Life and death waits for no one – In loving memory of Ah Wong (Hooi Bin’s)

It may be Chinese New Year and many superstitious Chinese would go “choi! choi! choi!” at the mention of death, but not for us, because the New Year is just like any other day for us – Life goes on, and life and death waits for no one. If one’s time is up, one goes.

Hooi Bin wrote to me on Christmas Eve 2011. She had just rescued Ah Wong, a stray cat, off the streets two weeks back. Ah Wong looked like he had mange, but it turned out to be more serious than that.

Here is Ah Wong’s story, as told by Hooi Bin.

24th Dec:

Ah Wong, a ‘new’ (as I’ve not seen him before) alley cat ran into our house one fine morning, about two weeks ago…
He was full of mange, dehydrated and very hungry. We fed him and sent him to the nearest vet for mange treatment.
4 days after his mange treatment, we noticed the lump on his temple has gotten bigger and one side of his neck was swollen.
We took him to the vet to drain the abscess (on his neck) under GA. He was given a course of 3 days antibiotic and anti-swelling meds.
When we took him for his second mange injection, the doctor noticed another abscess on his chest!
Again, the vet drained the abscess, and in addition removed a lump that she found.
He is currently on antibiotic and anti-swelling meds but I realised his lump is now much bloodier than before.
Vet did mention the possibility that it is cancer …
I can see that he loves life …
He loves to eat …
He loves to rub his head against us …
He loves to run indoor whenever we open the door (thus, sometimes I think he used to have a home) …
I’ve already used up my spare savings on ‘alleycats’ fund I had on him.
I’m not sure if I could afford to continue his treatment.
At the moment, I clean his ‘lump’ daily with iodine and then spray more on top of it.
(hoping miracle would happen and it will dry and drop off one day)
Will it be possible to get an opinion from myanimalcare’s panel vet based on these photos (as attached?).
I am really at loss of what to do…. I can continue feeding him but without treatment and the rate the lump is growing, soon, it will effect his vision too.
It will be a mess, I don’t think he has anywhere else to go with his condition. He’d be shoo away.
It did cross my mind, PTS, but, who am I to decide for him … he is so full of life …
If it comes to it, I’ll just continue feeding him and let nature takes it course.
At the moment, it is a bit of a struggle for me as I’ve been unwell too and he sure loves to rub his bloodied lump against my leg!

Our vet normally does not do any diagnosis without a proper consultation. I offered Hooi Bin our medical subsidy for Ah Wong’s treatment.
19th Jan
I am writing to apply for medical subsidy for Ah Wong.
His latest two medical bills at the vet’s amounts to RM 717.00  … I am not including his earlier bill when I first brought him for mange treatment and also first abscess treatment (with a different vet).
There are two receipts one dated 20/12/11 – RM 233 and another dated 18/1/2012 (today) – RM 484
SCRATCH has kindly agreed to subsidize 50% of the first bill dates 20/12/11.
As the second receipt is above RM 400, I wish to apply to both SCRATCH and AnimalCare for assistance.
I’ve not filled in the ‘amount’ on AnimalCare’s form as I believe the total subsidy shall be jointly agreed between both organisations.
I am a full time housewife now depending on a single income from my husband who works in the construction sector.
Some months can be financially challenging on our ‘alleykitty fund’ when there’s unexpected expenses, for example, Ah Wong.
SCRATCH has been so helpful in advertising my “Silvervine” for sale, which I’ve managed to raised over RM 300. 🙂
Ah Wong is now being cared at home, but very weak. He had one seizure yesterday and twice today. I’m feeding him with AD.
His lump has grown very big. I don’t think he would be able to withstand any aggressive treatment at this point of time.
Trying my best to make him feel comfortable and loved.
Medical bills are attached.
Also attached, a few photos of Ah Wong today.
I wish I have better photos to share 🙁

And today…Ah Wong is already in a better place. He passed away yesterday, on the last day of the Rabbit Year. We would say, if we like, that Ah Wong chose to be reborn in a better form, for the new year.
23rd Jan
First of all, a very Happy Chinese New Year to KY,
and, Happy Holidays to Nerq.
I am composing a new message as my earlier message (with attached forms) had sort of ‘disappeared’, out of trace from my ‘Gmail’.
With this email, I would like to officially withdraw my application for Ah Wong’s medical subsidy from KTAJ and AnimalCare, as there’s sufficient funds to pay for Ah Wong’s medical in full (both bills). This is made possible with the generosity & kindness of donors and also through the Silvervine Sales, which is used to pay for part of Ah Wong’s total medical care.
Nerq, if you are in receipt by post of the original first bill, kindly disregard it.
Ah Wong passed away naturally on the last day of Rabbit year, in the afternoon.
He fought a brave battle with the lumps and bumps growing aggressively during his last few days.
We pray that Ah Wong is now at peace and may he be blessed with a better rebirth.
Thank you for being there for Ah Wong.
We extend our deepest condolences to Hooi Bin on the demise of Ah Wong. We hope Hooi Bin will find comfort in knowing that she had given Ah Wong a final month of tender loving care, the needed medical treatment, and most importantly, Hooi Bin did not give up on Ah Wong. She looked after him as best she could until Ah Wong decided it was time to leave and be in a better place.

We salute Hooi Bin for her tenacity, strength and unconditional love. We would all do well to emulate her for this is what rescue work is all about – to stay with the animal and provide your best…till the end.

May Ah Wong be in a better place, free from suffering and harm.

Happy New Year and Happy New You, Ah Wong.