Booboo was an outdoor cat in the old place where I used to live. Two years ago, I went back and took him to live with me at our new place.
He was an outdoor cat for a few months, living out on the rooftop until the vet cleared him and told us that he had no communicable disease that can be passed on to our other indoor cats. Once an indoor cat, he became a fat, handsome, adorable boy. He was the gentlest cat I knew, tolerant of humans, dogs, and children. He especially loved kittens, always playing the grandfather to the several kittens we adopted after him.
Earlier this year, during the lockdown, Booboo was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease (CKD). He fought hard and bravely but had to be put to sleep on September 18.
I heard it said that grief is love with nowhere to go. In the case of Booboo’s transition, this is true. I had to cope with the huge chasm that appeared when Booboo passed. After all, Booboo was not only my bed cat before the illness - purring happily every evening until we both fell asleep—but post diagnosis, my whole world literally revolved around him!
Booboo’s diagnosis was life changing for us. He became the center of our little household’s lockdown, quarantined world. His comfort and health became the ULTIMATE priority to the point that we were shipping food and medication from abroad. When he passed, a whole box filled with cat food, treats and vitamins was on its way here from abroad. More than that, Booboo had his own savings. We set up our bank account to automatically debit a few thousand pesos per week. We realized that CKD could be an expensive illness to manage, and we used the money for Booboo’s vet visits, multiple confinements, and eventually, his cremation.
Going back to grief being love with nowhere to go, we first coped with Booboo’s loss by distributing his medicines and CKD essentials to other cat parents who had pets with the same illness. I belong to an online community of cat lovers called Cat Care Philippines so finding cats who needed what Booboo no longer required was not too difficult. This community also promotes adoption, responsible rescuing, spaying/neutering, and trap-neuter-return.
The next step in coping with our grief was figuring out how to use what was left in Booboo’s wallet. We realize that we could have simply let the funds lie until the next emergency happens, but irrationally, or maybe superstitiously, we did not want to do that. The funds were meant for Booboo, we will not use it for anything else.
By this time it was already October and there were no signs of the lockdown restrictions easing up to allow gatherings and events. It became clear that the annual pet costume parties would not happen. This made me extra sad as I love celebrating Halloween, and more importantly, it made me acutely aware of Booboo’s departure since he was our only cat (out of 8!) who semi-willingly allowed to be dressed up.
I jokingly brought up the idea of hosting a Meowloween e-party and realized that it was doable. The event also presented itself as a good way to be able to use the remaining Booboo funds that at that point I was thinking of donating to Save ALL – Save Animals of Love and Light Inc., an animal welfare group.. I thought to myself, why not purchase popular cat items and raffle it off, and then donate the proceeds? A raffle vs. a costume contest, why not, indeed.
At that point though, the teaser post was already live, and it clearly said COSTUME. After a few more brainstorm sessions with fellow cat parents Divine and Glady, I decided to proceed with the raffle aspect of Booboo’s #Meowloween2020 BUT with a costume twist.
88, 77, 66. Those were the price points of the raffle entries for the #meowloween2020 event. The lower priced entries, 77 & 66 came with a caveat though. 77 pesos if only the cat was in costume, and a bigger discount if the cat furrent would also play along and be photographed, of course in a costume too.
Happily, Cat Care Philippines members were game! #Meowloween2020 ran for 18 days and by November 17, there were 113 entries, and most of them were of cats in costume!
Also, heartwarmingly, plenty of members reached out via private messenger, offering additional prizes! With gratitude, I accepted the first four who offered: Les Aunor’s Meat Shop who sponsored a hefty breakfast package, Ziti the Cat who gave 10 bottles of Vitamin C, Stephanie Denise Sia of ABD Pet Supplies who generously gave a 40-piece pack of Ciao Churu, and Ms. Kai Lee whose cat printed pairs of socks were a hit!
Simultaneously, we encouraged members to react to the cat photo they liked. The DIY nun costume of Wednesday, a black puspin rescued by Dominique Baniqued proved to be the top hit!
Booboo’s #Meowloween Costume purrty raised a total of P11,712.93 for the rescued cats of SAVE ALL!
I told myself that if I am able to raise at least double the amount of money I allotted for the prizes, I would be happy. With the way things turned out, I am beyond ecstatic!
Hosting this raffle was the opportunity for me to channel my grief at losing Booboo into something useful and helpful for other rescued cats. It also allowed me to give back to my Cat Care Ph community that supported me, offered advice and prayers, and finally, condolences, towards the end of Booboo’s journey.
Editor’s note:Booboo’s donation thru furparent Ei Leen helped four kittens get spayed or neutered, and provided food and vitamins for many rescued cats of Save ALL Inc.Spaying kittens removed the possibility of the kittens developing the life-threatening condition called pyometra, and lessened substantially the chances that the kittens will develop mammary gland cancer when they grow up. Neutering, on the other hand, lessened the possibility of developing adrenal gland cancer in male cats.Both de-sexing or fixing procedures also mean there will be 12,000 less babies that will be born per intact cat. Only 10 per cent of 12, 000 cats born for every cat will go to loving homes, based on studies. Thus, Booboo not only helped four kittens but also saved 90 per cent of 48,000 cats from a miserable life. Thank you and run free, Booboo.
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