OF THE FATHER’S LOVE BEGOTTEN

When one man passed she would call, hidden by the bushes, on the road side near the sewer. She has no mother and she has no brother.

When one man passed she would call, hidden by the bushes; her colour made a perfect cloak that guarded her against evil men. Let only her voice seek assurance, that the one who comes, is the one who loves.

When another man passes, she would call, hidden by the bushes; but for many more before, another man passes. Even when they look around, they will come back to their own course; their life must carry on.

When yet another man passed, she would call, hidden by the bushes, on the road side near the sewer. She is tired and she is hungry, she has no mother and she is thirsty. How does she go near the water, though? The sewer is so deep; if she goes inside, she will never get out. The sewer is so wide; if she jumped anyway she would fall, and she will never climb out. If she managed to jump anyway, the road is so mean, the wheels terrifying, all the noises are scary.

When a man passed, she would call, hidden by the bushes, on the roadside near the sewer. The day has been long, her cry is forlorn.

When a man passed, she would call; hidden by the bushes, on the roadside near the sewer. Would she call through the night? would there will be another one on sight?

Then a man passed, and she called; hidden by the bushes, on the roadside near the sewer.

“Where are you, little baby?” carefully she put her helmet on the side; her sling bag swept to her back. Not so far behind, another one with those scary wheels came by.

Should she cry, should she stay?

When the human was about to pass, she called; hidden by the bushes, on the roadside near the sewer.

The other human swiped a bright light from her motor, and blind her enough to stop. When she opened her eyes once more, the other human jumped across that wide, deep sewer, and knelt with her hand open, right in front of her.

“I am here, would you come?”

She put one paw on one hand, and it was cold; as cold as that windy day, when a man pass and she would call.

The human put her on her chest, and it was cold, but she put her inside her jacket, and it was warm.

She can hear her heart beat, she can feel her skin, she can see her moving, fast, but steady, she can hide from the breeze and just enjoy the ride.

When a human passed, she would call, hidden behind the wheel, under the table, by the freezer, in a box, under the blanket. At least one of the two would stop by and play peek a boo. She would just sit by them, and there will be food on a plate very soon.

Then a cat passed and she would call, hidden behind the wall, by the cupboard, near the shelves. Sometimes they just look at her, some other would come, put one paw on her head, and some other lick her face, clean her weary limbs, and let her join their litter.

When a human passed, she would call. No longer hidden. There is always food no matter how meagre. There is always a caress, loving and tender.

When a human pass, she would call. Perhaps to ask, why would they answer the call?

“Come here, you little weary mite” one said, and the other “Are you not loved, that you would cry? There are no more days of scorching sun or freezing night. No more days of windy morning, no more rainy afternoon”.

“Your house is so full” said yet another, “Should you really take another?”

“For the love we got from our Father”, said the one who picked her.

When a human pass, she would call. She is home. She has it all.

~ Josie

Christmas in Indonesian is “Natal” (from Latin) so we call the little one Natalie. She is ten weeks old, and she just learned how to eat. She is tiny, and she is underweight, yet her will is strong, and unwavering. Help us help Natalie survive. Together we can put her life back in front of her.

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I’M DREAMING OF A WIDE CHRISTMAS

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas, where those who roam the streets would find warmth and safety in the rainy afternoon. Where their children can sneak into my yard following their mother, and leave the cold windy night in licks and grooming full of love.

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas, where wildlife full of terror, haunted by creeping men who cut their homes to build theirs, creeping stealthily down the mountain to find their food that’s no longer there. The bats, the civet cats. Night birds, and stray cats, wild rabbits, scared squirrels. They find food in my front yard, but no protection.

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas with a semi basement for them to hide, to stay, to run from the elements, and cruel men.

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas, just like the one I used to know. Where everybody would run, run run! when rain suddenly swept the mountain and into the corridor. They’d climb the shelves, curl on warm blankets, side by side with all the others. The young cuddles with the old, the old feel safe with the strong. But years of weathering the earth, whenever it rains it leaks all the way to their fur: between the cracks of the roof tiles, running through the electricity cables, and even from the light bulbs. When the rain or storm is done, there will be puddles in the halls where they used to run and roll.

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas to pay builders to turn back the shelter into warm and dry safe house.

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas, with every kitten I wipe. They used to have a place to run, a place to roll. A place with soft fluffy blankets where they can learn to walk, a wide empty floor to conquer, and little blocks to help them learn: how to hunt, how to climb, how to use the litter box. That room now has a big crack on the wall; and we are afraid to lean because it might give in and there will be no nursery anymore. The windows are rusty and their glass cracked, so we removed them lest they would fall and kill our babies; but then, whenever it rains, we only have a shower curtain to cover those all.

I’m dreaming of a wide Christmas where those babies and their mothers, discarded by men’s world, can see the the future that they filled with their hope.

Said, with the help of our friend Elyssa Tappero, and some of the compensation we got from our dispute with the fundraiser (who kept the money they make with our cats until we fought them tooth and nail) we took our chances in the middle of Covid uncertainty.

