Help for Diva

Everyone, we need your help. Josie is on her way to the vet with this sweet girl, and as anyone who has ever had a pet knows, it’s a terrible worry.

Diva is very stressed and either wouldn’t or couldn’t eat since yesterday, plus has a very swollen tummy. She is only 4 months old and has not yet come to heat. She had had a bad flu and the virus can mutate to FIP, so better safe than sorry.

In Josie’s own words:

-Diva is like mini Hime down to her character. I am not sure I can handle it if we lost two superstars in such a close period. The pain is still very real.

We need all the love, prayers, and good vibes you can send. If you’re able to donate and help us meet the matching challenge, it would help a lot, but anything you can do, shares, comments, will help and do good.

Again, my friends, thank you 💚

https://www.paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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INDEPENDENCE DAY: THE OTHER STORY

Six times I passed that road throughout the day, six times I saw her running back and forth as if she had lost her mind.

Sometimes she would cross the street. Six lanes, hectic road, to and from Bandung’s bus terminal that connect this town elsewhere.

Six lanes full of people who can care less about others, just because they can. In and around bus terminal is a jungle of its own. They are only two kinds of people: the predator and the prey.

I thought she was Independence Day; a handsome alley cat I met back in 2015, chased and harassed while trying to pass through a parade to commemorate our freedom.

Independence Day visited a small Chinese diner around the corner, where I often dropped by to have small bites. Mostly because it’s cheap, and because there are always stray cats there, fed and free.

About a year after, the Chinese diner moved to the same road where we live, a few miles down, close to the main road. When I came there, to greet the owner and to wish them luck, I learned that she had given Independence Day away “to a visitor who said he will take care of him”.

That’s it. She didn’t know anything about the adopter. She didn’t even know his name. She further boasted about how easy it is to find an adopter for a long haired cat, and how smart was she to grab each chance that came.

Then she told me about how she contracted cancer, and how she would appreciate if I can find adopters for her seven “rescues”. She told me that she will give me commission if I can help her sell her three billion Rupiah house that she recently purchased; to where she moved her diner, so she can pay her medication.

She is still here on earth today, she has a baby, she hired a nanny and a maid, she has a new car, she is chubbier, and she still lives in her three billion Rupiah house. It’s just that she closed her diner because everybody stopped going there.

I stopped going there. Though the cook is the same, the foods steadily lost their taste.

So, when I passed that road where the Chinese diner was the first time, for the seventh time that day, I thought Independence Day had found what she was looking for.

Turns out, she was following me all the way across the parking lot of that large wholesaler where we bought our frozen beef and eggs.

She meowed at my bag, looked at me, going round, sniffed and with a broken hearted eyes, turn the other way, as if desperately look for something.

She was so thin, I can count her ribs from afar.

She was so tired, she didn’t move that much even though she seemed to be running with all her might.

She was so dirty, her blonde long hair became grey marmalade.

I called her and opened my arms. She came to me and meowed, asking if I have what she wants.

I held her and rode home with her.

I called the vet and learned that she was nursing, though wherever I saw her going that whole day, there was no kittens in sight.

It dawned on me, that the whole day, that day, she ran maniacally back and forth as far as she can to look for her children.

It dawned on me, either someone took her kittens away, or kept her kittens and dumped her away.

Upon finding Independence Day’s picture, though, it dawned on me that she is not who I think she is.

She stayed anyway.

For days it was difficult for her to eat; it was difficult for her to sleep. She was jumpy and she was afraid.

For days it was difficult for her to live.

Eventually, it dawned on her that unless God himself turns the sky to green, there is no chance she will find her kittens again; just like it dawned on me that there is no chance I will find Independence Day to make sure he lives as he deserve to live.

Eventually it dawned on her that life goes on, and so should she.

I gave her Independence Day’s name; in hope and prayers that – as she moves forward in life – she will find peace, independence, and freedom in pursuit of her own happiness – as birth right to each and every creature,

~ Josie

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SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME

It was a long day that day, and it was a longer day the day before. It’s still a long day yet before and heck, five days after that, it’s still a long day today.

We have nursing babies, we have nursing mother, we have sick kittens and we have sick adults. We have bad weather and we have jobs. We have chores; and piles upon piles of them. We have twenty four / seven shenanigans from lonely cats who dirty protest at our overbooked day while they are actually, as they should be, sleeping twenty hours a day.

But this message in our Instagram account was something different. Even after we swear to God we cannot, and please, please, please, stop sending cats our way for a wee little time, that message in broken Indonesian (and English) took us to a long, deep, breath.

A picture of a super-emaciated cat, curling on a makeshift bed, trying to make himself comfortable. A foreigner who has limited resource, and is now looking for a chance on his behalf even in the short time frame she has.

I said yes.

I explained our situation, and that once the cat recovered completely, he will be a neutered community cat.

