had run dry – there are barely anything coming in. Sheilla and I have to scramble back into the job market to sweep anything that fall into our feet just to keep the kibbles in the bowl.

On our way to work, we saw a small cat limping into a garage selling snacks and drinks, meowing silently to two women who chatted merrily with all abandon.

We don’t have enough money to buy the next sack of cat food so we thought we’d just give him our Whiskas. I walked back and lift him up to move him to shaded area to give him food and water, when I felt something running on my palm.

The baby I was carrying is about 3 months in age and he has thumb size hole on his chest. There was another wound nearby, with traces of infection and inflammation.

We don’t have the means to keep him, but we also don’t have the heart to leave him.

So comes the routine. We turn back home, each called our employers that we will be late, but offer assurance that we will finish our work on time.

We clean the wounds and apply first aid. The hole on his chest is 1.5 cm (about half inch) deep so it should require surgery, but it was Sunday; the clinics are closed.

It was bad in term of timing because the wounds are close to the heart. It can be good because the cat seems to be in good health otherwise. It’s Sunday, so we have time to find money to provide veterinary treatment he needs. We make him comfortable away from other cats, give him food and water, and answer to the call of our duty.

One hour late for work pushes the rest of the day’s schedule back. We arrived late at night to find baby cats slipping inside his crate and surround him with their fluffy warmth. Nearby two mothers were standing by.

How many humans would do the same to their own kind, the way the cats did to theirs? We know full well cats can be ignorant but in time of needs, we don’t even need to ask.

On Monday the vet saw the wounds and clean budding necrosis, but the wounds are still inflamed, so we have to bring the swelling down first before further steps can be taken.

It was bad in term of timing, and it’s annoying because we all want the cat fixed as soon as possible, but it can be good, because we have time to bring up his physical condition, and also a chance to seek help in funding his surgery.

Despite the pain he has to endure, the kitten goes on to seek help; to keep on living. Can we please give him a chance?

~ Josie


Update on the water situation

It’s such a glad moment when the local water pump is finally fixed. Yesterday the community leaders made a trial run, and the load of the pump will be increased to accommodate all residents until it reach full capacity again the beginning of next week.

While water is now as abundant as before, the quality is still below standard. It is yellowish and unclear. We are glad that we can mop the floor, wash the dishes and towels (and clothing) and clean the litter boxes with it, but we still have to buy clean water for cooking and drinking.

We are hopeful that the quality of the water will improve in short time.

Extending our gratitude to members of the Syndicate who lend their hand in the crisis, we invite other members who have not done so to lend their hand and help the cats walk through the crisis.

Currently we need approximately USD 50 per day to provide clean water for cooking and drinking, and we hope that you can forgo a cup or two of your favorite drink this weekend so that the cats can stay healthy

~ Josie