Clacking our knees and biting our lips, we pushed our luck and started building our semi basement, so that stray cats and kittens can have a roof to run and wildlife has a place to hide as storm La Nina settles in.

It might not be much. It won’t be Noah’s ark. There will only be so much we can offer; but fewer birds will have to endure the rain on the leaky branch that’s ready to give in, fewer squirrels slammed by cars because the next branch is too far, fewer moles squashed by motorbikes, bats have their fruit back, civet cats can chew coffee in their corner, and stray cats of all sort are welcome to spend the night with our own kind.

May their Christmas be merry and bright, and may all their days be a little bit more white.

~ Josie

While construction work is ongoing and my time and ability for the job is limited, help me keep the bowl filled for everyone who counts on us for a living. https://paypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

ALL THEY WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS HOME

At long last, she can lay herself to rest. Curling to fit that small box on the shelf, so she can share the tiny space with her four children.

How long has it been, since she last caught her breath? How long has it been, since she last was able to sit? Lower her ear, though not her guard. Feeling the creeping pain, flex the stiff muscles, slowly drifting away from the darkness and terror that have been haunting their lives.

She knows there is no place for her on the earth she is now walking, so she tries to be invisible. She walks leaning on the wall, under the bushes, away from sight. She goes out when no one is around, she took just a little corner to raise a family, just little souvenirs that as invisible as she might be, her life exists. They will be gone once her babies can live on their own.

Even that one wish is too much. Those who owns the place want her gone, whatever the way. But where else would she go? There are little trees where she can hide, no corner with shadow to stay out of sight. There is a sleepless four lane street that cuts her away from the other side, and the only manger she can find is a corner in a storage no one should ever want. She found that corner, but on that earth she is walking upon, finder is not keeper.

Only a few good men, bring her food and water. Only a few good men try to keep her ground, but they are only a few good men, working for one bad man.

She knows her days were numbered, she knows her little dreams will be gone, she knows she came to the wrong world.

Sooner or later, doesn’t matter.

She didn’t struggle when one of those few good men put her in a small, dark bag. She didn’t fight when she was taken away. She didn’t know where she would find her end.

She just knew, this was the end.

At the end of the tunnel when the bag reopened, was a bright light and voices she recognizes. Voices just like hers, voices just like her children. Voices the likes of the few good men and the bad ones.

It’s quite different from her imagination, perhaps, but when she peeked out, just to be sure, there was indeed those like her, peeking back. There was indeed kittens like her own, running around chasing each other. There was indeed people, though whether those are the good, or the bad was a good question.

There was different kind of food. There was different, fresher water. There is that fluffy, soft pillow where two women set just for her and her four babies; but she chose a small wooden box, which though tight, is dark and sturdy.

It was her babies that she lost control of. Once they found out that the running babies were friendly, they all jumped down and join the game. Once they saw that jar where kibbles flow freely, the smell of water clean, cool and fresh, they all ran down to feast on the offering.

It seems like the same earth, but it’s also different. It seems like the same world, but it’s also different.

She never sees those few good men anymore, she never hears their voices anymore. We neither. Those few good men, the employees of a businessman who wanted them gone, scrambled to find shelter because they couldn’t bear throwing the cats off somewhere. They found us, because we are the only hope, and they promised support, but words travel far, and deeds stay where they were.

Like my evil twin said: at least the cats are safe.

There is little food, sometimes less than she thought it should be. There is little space, often she has to share her fluffy towel.

But still, at least she lives, at least she exists, and there will be four little souvenirs to the world, to remind her that long journey must be made for this world to change, so that others who share her fate would share her luck, and join her in victory.

For now, at least she is home.

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Sierra

This is a favourite story of ours; all’s well that ends well 😊

Sierra was taped shut in a box of bottled water (the brand is Sierra) and left under my fence under the rain.

For 3 years after Sierra has been a touch of lively wonders in our front yard; entertainment for babies and nannies as they spend the morning basking under the sun, soothing company for seniors sitting on their chairs in front of their house, unwinding stress for working housewives and students alike as they hang around their veranda enjoying afternoon breeze after nasty day at work or school.

My next door neighbour works out of town leaving wife and two girls; they have only weekends to be together, and many time to spend away from each other. The wife loves cats, the husband does not. He also smoke inside the house.

As loneliness creeping in, the wife would invite Sierra to play with her, flooding my fluffy garden fairy with treats, and food. The girls would bring home cat snacks from school and they soon fill their dad-less day their own way.

Trouble came when Dad saw more and more cat fur on the sofa, and heard the girls huffed up giggles on their bedroom window. It became more and more difficult when Sierra walk in and out the house freely, even on weekends when Dad is around and Sierra supposed to be out.

One day, husband was about to go shopping and ask “What does cat eat? Can she get milk?”

I raised my eyebrow and hold my smile as much as I can. “Cats sure drink milk, but theirs has to be lactose free, and fish has to be deboned”

The next Monday I asked the mother.

