Scrolling through pictures of cats in need is part of our job at CatSwoppr. However, during one of my usual days of scrolling, I came across this seemingly endless Excel table. The caption read in capital letters, vet bills. Curious to find out the story behind the shocking numbers, I decided to message the owner of the account.
Selling Soap for Vet Bills
This is how I became acquainted with Lizzie and her inspiring story. She lives in Indonesia and, for the past six years, Lizzie has been caring for cats in need in her hometown, Bekasi. She enjoys her independent activist work and she rarely complains despite the difficulties. To make ends meet, she is selling dish soap in traditional markets around Bekasi. Her income is unfortunately insufficient to sustain herself and the cats she helps. So, she often has debts at various veterinary clinics. Yet Lizzie never gives up. She told us:
‘I rescued a cat in the factory area. The poor cat was helpless for two days. I found it sleeping in this dirty, industrial area without any food. The weather was horrible, but everyone seemed too busy to care. Loads of people passed by, but no one offered to help. Even though I still have debts at the veterinary clinic, I knew I couldn’t live with myself if I had let the poor cat die slowly in the streets.’
Hope for Maya and Other Cats
Although Lizzie is disappointed in people’s indifference, she has never lost hope in humanity. ‘It’s because of generous people who donate online that I can keep doing what I am doing,’ she remarked. ‘This is how I helped Maya!’
She proceeded to send me a video of a cat with white and orange fur jumping around her house. According to Lizzie, Maya was saved last minute. Her little paw rotted from a rubber band tied around her leg.
‘I don't know who was the evil human who tied Maya’s paw, but I wish I did!’
Sadly, Maya’s paw had to be amputated some time ago. Her leg is doing fine now, but her troubles don’t stop here.
‘Maya once gave birth by caesarean section and all her children died.’
I found Maya’s life comparable to a Shakespearean tragedy, but Lizzie assured me that Maya is strong enough to handle everything. In a sense, I felt like Lizzie and Maya are alike, they are both brave and they never give up.
Between Earthquakes, Cats and COVID
Lizzie is currently happy that Maya finally found some peace. Maya is always excited to wait for Lizzie to clean her carpet and cage. It brings Lizzie some satisfaction, but of course, feelings do not pay the bills. Life in Indonesia is tough. People got harsher and more self-centred post-pandemic. Furthermore, the recent earthquake from November 2022 does not aid the overall economy of Indonesia.
‘Aftershocks are still ongoing today, but the kitties and I are fine. I felt the vibration of the earthquake for the first time a few days ago. It was really terrifying.’
We believe that Lizzie is a humble lady doing her best in the midst of a hectic socio-economic climate. Thus, we want to help her by sharing her story. We urge you to donate money for Lizzie’s kitties here. Even a monthly donation of a few dollars would go a long way in helping her help cats in need.