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Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Hero Is Alive

Nick Vujicic = Motivation

Richie Parker  = Inspiration

Hero = A True Hero

In recent years, I had gained lots of motivation and inspiration from these people. I guess, I need to rewrite the part where I said ‘people’. Because it turns out that it’s not just people alone who have played a part in my spiritual development. As I watched and read about Richie Parker’s life story months ago, it was something out of this world and it kept playing in my mind. As I listened to Nick Vujicic’s speech, I started realizing that all these people with disabilities are astonishingly strong-willed because they don’t perceive themselves as disabled. They don’t compare themselves with others and dwell on what they lack. In short, there is no room for self pity.

And then comes the late great Hero, also known as Iyo. The two-legged cat that has inspired many. I’m one of them. His passing a few weeks ago is still a shock to the animal lovers community in Malaysia. Hero’s story had been highlighted time and time again in various media. Hero was the unfortunate kitten whose limbs were severed for stealing fish, and dumped on the road about 8 years ago. Little did anyone know that this incident will prove to be a turning point for the animal lovers community, and in particular for one individual, my dear brother, comrade, Mohd Hairey. Over the years Hero had given belief and hope to many of us that any abused animal can be saved if you set your heart to save them. PTS should only be the last of last of last option. That’s exactly what Hairey, better known as Papa Hero (PH), has proved to us through saving Hero. It’s hard to believe, how a cat can bring so much changes into one’s life.

A really heartbreaking photo posted by PH on the day Hero passed away. It went viral, with condolences
pouring in from everywhere. It was a sad sad day.

When I first met Hero, I saw how strong-willed he was. His physical strength to walk and to get on with his life with only hind legs was remarkable. Reading about Hero is one thing, but as you watch his maneuvers, it strikes you. The way he asks for petting, they way he climbs the stairs and they way he reaches places even I can’t reach. You watch in awe. In his eyes, he doesn’t believe he’s disabled. He doesn’t even know that he’s one. Now that is the grit and tenacity that separates anyone from self pity. I saw a similarity in the case of Parker and Vujicic. It’s a reminder for all of us to stop complaining about our lives and dwell on what we don't have. Ironically, it’s another moment, when I learned a lesson about life, through animals.

Hero has garnered a legion of fans. His life has been a living testament and reminder to the plight against animal abuse in Malaysia. The heart-rending story of Hero even stole the attention of lawmakers in the Parliament recently. Datuk Halimah Mohd Sadique cited Hero’s case to highlight the issue of animal welfare and cruelty against animals, in the Dewan Rakyat. Hero has undoubtedly became a symbol for a battle. A battle that had long been kept in the shadows and seen as trivial. I told a friend, “I don’t think so, that when I die one day, I’ll have this many people mourning for me”.  Yes, it’s true. It may sound unreal, but that's what it is. Such was the impact of a cat.

PH could not contain his emotions when speaking about Hero on live TV broadcast

Haters? I know there are indeed many disabled cats and dogs out there in Malaysia, probably in worse conditions. I've seen it for myself too. But I’m only talking in terms of impact. How the social media like blog and FB were used to spur the public to follow suit and take part in animal rescue efforts. How Hero's suffering was not passed on just like another normal incident. It takes a lot of effort to maintain a blog and encourage the people around you to stand up and be the voice for the voiceless. It takes a lot of effort to continuously do it, and not just a seasonal outcry. So indeed, there are other cases. But Hero's plight was heard loud and clear. It’s like someone dissing,  "Eleh.. my grandfather is more noble and greater than Mahatma Gandhi, but he didn’t like publicity. So nobody knows him". No, it doesn't work that way. At the end of the day, it’s how you made a difference. Not how you were indifferent!

I truly believe that Hero is still alive within many who were inspired by him. He still lives in the spirits of a person called Papa Hero. Without Hero, maybe there isn’t a Papa Hero and all the battle he started against animal cruelty. Hero still lives in the NGO set up after his name, Pertubuhan Aktivis Haiwan. Hero lives, when one day you find a badly injured cat or dog, you see hope and miracle.

Hero will be alive in our fond memories. Take care Hero, you are in a better place now...


  1. Speechless..tears again...

  2. Well written...my exact sentiment...tq Shawn...gotta go and cry now :"(

  3. Im crying.. We truly miss him.. N yes, there are still hope n miracle when we see abused or disable animals..

  4. Hero gone but not forgotten..Thanks Mr.Shawn for this lovely and heart touching entry..Hero taught us lot of lessons...we deeply miss you Abam Iyo..:(

  5. It was heartbreaking that HERO left us, but he left to better place. Be happy Abam Iyo!