At long last, it’s over.

Worries, horror, shocks, worries, griefs, sorrows, pains.

They were a broken family; one of her three babies had a broken tail, the other had a broken leg, and one more was dead. She herself had to live with a blood parasite eating her alive. All four of them, mother and kittens, had lung infection at one point and intestinal infection at the other. They had to move from one porch to the other during the rain and evacuate when the rain stopped, because no one wants them and no one cared enough for their lives.

Though we failed to help her children, our persistence and your unwavering support saves her life. Blood tests, USG, painful medications, long term treatments, intensive veterinary intervention. She was overwhelmed by the rest of the world trying to turn her life upside down and had various meltdowns along the long holiday season, but she will survive.

We took care of her lung infection, then we took care of her chronic intestinal problems. We subdued her blood parasite, we rid her off her many diseases, one after another; and when on a surprising, yet amazing turn, she came into heat, we managed to spay her.

She will step into the new year walking through the pathway of hope we all lay in front of her.

So this is your Christmas miracle, if you believe in Christmas. This is the blessing of your Hanukkah. Whichever you believe, this is the magic of The Whiskers’ Syndicate.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you. No one else in this world can do the magic, only you.

Thank you for turning her world around. Thank you for turning her death into life, thank you for giving her the life she should have. Thank you for opening your heart when others shut their doors.

And thank you, if you would stay with us to make many other story ends just as beautiful as hers.

~ Josie



If there is one Christmas story I hate the most, it’s The Little Match Girl.

Most of the time, the little match girls (or boys) are the cats I saw on the street. They have nothing. They don’t have parents, they don’t have siblings, they don’t have home, family, friends. They do not have food.

They are cold, damp, wet. They are sick, they are hungry, and they are in pain. Pain because kids beaten them up with sticks, pain because people throw rocks, garbage, hot water, anything, at them. Pain because they have to fight for their lives, and even the winner did not win any food. Pain for the blood that runs freely one time or another, and stain their fur, Pain for the broken bone, pain one can see all over them.

What one cannot see, is the pain from loneliness, pain for being hated for no apparent reason. Pain for being denied life that is given to them, without they ever asked or choose.

This time, the little match girls are us.

Ex kitty mill tom with kidney failure, two ill mothers with their own set of kittens discarded in various ATMs, unwanted gift of one mother and three babies, kittens thrown away and have to bid for his own wee life under BBQ charcoal grill…

Even before I finished telling each of their stories, we took in one kitten dumped with her brother by a deep, rushing river, a miller wannabe who didn’t want to stand up for the challenge threw his supposed-to-be sire on the street.

Last but not least, a mother with intestinal infection, respiratory infection, and internal bleeding in her ear dragged herself for food to support her two kittens. Someone stole her two healthy, adorable kittens, left her rotting in the cold in the market by the garbage bag.

We lost the chap with kidney failure on Friday. The kitten with a broken leg died as we tried to save his life, early yesterday, and her sister, heartbroken and in pain herself, followed the next evening.

One by one, our match burned out, leaving ash, and dried sticks turned into cinders.

Who will buy the rest of our match, as our world sunk asunder? We have spent the last of our savings for cat food that will finish by Christmas, and none for ourselves.

But I stand here, out of the window, looking in. Family gathers, feast and squander. I stand here, by the cold shoulder of my society, so ignorant of others.

I stand here, lighting one more match. It’s a match none the less, it will be ash and cinder, regardless.

I stand here, lighting one more match. I stand here with my hand up high.

These lights, are the lives of those who has no one to hold their hope.These lights are the hope of those whose lifelines were stolen by ignorance and cruelty.

These lights are the love they offer even after all the pain.

These lights are their last chance.

And I will hold these lights with hand up high, for as long as I can.

I cannot change the girl’s story; but I can change theirs.

Are you standing with me?

~ Josie



Past three o’clock in the afternoon I rode through that small alley by the waterfall. She was there, laying on her side, her eyes closed, maybe enjoying the little kneads of her three babies on her tummy.

She was still there, past three o’clock two days later, just on a different porch.

Her three babies were so fluffy; white with a small number of patches, just like their mother. Sometimes they run around their mother; sometimes they wrestle among themselves. Past three o’clock in the afternoon, now and then.

Past three o’clock in the afternoon I rode through that small alley last week. She was still there laying on her side, her eyes closed, maybe enjoying the little kneads on her tummy, but there were only two babies. Their eyes were dirty, they did not look pristine, but their fur is still white, their tummy is still chubby.

Perhaps, she was just under the weather, just like anyone in this place. It’s hot and humid through the day; cold and rainy all night long.

But past three o’clock in the afternoon, the whispering behind my ear keeps on calling.

“Come back… come back.”

Past three o’clock in the afternoon, I rode to that small alley and found her sitting on the gate of the house by the waterfall.
One of her babies were in the middle of the road, the other one stayed further away. Both too ill to move.