“Sierra strolled in, sit, and purr on his lap when he watched TV. He was frozen, the girls blew up in laughter”

I forgot when exactly, but three years since I took this picture, Sierra is no longer mine. The house is smoke free. The girls are happy, the wife is merry.

Every Friday night, 10 pm or beyond, I always hear a car in front of the house, lock clacking, door opened, and a man’s tired but excited voice.

“Where is Sierra?”

~ Josie

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Giving thanks

Whereas other rescues are asking for money, I am standing here, my arms wide open, to extend my utmost gratitude.

Whereas other people remind you to give thanks to those who are forgotten, I am standing here, my palms together, to remind you that you are never forgotten.

Since we started this quest to Canaan, you have never let us fall. Your (average) $2 donation have enabled us to help so much. Now twelve years later, with many more joining our quest, your (average) $10 contribution have helped us save so many more.

From Renoir, a three month old kitten with a hernia, dying by the roadside on a dirty and smelly traditional market, to Bumpy, a pure bred kitty miller whose “master” would rather discard him to suffer his skin cancer alone, to Patti, a lady crushed by a car even when she was minding her own life on a pedestrian path and left to die as if she means nothing – more than dirt on the street, each and every one of you give another meaning to Playing God and touched the lives of so many, who otherwise would only live but never exist.

These names will never share a table with you, as you enjoyed your wholesome dinner with those you love and care the most. These cats, and many more of their kind you will never see in real life but photos, but their glistening eyes, soft fur, strong bones, healthy skin, loud purr, and paw five are written in heaven as your legacy.

So let me take your hand, and invite you to see the video. This is my hard work, yes, but without you lifting me and empowering me, none of this will ever happen.

If you had somehow missed this girl in the video, her name is Patti, and below are the journey to a life brand new you have all endowed her with.

Happy Thanksgiving, from our family to yours.

~ Josiepaypal.me/whiskerssyndicate

Patti’s journey, in chronological order:

LEFT SIDE OF THE STORY

Like able men and women in that small rural town, Spooky bid his life on the textile factory that took half of the town’s land. The place where green paddy turn to gold and brings life to many; the little ducklings, sliding their beaks looking for worms, the sun and the morning breeze, people saying hi to each other. Now the forgotten peace becomes the cheers and hellos of people in uniform, walking through a small gate, chattering until they disappear into their own corners, chugging their days with toils so that by the end of the month, there is food on the table.

Like able men and women, Spooky curls and twists as he wakes up, shakes his body, and springs to life. Yesterday has history; some good, some not so much; but today has the promise of a better tomorrow, so like able men and women, Spooky does his best.

But like able men and women, sometimes life churns sour curd, while it should spew butter. Life takes many turns: accident happens, irreversible damages, and promises of better tomorrow turned dark and airless.

Like able men and women turned useless, they are slowly drifted away into the shore; cast away by the curse that they can only look on while others move on.

Spooky lay there. He had lost one eye, but somehow made it through with the other; but now he lost his leg, crushed by a heartless machine and its equally ignorant human who have long pushed friendly horses into photos and memories.

Like previously able men and women who share his fate, Spooky asked the same question. In that rural town there is no security, no insurance, no equality. Once they fall out from society, there is only one way to go: the end.

Men and women. What about, a cat?

A cat whom those same men and women pass by without a second look, not even some peer. A cat who belongs to no one; a cat without any identity and no attachment.

Two hours away in the city, it’s not much different, but at least better. Someone would care, someone would pick him up and lend their hand, someone would try to help.

Someone who, like the two girls who often are in giggles and glee when he passed them. Someone like those two strangers who extended their hand, lifted him up, and hide him in the factory boarding until he can heal.

But like bones of men and women, a crushed limb cannot heal. They can only be cut off lest it cost him his life when it’s infected; rotting away.

Like disabled men and women of that rural town, Spooky bid his life at the mercy of others, willingly or otherwise. And for him the mercy was to be put into a pen, taken for two hours to the city, and left in a house on a hillside, full of other cats.

There are many others with just one eye, like him; and a few who lost both, even. There are others who are old and weak, there are those with wounds and cuts, some others with various illnesses. There are kittens, noisy and bouncy, there is a small plate with a little food, but warm and fragrant every night; and crunchy kibbles every morning.

And the water is fresh and cool, unlike that in the factory, coarse and smelly. And two women who never stop wandering around. With medicine, with food, with funny tasting vitamins, they said, and with a syringe that stings but makes him feel better afterwards.

Then, like men and women in the outskirts of town, Spooky wakes up by the window. The sun had risen behind him, but the birds are chirpy on the electricity cable atop the porch. He looks at the curly green forest far away, and listening to the morning breeze.

Sometimes it whispers a story about the city, some other time the news from the countryside where he used to live.

When the clock bangs, he would wake up with the remaining three legs, and walk a little funny to the left side of the kitchen counter.

Yesterday has history; some good, some not so much; but today has the promise of better tomorrow, so like able men and women, Spooky does his best.

~ Josie

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