Fighting with the system may feel like chasing windmills, but Rina, a woman who is in charge of a shelter in Bogor, Indonesia knows that sheer indifference leads to disasters. In Indonesia, this disinterest is quantifiable in the number of roadkills reported each year.
Stray Cats in Indonesia, An Increasing Issue
According to a 2021 study, Indonesia faces problems due to the huge number of stray cats (Willyarto & Fajar). Many irresponsible owners abandoned unneutered stray cats, leading to their numbers reaching millions (Willyarto & Fajar, 2021). As expected, life on the streets is hardly enjoyable and more often than not, strays ‘die either of starvation, get killed by an outbreak of diseases or get run over by the millions of cars and motorcycles in Jakarta’ (Willyarto & Fajar, 2021, 315).
Rina and Bulbul Cat House
Yet statistics never accurately reflect the pain and fear felt by the neglected stray cats. There is one thing to read graphs in a newspaper from the comfort of your armchair, and another to watch, full of remorse, a living soul breathing its last.
Rina is a woman who gets to experience in her daily life what it means to be among these stray cats, which for the government, are just lifeless numbers. Tired of the neglect, she started her little shelter, called Bulbul Cat House, to care for all the cats she rescues. She never once felt like her work is a drop in the ocean because she does not have the time for that negativity. As Rina herself commented, her energy is spent on love:
‘I really love cats, especially abandoned cats in our country. Their life is full of threats and they need human help! There are so many people on this earth, but only a few care! I just share the love they never got before. I will do anything for these little souls. I really love them!’
Rina Saves Marble, The Cat
Her unapologetic love for cats is what made her act with no hesitation when she rescued Marble. Like most of the cats at Bulbul Cat House, Marble is a stray cat. One day, Rina was riding her motorcycle when she noticed a tiny furball crossing the street. She cautiously stopped her motorbike and went towards it. She realised it was a stray cat! Rina wanted to go and help Marble but, out of the blue, a car came from the opposite direction and hit Marble at high speed. The world around Rina stopped short. The cat, which will later be named Marble, was laying on the ground barely moving. She heard the mechanic sounds of the culprit’s death machine vanishing in the merciless concrete jungle. Her head was steaming with a million feelings. Rina would have loved to catch the culprit, but Marble needed her more. So she approached him. She noticed that his stomach was enlarged and that he was limp and unable to walk. She gently took Marble into her arms and speeded to the nearest vet clinic. After two X-Rays, Marble underwent hernia surgery. He lives, but unfortunately, Marble is paralysed. For now, he can do all his activities only in his bed, but Rina did not give up on Marble.
She is ready to mend the unmendable and so, Marble currently resides at Bulbul Cat House. He receives special care from Rina who never lost her hope that Marble might recover at least some of his walking capacity.
Help Rina Save Stray Cats of Indonesia
All Rina wants is to continue helping Marble and the other cats at her shelter. She has to provide food and health care for over 100 cats. Some of these cats have all sorts of health issues and their treatment is sometimes really expensive. To support Bulbul Cat House, you can donate on Paypal, gogetfunding.com and kitabisa.com. You can also follow Rinda at @bulbul_cat_house on Instagram.
Willyarto, M. N. & Fajar, C. (2021). TNR to Minimize the Number of Stray Cats/Dogs Population in Indonesia. 315-323.