To Protect And To Serve


kitty gun point

Whenever I upload my rescue story, there are always some readers who wrote me back and told me to report to local police. Even if I upload an abuse story, they still ask me to report to local police and have them do something despite my repeating answer that Indonesia doesn’t have an animal welfare law, and the police is so corrupted that they won’t care. Today I am going to tell you a story that will answer such request the best.

On a rare clear afternoon last Saturday, I went out to a cheap pharmacy near my rent to buy vitamins for the cats.

The pharmacy is on a heavily packed street, full with road-side merchant offering fake Louis Vuitton, China-made Chanel or hijacked Tommy Hillfiger; and since the road is packed up with people, it is natural that one man can brush the other’s as they walk. A good setting for pickpockets.

It must be my lucky day that day because one of those thieves’ target was me. People keep brushing me off, including some teenage boys who tried to touch my butt, and I was too busy skipping through people that I didn’t realize my wallet was stolen, until I got into the pharmacy and dig into my pocket for it.

I  am sure that those thieves will be disappointed, though, because my wallet was empty. I was about to pay with a debit card that I left all my money home but my ID card and the debit card I was about to use, but none the less, it gives me extra work because I have to spend half an hour on my cell phone (here, cell phone rate is a lot lot lot more expensive than land line) blocking my account, and schedule a date to get a new card.

Naturally, I have to provide a police report about the stolen card, so on my way home, I dropped by to a small police booth at the area.

The view inside was uncanny. I saw some police officers play chess and laugh like a drunkard with their detainee, and on the bench near the entrance I saw someone with a face like a criminal reading a newspaper while the police on duty was watching TV.

Forget about that man with criminal look. He can be an undercover police (well, who knows? I am trying to be positive here).

I  called on the policeman, and he peered at me with one eye while the other stick on the TV, it was a gossip of two celebrities having affair. I told him that I want to report a stolen wallet.

He looked at me and ask “Got an ID card?”

It’s inside that stolen wallet I am now reporting”

He smiled, no, I think sneer is a better description, and say “No ID, no paper” and he went straight back to the gossip news.

I  was surprised that he noticed when I turned back laughing.

What are you laughing about?” he asked angrily.

Nothing” I said, still grinning.

Well, you can ask your husband, or your boyfriend, or your brother or sister to come here and pick you up and file a report on your behalf” he said. He guessed my laugh right.

With how much money?” I asked, still grinning from ear to ear.

Obviously he was so taken by my beautiful, pearly white teeth that he completely forget the celebrity news and face me seriously. “What did you say?”

Mind you that this is not the first time I lost my wallet. I have gone through stolen wallet stories more than five times during my three years stay in Bandung, and I always have to pay at least twenty thousand Indonesian Rupiahs although all of my money was inside the stolen wallet so I have to borrow from the office.

My grin is just getting bigger, though I am sure I will ever admit that I am all by myself in this city “Nothing, sir. Really, but thanks for your concern”, and I left.

Guess what? I was followed. That guy with the newspaper followed me and twice he got too close that I notice him. So went into the nearest mall, wander aimlessly and suddenly jumped into an packed up elevator just seconds before it’s closed.

Do I need to remind anyone that I like reading detective story? And this time I don’t have to worry about pickpockets because I don’t have anything left to lose, so I slip though the crowd with ease and gone out from the other side of the mall, and walk home.

Since I got used to live without money, I don’t have trouble on Sunday. I still have two packs of instant noodles that I promised my ‘mother’ I won’t take, and the cats have their own food, so no problem.

On Monday I asked the office’s errand boy to meet the policeman that the office paid to protect the office off the street punks (because there’s a slum-full of thugs behind the office complex) and give him thirty thousand Rupiah to make a report on my behalf.

It was done in three hours, and when he handed it to me the errand boy told me that had I met the officer myself I would have had to spend more than fifty thousand because I am Chinese (sort of, my mother is of Chinese descent, and Chinese are usually richer than the natives). I smiled and give my errand boy ten thousand for his hard work, which he refused because I helped his family once.

Unfortunately I had to be taken to the hospital the next day, that I can’t immediately get my new debit card, but that’s another story. However, I hope what had happened can describe how police here protect and serve, and can give you an idea of how they would protect and serve the animals, who has no bills to give in exchange of their protection.