I knocked on the door of the house, and inquired if the cat belongs to the family.

He said no. He said she belonged to another home two houses from his, and led me to the correct place.

A teen in senior high school uniform opened the door.

I asked her if she has a cat, she said no.

I asked her about a white cat with gray tail and three babies, she said yes. She said her friend brought that cat there. Although she explained that she is not interested in keeping any animals, her friend brought the cat along anyway, so she told her friend to drop it off by the porch.

“And the cat will take care of herself”, so her friend assure her.

“Was that the reason there has never been any food, any plate, any water, litter box or any roof for the cat at the house?”

She said she told her friend she has no intention to keep any animals, but her friend said cats are cute and funny and they can take care of themselves.

She is a teen in senior high school uniform, soft spoken and polite, so I sent her my greetings, and told her I am going to take the cat and her two babies away.

She said, “Go ahead”

Past three o’clock in the morning she was still eating, still drinking, as she sat by the window, shielding her two babies.

Past three o’clock the next morning, one of the babies walked up to us asking for food, and we learned that he broke his tail.

Past three o’clock this morning, when their mother was sleeping, I took the other baby who was more sick than the other so I can give her medicine. She never moved, she never walked. She just sat there, though eating and drinking and nursing.

And past three o’clock this morning I learned, that she has a broken leg.

I took both babies and keep them in the carrier. Their mother looking, meowing sad and sorrowful, perhaps asking what I was doing.

I touched her head, saying, I’d bring her the real three o’clock that should have been.

Past three a clock,
And a cold frosty morning,
Past three a clock;
Good morrow, masters all!

Mid earth rejoices
Hearing such voices
e’ertofore so well
Carolling Nowell.

Hinds o’er the pearly,
Dewy lawn early
Seek the high Stranger
Laid in the manger.

And I promised her

Cheese from the dairy
Bring they for Mary
And, not for money,
Butter and honey.

Please help me, masters all!

~ Josie

Foot note:
“Past Three O’Clock” (or “Past Three A Clock”) is a British Christmas carol, loosely based on the traditional cry of the city night watchman.

The words were written by George Ratcliffe Woodward (1848–1934) to the traditional tune “London Waits”. Woodward added lines to the traditional refrain in a style characteristic of his delight in archaic poetry. It was published in A Cambridge Carol Book: Being Fifty-two Songs for Christmas, Easter and Other Seasons in 1924.

Numerous variations of the carol include an arrangement by William Llewellyn as a “quodlibet” for choir: London Waits (Past Three O’clock).



We were chatting about what sort of messy Christmas Tree we would have, with over a hundred cats and kittens stuffing our home. We never have a Christmas Tree. We don’t even have furniture. We do have a dining table with two seats, but most of the time we stand or sit on the porch. Luckily we also have a bed.

We saw her walking alone along that empty sidewalk of the SOHO complex on the other side of the clinic, where we left our chap and picked up mama cat and her goblins. She is so young, so skinny, so lonely. Pushing open the tip of the tall garbage bins, trying to sniff some hope, just enough for her and her incoming baby.

There was a bleeding wound by her back thigh, bright red on her white fur, but she has more important things to think about.

We looked at each other, trying to raise enough denial, or run to the world of reasoning and excuses.

The truth is out there. Right in front of us. It doesn’t speak, but it echoes within, loud and clear.

We didn’t have carrier, bags, anything. If we buy one in the nearest petshop, we’d spend the rest of what little left we have in our account.

I wrapped her with my jacket, and asked her to follow her heart, as I followed mine. She struggled for a bit, but for the rest of our way home, she sat there, letting fate bring her wherever life will follow.

We have no safe place for her in the house. We have cats in every corner and many more are sick, so we lend her a space in our storage room, where we keep the cat food and our tools. Sheilla has an unfinished cat condo, just enough for a single white female.

We ran out of heating pads, so we borrowed our turtle’s basking light, and set it on my desk lamp, to shine warmth when the night turns dark dark and cold.

Last night she delivered two tiny babies. Underweight, but otherwise healthy. Two other mothers who we keep in our storage area, safe from foraging naughty sons and daughters, sat by her box. She growled at them, but looking into each other’s eyes, I think they understand each other. They shared their food, she shared her trust.

We won’t have a Christmas Tree this year, we wouldn’t want one either. There is so much more we can give with what a Christmas Tree will cost.

But come, o ye faithful, this, is our nativity scene. This is our Christmas magic.

The front of her manger is still empty, but instead of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, we’d offer love, hope, and life.

Will you come and join us?

~ Josie


Is life. Maybe a chance, maybe love, a little bit of extra blanket, a roof over their head, warm food, clean drinking water.

For the time being, though – life.