That answer usually caused some misjudgments, several harsh labeling, and even accusation, but I am, and I have to get the truth out in the open, first hand. I didn’t expect fire, but I didn’t expect a complete understanding either.

It was still a wow moment that I got the later.

When the couple who found him finally came, the cat had soiled his towel, peed in their car, and wreck havoc in his crate, but there was no less smile in their faces.

Then came the whole story.

Ninoy is Indonesian and Lili is German. They got married and live in Germany. They were visiting Ninoy’s parents and somewhere in Bekasi (between Jakarta and Bandung) they found a group of street cats in poor condition.

One of them truly tried, although he can no longer walk, he can no longer live. They cannot save them all, so they choose only one. They brought him to the vet, and he was given an injection against bacteria that caused his severe lung infection.

Unfortunately, there was no care sheet given, and they have to rely on their instinct and good will to care for the cat until they can find help before running out of time and go back to Germany.

As anyone can guess it, no one is interested.

While their cat quite casually feel immediately at home and drag himself into the line behind Sheilla (who was cooking cat food) I told them the story of Whiskers’ Syndicate. In exchange, they told me theirs. How they ended up adopting two stray dogs in very poor condition during their vacation in Italy; how they wish they can care for more, how they still care regardless.

I decided to name the cat Lino, in honor of his wonderful rescuers, with hope that their enthusiasm and kindness will inspire their rescue to keep fighting.

Just the way they remind me that, as dark as it can be in the corner of my world, not all that wanders are lost.

~ Josie

Lino is now comfortable. He received medical treatment and although very, very, very slowly, regain himself. Aside from a rampant and resistant Chlamydia (due to late treatment), he got scabies that ate half of his upper body. He was anemic and lethargic. He can only move several steps when he arrived, but one week later, in the second photo, he just finished a chicken drumstick all by himself.

We are The Whiskers’ Syndicate; we are not here to change the world. We are here to give the chance to whom it was denied, and help them live long and prosper, in their own term. Lili and Ninoy made the first step for Lino, now it’s up to us to give him the journey of a thousand mile he deserve.

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LUCKY GO ROUND

Looking at how Lucky goes now, the backstory that led him to joining Whiskers’ Syndicate will be beyond the wildest imagination.

He was six weeks old when someone dump him and his sibling at the market; and I was with fourteen pounds of steamed tuna for our buddies at home when a lady from whom I used to buy fresh mackerel came shouting at me.

She was barely audible, except for her racing breaths, let alone comprehensible, but I saw it as it happened, when I looked in the direction where she pointed with her other hand.

A red car drove slowly through the dense traffic among stalls and booths, and many of its people. Two kittens were trying to cross the street, and many of those people were screaming and flailing their hands trying to warn the car of the incoming disaster.

It’s not a fancy car, though it’s red, but it seems fancy enough for the owner to ignore the whole world and crushed one of the kitten, with some spattering red to the clothing of screaming women who watched in horror.

It’s driver is not ugly, but he is ugly enough to ignore numerous people who ran after him and his car, cursing and demanding responsibilities.

While he has to stop and deal with the angry mob, I put my tuna aside and crawled guerrilla-style under his car.

One of the two kittens was lucky enough to be in between the two wheels, one of which spatter his sibling’s blood and remains to one of his sides.

I brought him home, and we call him Lucky.

He was quiet for two days, but then, started to shine back through. He is one heck of a happy-go-lucky cat, and he eats so much, we soon changed his tagline to Lucky go round.

If anything startles him, he’d jump, petrified, then darts around insanely and crash everything on his way when he hears motorized equipment: motorcycle, water pump, washer, grinder, blender, anything the like.

For those we can only bear the pain when he claws us or bite us as we reach our hand to hold him and run him away to calmer places. It’s really nothing compared to his bad memories of having to watch his sibling blown up into pieces just a mere inch away.

For all of those we can only hope one day he will find peace, and joy, and happiness. We can only hope he will realize that he is now safe, and loved

Though for all of our hopes, he seems to know how lucky he is, and so, he lives to the fullest.

Every day, there is a new adventure. Wrestling with the big guys, eating new things, climbing to the kitchen counter and setting a bad example for all that comes after him (and gives us a lot of trouble), scaling doors, running laps around the house, running laps around the cattery, playing with the chase ball toy the whole night, stealing raw chicken breast, running across a hot stove, and jumping onto our shoulders whenever we squatted for whatever the reason.

He was gravely ill with respiratory infection last month, but even when his tongue was full of sores, he ate like a king kong. He climbs like a sloth then, but he climbs none the less, he stayed in the nebulizer basket and breathe all the medicines. He made a recovery and once again lived for two.

He treats everyone as his sibling: big, small, old and young.

And when we hold him in our arms he will wrap his short little leg as if holding us by both our shoulders and lean his cheek as if he has always been ours.

~ Josie

With each day comes new adventures, and one more step toward the day when Lucky can finally put his past hauntings behind him and see the brighter future.
We took many inspirations from his motivation and spirit, and we hope that in return we can provide Lucky with the best of life he always love.