I  wish someone don’t shoot me because my post is considered subversive.

A Personal note for my mama:

Thanks for the “Odd and The Frost Giant” you gave me. It really inspires my grin to the police, and to let him do what he wants to do. I love you dearly.

Pick A Boo, I’ve Got You!

as originally appeared on our Care2 messaging system

My dearest colleagues @ animal welfare,

It must have been the most excruciating two weeks for you since I share about Boo’s plight, a Persian cat who had been abandoned at the vet clinic.

Boo, Early May 2011

Like I suspected, people are racing to help, from as near as Malaysia to as far as Greece, US and UK, Netherlands, Sweden, and one from Czechoslovakia (yep, that’s Czech Republic). What I didn’t suspect was, magnitude of the attention. I wouldn’t have thought his voice reached Czechs.

Within one week after I share Boo’s plight, we raised USD 240 together. USD 10 short from what the vet has been asking, so I went to his office and ask him to give me a few more days; certainly USD 10 won’t be far away.

But until the end of another week, that USD 10 didn’t come. So, with USD 240, and an ATM, I come by to his office again, and tell him what actually happened, that the money we raised from around the world lacked USD 10. I showed him my ATM, and say, “I have USD 300 in this ATM here, doc, but you see, my rent is due mid June, and I have to find a new one. So far the best offer for a house I ever get is USD 600 a year”.

The vet just stay quiet, before he said “You are trying to bail out a cat while you yourself lacked money for a home? where are you going to have Boo? on the street?”

I can’t answer that, to be honest, but I hand over the USD 240 anyway, and say “Give me 5 minutes, I’ll give you the remaining USD 10. There’s no way I am going to let Boo rot in his cage another day. If we ended up on the street, at least we are going to see the sky when we wake up, not bars”.

When I return to the vet 5 minutes later, Boo was already in the carrying basket on his desk.

“He’s all set for a new home” said the vet. “You are the craziest girl ever stepped into my office, but to tell you the truth, you are the first human who get in here with a true mission to save life. Just like a vet clinic should be. The other almost immediately give up as soon as we told an owner the name of a disease. For quite some times I kind of think this town doesn’t have heart, they only have breeders”

“Keep that 10 Dollars” said the vet then. “I am going to be on a trip abroad next week, but when I return, I want to see Boo on my desk again. He needs to be neutered”

Before I had chance to say anything else, the vet waved his hand “On the house”

I wished I can take picture of the staffs in the clinic as I walk out with Boo. They actually lined up along the way from the examination room to the lobby, with big grin on their face. “Boo’s going home” they said. “Thanks”

I wish I can say “Boo lived happily ever after” just like the other fairy tale. But he doesn’t. The challenge comes right after.

Boo is 8 months old now, so if he spend 6 months in the clinic, he went there when he was 2 months old. Since all owner brought their own pet’s food when the pet must stay over, Boo eat only on the mercy of the staffs, which put aside some of their small wage to buy Friskies.

So Friskies is all Boo know. He doesn’t know any other food. He doesn’t even know what chicken is, what fish is, and he refuse to eat anything other than Friskies. The rest of the mobster eat raw.

Boo doesn’t know what cat is. He is jumpy the whole week when the other mobster passed him over, and he hid behind a drawer when Dewy and Sports came running after their ball.

The only thing that can touch him is Chibi, a 2 weeks old baby cat someone dumped on the middle of a busy road. Chibi rubs on him all the time, and even tried to sleep on his thick fur, and Boo probably doesn’t have the heart to claw a “thing” as big as his leg trying to cuddle up on him.

Boo doesn’t know what dog is. Boo doesn’t know what rain is, so he slipped out of the door and run under a storm, stepping on each puddle and sniff on everything. When there’s thunder, he would challenge it and meow as loud as he can.

And storm is what holding me from sharing Boo’s story after he got home. We got endless rain, and flood, and rain, and flood, and wind, and another rain. We got electric failure almost every day, and since part of the telecommunication lines got soaked up under the flood, the whole town was made cranky because our cellphone had less signal. Telephone line is scarce in this town, so everyone relies on their cellphones or CDMA.

Since there’s no phone line on my rent (there’s none in the whole complex, actually), I have to rely on mobile broadband. And Since mobile phone provider got trouble with signal, there goes my broadband as well.