From last Thursday to this Thursday, our lifelines have been filled with grim news, sad stories and bad endings; one cat after another.

We found the kitty miller chap Thursday night, sitting literally in the middle of the road, waiting to die. He didn’t care if moving tires were just millimetres off the tip of his ears, he didn’t care if people kicked him, though with the good intention of getting him off the street, he did not resist when I picked him up from behind, probably thinking I will be the one who will deal him the last blow that will part him from his pain.

He was dehydrated, and he has an Upper Respiratory Infection. We brought him home, hydrated him, gave him the best food we had, and the medicine to the best of our availability.

He got better for one day, ate and drank like mad; we took just one breath, and found out there was hardened faeces stuck inside. Well, he had been dehydrated for so long.

We took him to the vet and did everything by the doctor’s order, but nothing came out. He keeps eating, drinking, but it only make his unfinished business longer, creeping and filling all the way up his intestine.

There is only one way left: surgery, but with his condition at that time, he wouldn’t have survived.

We left him at the vet, so he can have intensive care, which he would not get with us, because as much as we care about him, we have over one hundred others who share only the two of us. Besides, it is safer for him to stay at the clinic, preventing possible infection due to his weakened state.

Bad news: the hardened stool is one thing, his kidney failing is the whole lot of other things.

For the time being, he is making his small steps forward.

As we left the clinic, I brought up about this tiny house (actually it is more of a cube) from a wooden crate left across the street, a cat who often packs herself inside, and as of late, some kittens who did not look so good. I know Sheilla will follow me, so I followed my instinct and cross the street.

At the porch of that SOHO building a young mother was trying to nurse three horrible looking kittens. Two one-month old, bald, crusty with yeast and skin infection, and whatever sickness that turned them into skeletons, and another one, possibly the only survivor of a previous litter.

She was so weak she cannot even lift her head.

There was an empty, dusty, filthy, dry feeding bowl nearby. An empty pouch of Whiskas, a dry, grimy water bowl.

We found another baby, also one month old, stranded on the porch of the next building; seemingly wandering around and got lost.

So, we went to the clinic with a kidney failure cat, and went home with a fainting mother and four goblin-looking kittens.

Friday morning, on my way to buy fish and medicine, I dropped by the ATM and was curious about a bottled water box in the corner

Inside was a mother with four newborn kittens. She was afraid, but she cannot run away. She was determined to attack whoever was trying to harm her little treasures; instead she let me touch her head, rub her cheek, and off I went with another box of cats.

Going back out to get my things done, I passed by a pitiful baby walking alone along the road. She knows this world for just eight weeks, but not enough to find herself a nook where she can make herself a living; so she looked up, and begged to whoever passed her by.

But no one gives a damn.

Another reroute then.

She has some respiratory problem; and her stamina is bad. She is lethargic, she is un-spirited, she sits there all the time watching other kittens, she vomits often; unfortunately it will take a while to find out what is going on in her system,

On Friday night going home from the colony, we found another eight weeks-old kitten, which lay dying out of starvation and respiratory infection under a barbecue burner just by the roadside. It was biting cold and he wouldn’t survive on his own, so we took him in as well.

Saturday morning at the parking lot of the market, she tried to brush away fleas off her tiny figure. Whenever someone passed, she will follow her potential patron telling stories of her short days gone by.

Who will listen to her? Nobody even listens to each other anymore

Well, we do, especially after a passerby kicked her into the underside of a vehicle.

By then I don’t want to go outside anymore. Otherwise I’d probably go home with cats enough to make another shelter; it’s the start of kitty season anyway.

Sunday morning when people go to church, spending time with friends and family, exercise, or have a hangover from last party or bar to quench their thirst, I was browsing job openings for a freelance anything.

These cats; I didn’t know what they do wrong,and they most likely never know what happened either,

I only know that just like me, they just want to mind their own business, living their lives, raising their children,

They do not need a mansion, they do not need fancy clothing, they don’t belong to moving vehicles.

They just want the chance to continue their lives; the lives cut off by the cruelty of men who are supposed to guard and protect them.

In exchange, they will lay their hopes, love, lives, and the future of their family in our hands.

Will we answer their call?

~ Josie

Urgent vet care needed!

This gorgeous chap was found neglected and abandoned on the street. He had been without food for several days when we found him and was very weak.

Josie and Sheilla rushed him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with kidney failure. He is stabilized but still critical and needs urgent intensive care. We are waiting for his condition to improve so the vet can perform surgery to remove hardened stool from his intestine.

We feel it is better for him to stay with the vet so he has somewhere quiet to recover while we get the other new arrivals settled at the shelter. We believe he belonged to a kitty mill/backyard breeder, and want so much to give him a second chance of the life he deserves.

More news coming of the other emergency rescues who have come to us over the past few days, but for the moment, may we please ask, again, if you can spare anything to help us continue helping them, please consider donating.