Join us and give Lucky his happy (go lucky) days:paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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EACH AND EVERY HIGHWAY

Hime’s name means Princess, and a princess in her own right.

She never plan each chartered course, from the day I found her dying by the roadside when she was only six weeks old.

She was the tiniest and she was the weakest, she was malnourished and compromised.

But even on those days when the rest of the world thought she got more than she can chew, she traveled each and every highway, and lived the life that is full.

She hunt like a lioness, she runs like a cheetah, she eats like a tiger, she climbs like a puma.

She loves and be loved, she laughed, and she cried, she lost many of her friends, but even though every sickness that come to challenge left another hole in her immune system, she did it her way, and made that ever longer journey to recovery.

Until there were no more to travel, but the one road to eternity.

And so she did it her way.

She waited for us to leave in the burst of our chores, walked to her favorite spot by the clothes dryer, and took that last highway.

To eternity and beyond.

~ Josie

I have many pictures of Hime, from her early days to her last days, but in browsing them all, as I reminisce all the fond memories, I decided to choose just one: of Hime in the arms of her other mother who loves her the most.

Though Hime eventually passed away, your support through her year long sickness have provide her the chance to live to her fullest; a chance that she never missed. In mourning her passing I herewith send you all my deepest gratitude for allowing her to experience love and care. I am also calling you, in Hime’s memory, to rally beside each other and bring many more chances to many more like her.

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

Part of this post is adapted from lyrics of the song “My way” Songwriters: Claude Francois / Gilles Thibaut / Jacques Revaux / Paul Anka © Warner Chappell Music France, Jeune Musique Editions
First sung in 1968 by Frank Sinatra

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MANY WAYS TO ROAM [5]: LITTLE FOOT ON A JOURNEY HOME

Whereas kittens her age play and cuddle with their siblings, she has none.

Whereas others run to their mother’s purr, she has none.

Whereas her peers enjoys the nurturing love from their mother’s milk, she ate what she could, whenever she could, wherever it was from.

And Whereas her fellows has a home, the sky is her limit, although it’s too big for her little feet, that roams on rocky roadside and sore of hot asphalt.

She had missed a gamble with death, and lost one of her eyes while the other one left is crossed; but then came another devil eating her intestines away.

And came the hand of God; who took her onto his chariot and took her so far, she can no longer smell home.

She was kicked away from that moving motorcycle, flew, and crash land on the dirt road by the market.

It was Sheilla who stopped her motorcycle in the middle, picked her up, and bring her along the many chores she went by.

There was nothing else she can do but cry, there was nothing else to do but cry. Life has many travails, and it all crammed onto her in a speed no one can fathom, let alone two months old kitten.

Whereas all other kittens in our home gathers, she sets herself apart.

Whereas all other kittens in our home play, she withdraws and hides in the corner.

Whereas all other kittens cuddles, she curls herself and braces against the cold.

Whereas all other kittens eat a full plate, she couldn’t take anything without pooping them back out.

Whereas all other kittens run a mile, she couldn’t reach a drinking bowl without trailing foul drips behind her.

Whereas all other kittens live in peace, she has many to swallow against her will.

But eventually, whereas all the other kittens go, she go.

Whereas all the other kittens eat, she eats, sometimes more.

Whereas all the other kittens cuddles, she stays. Sometimes just briefly, sometimes longer, but the little mat by the bathroom door is now often empty.

Day after day, whereas all other kittens has licks, and cuddles, and pats from our mother cats, she has one too.

Whereas one of us pick her up and carry her around, she learns to settle.

She learns to roam around, runs around, and finally, climbs around; jumps around.

She learns that her rear is not in pain, as it should be.

She learns that her fur is soft, as it should be.

She learns that her meow is joyful, as it should be.

She learns that life should have love, as it should be.

She learns that, all kittens have their own name, as it should be, and hers is

Anya.

Then, whereas other kittens responds to each of theirs, she too responds to her; first with a silent look, second, with a waving tail, third and foremost, with a run toward the open embrace.

~ Josie

Whereas Anya is now safe; every day, there are hundreds and more kittens suffers what she had been suffering, maybe even worse. In a breeder capital where 99% of its residents (including the vets) are backyard breeder, two women trying to do their utmost means nothing in the sea of desperate pleas.

But whereas saving one cat does not change the world, it changes the world for Anya, and ninety six other cats under our care. Most of them have disabilities that prevent them from living freely and independently as they should be. Whereas our several dozens of TNR cats means nothing in the sea of strays and feral that blows in number all year long, helping one more have a better future means preventing millions from having to be born only to experience the pain and deaths of their ancestors.

Whereas we do not have the capability of saving them all, we have the capability to reach out, both into our hearts and toward others, in giving voice to these cats’ otherwise silenced pleas.

Here is our voice, let the rest hear yours.

paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

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