I was just feeling lucky that we’re not drowned nor wrecked like Joplin.

As of today, though, Boo learned the right place to drop his “digestive remains”. Boo learned to differentiate between fresh food, edible food, and rotten food. He dislike milk, but love cooled mineral water. He learns to climb,he got to pick his favorite spot (along with a small, pink, mat for his bed), he learns the difference between fish and chicken, and he definitely tell me that he prefer chicken over fish, while the other is vice versa.

Boo also learn to spray (marking), he learn to scratch at the right spot. He learn to stay away from the rain, he learns to pat, though he end up leaving a scar on my cheek for a week, and got some claw too, for forgetting to retract his nail while patting on other cat; and he learn to make me cry every time he decided to go under some furniture and spoiled my effort to keep his fur white (as it should be).

His best skill is: opening refrigerator. I don’t know how he done it because the other never succeeded before, but Boo have 100% success rate opening its door and raid on the second rack (where I put his chicken).

Yesterday I saw him watching Sports playing soccer for an hour before he sneaked on the ball when Sports was sleeping and play the ball himself.

The night after that, he’s having a man to man talk with Kaitou, the Godfather, and the founding father of the Syndicate.

man to man- boo and kaitou
Man To Man: Kaitou and Boo

I am offering you my apologies for the delay of relaying Boo’s update. If I could, I would have broadcasted this world class cat rescue at the same day. Not everyday citizen of the world raise money to bail out one single cat that otherwise might have gamed over before his life even started.

Boo got plenty more to catch up for the 6 months of his life in the cage, but I am sure that the blossom that bloom late is the most beautiful of all.

Way to go Boo. Welcome to the Syndicate.

Pick A Boo: Can I see you?

as originally appeared on our Care2 messaging system

Fellow rescuers and animal advocates,

You’d probably called ‘Boo!’ only on Halloween to chase away some spirit.

But this one is boo-ed from his right to live by a negligent owner.

I met Boo just a few weeks ago. I don’t know why he was given such an ill name, but I am determined to get your help to save him, and change his ill fated name into a well-fitted one. For the sake of better life.

You see, my past few weeks were spent between office and the vet clinic nearby. Some of my refugees underwent spay/neuter surgery last January, and two of them: Sports and Peta, develop a severe infection around their genitalia so they have to have a surgery for the second time. It’s just a malpractice, and it’s usual here in Indonesia, no big deal, you can’t do anything anyway (yeah right).

While Sports and Peta has to stay over a few nights before and after the surgery, I come and visit them everyday after office just to cheer them up, especially because both of them are still afraid of other humans. I usually pick them up from their cage, cradle them in my arm and told them that they are going to be all right, and that they are going to go home soon. Sometimes we just cuddle eadh other and pray to God that the surgery went well and everything would go uphill for them.

Then I notice that every time I put them back in their cage, the cat next to them cried out loud and desperately trying to get his turn of cradling.

From the tag on the cage, I learned that his name is Boo. He was taken to the clinic in December 2010. The owner then told the vet that he was blood vomiting, and that he was told by another vet that Boo contracted deadly disease. The worker in the clinic said that the owner gave USD 25, and left with a promise to pick him up in a few days.

But he never returns.

Both the vets and the workers of the clinics tried to call him, with a good news that what appeared to be a blood vomit is a small small ulcer at the back of his tongue, and it had healed by itself by the second day. Also to say that Boo is perfectly healthy, but no one picked up the phone, nor answered the text sent through the owner’s cellphone.

Since then, Boo has been the ghost of the clinic.

“He is like that”, said the clinic worker, the one who deliver the food for the animals. “Whenever someone walk in, he would cry and ask to get out”.

Boo, May 7, 2011

“When we give him food he’d pat on our hand, asking to be craddled”, the worker continues, “And when we walked away, he’d cry long enough before slumping at the corner of his cage, as if he was about to be left to die”.

Boo, May 9, 2011


Well, it seems like the owner intended him to be that way.

Since then, I’d stop by longer at the clinic, and make time to say hello, and Boo will stuck out his paw and greet me. When I open his cage he’d be jumping right onto my chest, and when I put him back to go back to the office, or home, he’d cry long enough before slumping at the corner of his cage. As if he was about to be left to die.

Boo, May 11, 2011

Well, it seems like the vet intended to put him to sleep if no one claim him and pay his fee. Why feed and maintain something that no one wanted?

I took a peek on the vet bills for his medication and boarding. Aside from the USD 25 the owner left, Boo need USD 250 for all the meal and daily necessities during his ghostly presence in the clinic for a half of a year.

Then I wondered, can I raise that much money to bail him out? Would there be someone out there care enough to answer Boo’s desperate cry? Or would Boo just live a half year of useless life and die like nothing?

Please help, whenever you can. I talked to the vet to wait another week, because I am going to bet on the generosity of my kindred friends, and the mercy of other animal advocates.

My paypal address is: I do not set up other chipin because I have limited internet quota, so if you would like to help spare Boo’s life, please send your gift to and send a note along with it “For Boo”

Then share Boo’s story. Share his desperate cry in his lonely cage in facebook, in emails, in other forums. Reply to his reach out. Let your kind presence echoes his plea.

Burnt Bun

When a baker’s attempt to make a chocolate cake botched, he didn’t throw it away. Unknowing people come to like the failure cake, and for the centuries ahead, the failed cake is a branded desert called Brownies. There are a thousand morals of this story, but to me, a failed attempt is never a failure. It’s a delayed success.

And so when I unsuccessfully trapped a little black cat from an empty house in my previous home, I take it as a brownies in life. A botched attempts are challenging, intriguing, and tempting, so I follow my heart and try again, until I made it to bring her home.

koge pan bag

I call her Koge Pan, literally means “Burnt Bun” in Japanese. She is all black, with strong, sharp green eyes, living her lonesome life in an abandoned house, coming home everyday to see if someone is filling her empty bowl.

She is fur-less when I first catch her. Her skin is so full with scabies, the mange and ticks and fleas cannot live on it. The vet I consulted actually asked me back where did I get such “exotic” kitten.

It took me four months to permanently cure her. Four months full of salves, vitamins, salt bath, spray, ointments…. Four month into a shiny, soft, and fluffy sweet bun.

I took it personally to cure her. I took it personally to care for her, not only because she deserved it, but more because she reminded me very very much like my very first pet cat. If she is male, then I would probably call her Kenichi II.

Kenichi was big, strong, handsome, and has the sharpest stare of all. My mother once has to deal with Conservancy Officer because one of my envious neighbor called them and reported that I keep a black panther cub.

So I determine to make his  female counterpart as great looking as he is.

She grown into the most beautiful “black panther cub” in the world. Fluffy hair, soft and shiny coat, brilliant green hair, and she loves to play. She doesn’t get along with the kittens like other cats, and sure love to perch on top of things to stay away from the running and tumbling. She can’t help it with Eden, the boy kitten climb over just to pat on her head (I call THAT a stunt) and run away before she swat him on the face.

When she is nine months old, I took her to the vet. With the help of the donation I set up in this blog, I was able to raise enough money to spay her.

It took longer than it should, however. First because the vet was taken away with her soft and fluffy fur, then because an hour later, she came out to say that Koge Pan has two bags of cysts on her ovary. She was asking if I want to remove it, considering that the bags of cysts are cancer prone and ready to burst.

The chance is 50:50. I can leave the cysts there and have Koge Pan live with ovarian cancer, or take the risk and remove the cysts with the possibility that the cysts grow somewhere else.

The vet and I decided to remove it.

The surgery went well. All of the cysts were removed, and she came home with me like new. She eat a lot, her stitches cured well, and she is now a more social cat.

The week after when I brought her back to the vet to remove stitches, the vet praise her on her wonderful progress.

But the week after, she suddenly refuse to eat, and whatever antibiotics the vet gave, she throw it all out. Soon, whatever comes into her mouth, whether it’s food or medicine, she would vomit.

It’s as if she had cancer already.

Over the week after, she would live on vials and i.v. I have to go back and forth to the vet, but since she fight so bravely to stay alive, I don’t mind draining my money for her.

We made a promise, that I would give her the best life I can afford, and that she would grow into a healthy, beautiful cat.

On August 28, I took her to the vet again, alongside Renoir who would have his Hernia stitched. The vet and I both realized that her dark skin had turned yellowish, and Koge Pan was considerably less responsive.

We know it’s looking grim, but we tried our best. I gave her the best food, the vet gave her the best treatment and medication, and for some days, she can walk again, although she still cannot eat.

On September 6, she vomits again, and she lose all her energy. She cannot stand up, cannot sit, cannot move. I took her to the vet again, and she get another serie of shots and vials. That night, she called for me all the time, and so I took her to bed with me. If sleeping side by side would calm her down, I wouldn’t mind doing bed sheet laundry everyday.

On Sept 7, she is not responding at all. I went to the office, but I cannot concentrate, so I told my boss I want to go home and finish some urgency, and rush her to the vet clinic.

Both vets (the one that operates her and her associate who handles Goldie) were present, and both gave their best effort, but Koge Pan slipped into a coma.

Half an hour later, she was already in vegetative phase.

It’s the time I dreaded. I just lost my rescued dog Ayumi last year from pyometra, and now I have been taken into the same situation.

I love Koge Pan. The other might go to a new family, to a forever home, but she would stay with me. We spend so much time together. Being with her is like having a sister next to me, who responded and even excel at each other promises.

I also know Koge Pan is in pain. Having to throw out every time something got into your throat is painful. Having to endure the starvation while your mouth refuse to open is painful, having to let life slipped by you is painful. And even if I decided to keep her, I would have left her soul hanging. Not alive, not dead.

We decided to let her go.

I have never saw both vet crying as they do what is necessary. They both tried the best they could. The both know how strong is the bond between us, and they both hated to lose the battle. The battle that Koge Pan had entrusted to us to win.

It was quick. She slipped away just like that, but the sorrow that come after that was long, and excruciating. Both vets and I was frozen long enough in front of the now sleeping Koge Pan, that the nurse locked the door so that no one would disturb us.

They cysts had not go anywhere. It hadn’t grow anywhere else, it didn’t broke, it didn’t turn into cancer, but it triggered different lethal enemy: Leukemia.

On Sept 8, as I took her ashes, I brought it over to the vet clinic once more, also to say my greetings to the vets who would celebrate Idl Fitri at Sept. 10.

When I gave her the money for euthanasia, the vet refused, and instead said “We all lose the game. Let’s keep the money in her memory, so that we can save others’ life”

God had given the best for me. Now that He want to take, let Him take only the best.

6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8


It has been raining for three days now. The land is wet and soaked, the rivers running fast, and it’s dark sooner than other days. Sometimes the wind blows so hard, the wisps of the trees is shaken and bend.

I cannot go anywhere in the rain like this, so I sit down on my bed and trying to read. I’ve been longing for a time like this for so many times.

Across my bed against my foot, Goldie is wiping herself silently. Next to her Tacos and Nachos, her adoptive kittens curling against each other soundly asleep.

I smile to myself, thinking how fast the time flown. Last year in a rainy night like this, Goldie was still a baby, crying and yelping under the rain with her two siblings, calling for anyone to save them from the pouring water in the freezing night.


Goldie Baby
Goldie, 2 months old

There were three of them. One male I named Goldwyn (from Metro Goldwyn Meyer), and two female I called Golda (from Golda Meir) and Goldie (from Goldie Hawn). No particular preference, they just happened to be all yellow, and all of those public figures had “gold” as part of their name.

The boy, Goldwyn, was weaker than the other, and so he died two weeks later.  I continue to bottle feed the remaining girls in the hope that they would somehow survived the nasty weather.

It’s nice to know that they are holding on. With works taking more than 8 hours a day, I can only feed them twice daily, to which they always look forward.

I wonder, however, how they would pass the day when I work.

Kaitou took care of them. As the eldest in the gang, he often acted as a benefactor to the younger, and in the case of these two golden girls, he curl up and allow the girls to snuggle on him for warmth.

Goldie nursed
1 year old Kaitou playig step father

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, except the fact that Kaitou is male.

There are more than one occasion when during sleep, the two girls try to breast feed from him, but he never seem to be disturbed by it. He just let them be.

After Golda joined her brother last Christmas during a parvo outbreak, Goldie grow a deep attachment to Kaitou. She look up to him as her own parent, and follow him everywhere. He, in turn, taught her everything he know, from staying safe while jumping from roof to roof, getting to know the neighborhood, to hunting the rats and presenting them on the doormat like first class gourmet.

Goldie bag
Goldie’s favorite hangout, when she is home

Unfortunately, however, because she is learning from a male cat, she become a tomboy. She is never at home, she is grumpy, she is everything you can imagine in a tomcat. She also spray, by the way. A habit that gave me headaches, although I can be rich if I manage to get her in Ripley’s Believe it or Not. The only thing I haven’t see, and wish not to, is her trying to mate with another girl.

Following the advice of my regular pet supplies store, I went to spay her earlier. Anyway, the vet, not believing what I said that she is a grand tomboy, failed the shock test.

Goldie ran away. She went missing for two whole weeks despite the vet place is only one block away and she used to pass that place every day.

When she is home, at last, she is full of cuts and bruises, dirty, smelly, and hungry.

I truly question if I should have separate her from Kaitou back then.

When I moved to a rented house a few months later, she hasn’t been home for a week, so I decided to go back later at night and wait for her by the door. Though she is a troublemaker, I don’t want to let her go. Funny enough, however, she catches up with us as the pick up drove away, yelling angrily to me as she ran by the car.

In the new house, she is the first to went missing again.This time, she went home pregnant.

As much as I saw her grow into a tomboy, this time I see her grow into a lady. She is home a lot, she is clean, and she diligently browse into every hole for her labor day. She still play with other cats, but she is no longer a rambling rose.

A few months later she went missing again, but I was not surprised. It’s hard to stay put if your blood is boiling with curiosity. Besides, she is girl outside, man inside. But I was wrong. She went home crying, panicking, and tripping me all the time.

At one point I see that she is trying to tell me something, so I followed her.

She lead me to a nearby river, where I later rescued River Phoenix (read her story here: By The River Piedra I sat down and Wept).

River Phoenix, then, followed her everywhere, looking up to her like Goldie is her own mother. She doesn’t mind. Being pregnant herself, she have plenty of time nursing her teen stepdaughter.

Then come that night, when I saw blood coming out of her vagina. She was busy running all over, so I thought she was near labor. I put her in a box filled with used and broken shirts, and try to make it as comfortable as possible.

When the bleeding haven’t stop on the third day, I knew something is wrong. so I contacted the vet, and told her what is going on. I feared that she had a miscarriage, or at least something wrong with her pregnancy. It was August 24, the day when Picassa will finish her last physiotherapy. I apologize to Picassa that she cannot finish it that day, but the vet called and she said, she had talked to her associate in her clinic and arranged so that we can treat both cats.

I borrowed company car and drove them both straight to the emergency door. Goldie was put into surgery room at once, while Picassa have her final therapy.

An hour later, the vet came out and told me what we feared: Goldie had a miscarriage. She had three kids, and all died inside.

Since she was already cut open anyway, she was spayed the same instant.

Though I know Goldie is a tomboy, that is no guarantee that she would be tough. In fact, even the vet didn’t know how she’d handle it. Every cat has their own way. Some mad, some sad, the other depressed, and some other lived on as if nothing happened. We can only hope for the best when she came around.

Fate again twisted the next day when I worked. All of a sudden I decided to take different route to go home, and on my way, I hear a kitten calling.

Literally. Call me crazy, but I swear I hear a calling voice. A familiar meow that I can directly interpret as a call to come over.

There, under the rain, I saw two tabby cats calling for help. Their mother are nowhere to be found, so I am sure someone dump them there. I cannot come into the alley because it’s barred, so I bought a piece of barbecue beef to coax them.

The problem is, I don’t bring a large bag. How am I supposed to carry them under the rain, with a bike?

Earlier that morning a friend of mine had sent me a package of shirts, so it gave me ideas. I sent my apologize to her for this idea, but I have no choice.

I open the package to use the shirts as a carrying bag, but out of my surprise, she wrapped the shirts in a wallmart bag.

God is merciful. He made my friend include the Wallmart bag with her package so I don’t have to use her gift.

At home, Goldie is waiting by the door. She still cannot walk properly due to the C section, but she walk anyway.

And as soon as I put the two kittens down on the floor, she immediately fall to her side and call the kitten to come over.

Oh yes, God is merciful indeed. He does work mysterious way.

I know I cannot open the bandages yet, but again, a crazy idea cross my mind, so I carefully cut holes on the area above Goldie’s nipple, without breaking the bandage, and there they were. Goldie gladly offer her milk, and the two kitten happily accept the benevolent offer.

As I cut more holes to expose more nipples, Goldie generously extend her offer to the other kittens: Nevaeh and Eden.

Goldie eden
Deja Vu? Tomboy girl turned mother. Goldie is paying it forward

A flash of thunder brought me back to the present. It seems like I wander in my thought long enough. The sky is already dark, and Goldie is already asleep. Beside her, all four of her adoptive kitten peacefully breast feeding.

Who would have thought that Goldie would change so much?

I don’t think so. Goldie hasn’t change. She is paying it forward.

The Syndicate Mat
Enter Goldie’s adoptive family. a caption

The Streets Of My Homeland

“For the fate of the sons of men and the fate of the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other; they all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts; for all is vanity. All go to one place; all are from dust, and all turn to dust again.” Ecclesiastes, 3:19-20.

During my days at hospital I heard from their radio station that the infamous Hollywood’s “Avatar” director has awarded our president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for his ambition to plant 10,000 trees across the nation by 2010; a campaign he takes personally by planting trees wherever he goes, while continuously ask his citizen to follow his “one person – one tree” campaign.

James Cameron in his note following the award, applauded President Yudhoyono for trying to combat the rapidly declining rain forest, mostly due to opening of palm oil plantation and resort centers. The president, in return, asked that larger or richer countries do their parts in saving our “home tree” the only earth we have, to sustain every lifeforms that roam above it.

His speech, as quoted by the radio host, brings my mind flowing back to my childhood days, singing an old folk song praising the fertility of our land , the beauty of our beaches, the abundance of our oceans, and the lush of our forests.

Indonesia, once own 20% of rain forest in the world, now is the country with fastest rate of deforestation (4% per year). The day when we boasted ourselves as “the lungs of earth” has long a history; And along with the forest, goes the animals who we once boasted as “the richest in variety”

The oceans and beaches are in no better condition. The bombing of coral reefs during fishing, the many pirates that roam freely to take our abundant resources, and the poisoning of water for fast harvesting had rob us our title “paradise on earth”

While the slogan is still used occasionally in tourism pamphlets or fliers, there will be no paradise if you are actually lived every corner of the country.

From remote areas to biggest cities, animals are abused, exploited, exhausted to their last existence, treated as some “thing” instead of some”one”.

Though itself bound under CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) that stipulates that endangered species must not be traded, Indonesia doesn’t have animal welfare law to protect its animal diversity.

By law (it was made on 1815), only licensed wildlife hunters and traders are allowed to capture and trade animal parts in Indonesia. In its investigations, however, PETA found most hunters did not have permits.

The Directorate General of Nature Conservancy and Forest Protection (PHKA) oversees the licensing and quotas for wildlife trade in Indonesia. PHKA director general Darori said his office provided permits to groups of snake skin collectors.

However, sequentially he told that “The ones who trap the snakes and lizards are villagers. They sell the skins to licensed collectors. It’s not possible for every single villager to obtain a permit”

Every year, his office releases a quota for the wildlife trade, based on recommendations from the Indonesia Institute of Sciences (LIPI). “LIPI checks whether there is an abundant stock or not. We’re bound to an international convention as well,” Darori said.

According to the PHKA data, the total quota for 2010 is 430,280 snakes; 413,100 monitor lizards, and 29,500 crocodiles, but the kill number is much higher on the streets.

A snake head is chopped off by a man in Tangerang, highlighting some of the gruesome killing occurring in five Indonesian cities. A National Geographic report states that Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s biggest exporter of wildlife, including live animals for pets and animal parts. Courtesy of PETA Asia Pacific

When confronted with such fact, again, Darori, the director of Indonesia’s natural conservatory said his office made sure animals were not tortured during the killings.

“So, when a snake’s head is cut off, it is not tortured,” he said. Laymen would torture snakes they encounter, out of fear, compared to professional hunters.

“Because the skin is what hunters are after, they do it swiftly so the skin is not damaged. Commoners would batter a snake with a stick if they found one,” he said.

In a more remote part of the country, a wealthy landlord in Medan can be seen bragging his crocodile farm, when piles of salt water or freshwater alligators been taken captive in filthy condition, piled up one on top of the other, stoically waiting to be slaughtered before their skin is exported to Hermes or other high brand fashion for bags, clothes, or shoes.

worker picks up a salt water crocodile (crocodylus porosus) at a crocodile breeding facility in Jayapura, Papua, on Friday. The facility is breeding some 7,500 crocodiles for their valuable skins to make leather products for export to countries such as Singapore, Japan and Italy. (Antara/Oka Barta)

Ironically, while major environmentalists were busy fighting for animal welfare for Indonesia, however, Darori (yes, the director of Indonesia’s nature conservation) instead said that Indonesia’s local fashion industry should use animal parts and develop its own brands.

“We can make them as good as international brands. It’s just that our brands are not as big as international labels,” he said.

His statement sank in to me as the answer of why tiger skin, leopard’s fur, elephant’s ivory, and rhino’s tusk were freely traded while the owner animal hunted to extinction.

If wildlife suffers so much, what about domesticated animals?

The answer is: not better.

Just like how the crocodiles lives solely as financial means of their owners, cats, dogs, rabbits, hamsters, birds, reptiles, are exploited to their tiniest being for their mater’s maximum profit.

Here in Indonesia, it is the pet who feed the owner, not the other way around. The more exotic the breed, the more expensive, the higher the status of their owner and therefore, the more they can sell their pets.

What happened to the rest is a question of the strength of your gut. Cats are being crushed over, living goldfish thrown to the sewer, and because majority of Indonesian are Muslims who thinks dogs are unholy (haram) their fate is much worse.

Horses are often forced to carry harvests several times their own weight. The owner beating them to continue walking despite their foamy mouth, and when they are not strong enough to carry any more, mostly from malnutrition or sickness, they are sold to slaughter, or been butchered by the owner himself so they can catch another one.

Rabbits are breeding machines. The older ones were skinned for their fur, while their meat sold by the street as traditional barbecue.

So if anyone in ever said that one story of a murder of a dog ‘heartbreaking’, I have seen much worse in daily basis and most of the time, I can’t do much because of financial and space limitation.

After being diagnoses with swollen liver and severe typhoid that require me to stay in the hospital for the whole month, however, the pressure of financial and space limitation is heavier than ever, more so because Indonesia also happen to be a country without social security, so I have to pay everything by myself.

Then what is it left for me to live on?

After all this years, after fighting for the entire 20 years of my life and dedicated each of my blood and tears for the welfare of abused and neglected animals, I have that right. I have that right to call it off, and return to my father’s homeland: Japan. I have relatives who will take care of me, friends who eagerly await me, and I don’t have to worry about financial restraint or spinning my head to meet my refugees’ end.

But Japan has many underground animal advocates. My beloved whales had Pierce Brosnan and Paul Watson. Canada has Nigel Barker and Senator Mac Harb defending their seals, Australia, UK, even South Africa has their own fighters, but if I am to go, who will stand for Indonesia?

I dreamed of a small place, a tiny house for one or two person with a small garden where all the tired street cats or dog can just escape from their tiresome life for a while and rest while I took care of their wounds. I yearned of a tree where the birds doesn’t have to fear of hunter’s gun, I relentlessly prayed to give my whole service for those animals: conceived without sin (to human), but mortally paying with their life, dying on the streets of my homeland.

I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish this race and complete this task my Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying the gospel of God’s grace – Acts 20:24

I do not know how I would live, with an empty wallet and zero saving account. I do not know how I would be able to continue feeding my refugees, or pay the vet bill.

My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchmen wait for the morning – Psalm 130:6

but I asked anyway, and I know that I will be answered.

But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded – 2 Chronicles 15:7

This is what my purpose that driven my life, the reason I am here, and the one thing I believe in.

Thus here I am again on the look of a good hand that will help me rock the cradle, to help me pass my day. Here I am again, on the street, during my quest to Canaan: the promised land, and I am inviting every caring heart to join me on the pilgrim.

There’s this Chipin page, to which you can fill in as much as you like. There is no minimum amount so you don’t have to be shy. Besides, there’s the magic of currency differences that cause 1 US$ to worth 9,000.00 Indonesian rupiah. What about that? not everyday your single dime can turn into a mountainous of good karma, and huge help for a private refugee house.

Thank you very much well in advance, though, cause we couldn’t have made it without you.