25 July 2009

The Waddle of Kenggy

The cat was bleeding by the roadside.

A young couple passing by saw this bleeding cat already without its two front paws with a newborn kitten. They decided to help by taking both the mother cat and baby home.

Home for this young couple is shared with rescued cats. They pick up strays and get them adopted.

Kenggy was so named as without two front paws, she would stand balanced on her hind legs to look at the world around her -- like a kangaroo. Kenggy is short for Kangaroo.

A few months went by. Kenggy's kitten and other rescued strays got adopted but not Kenggy. Most adopters prefer cute kittens to adult cats, what more an adult cat without two front paws.

While checking an animal forum, EJ happened to read a posting about Kenggy and that she would be put back in the streets if no one wants her.

EJ made a decision to adopt Kenggy on the condition if Kenggy was willing. Contact to the young couple was quickly made and EJ went on a long drive to have a sniff-out with Kenggy.

During the sniff-out, Kenggy waddled across, stood up and looked intensely eye to eye at EJ who was seated cross-legged on the floor. Kenggy seemed to know what was the sniff-out about. When
EJ got up to leave, Kenggy tried to follow. So Kenggy has decided. EJ was pleased.

And Kenggy came home as part of the gang on 10 January 2007 after her spaying operation, vaccination and check-up.

21 July 2009

Whimsical Winnie

Now with Pebble getting better and blossoming, EJ thought the strays seemed able to take care of themselves till one small dirty-looking cat came into view.

It was believed this small cat was among the hungry strays with Pebble. Always hidden in the shadows, this elusive cat looked young, definitely thin and very hungry.

From the shape of the face and body size, EJ could see this was a female. With the bigger males and stronger females, she did not have much chance to eat during the first round of EJ's feed. Most times she hid in the shadows watching and waiting. She was also extremely fearful and easily spooked, and would scoot off at the slightest noise or movement.

Feeding her was not easy. EJ tried for weeks. She was constantly being bullied by the strays. When EJ saw her being beaten by a bigger stray and then hobbled on three legs, EJ could not take it any more and took her in.

Just like Pebble had a round golden bell, this small cat wore a bell in the shape of Winnie the Pooh. And she was named Winnie.

After her spaying operation, check-ups and vaccination, Winnie joined the gang in March 2006.

19 July 2009

Pretty Pebble

Suddenly appeared from nowhere, there was a group of more than 10 very hungry strays moving up and down the street in search of food. Frightened cats with hungry-looking eyes hidden among the bushes and beneath cars nervously eyed passersby and dashed out periodically in search of food scraps dropped near waste bins whenever rubbish were taken out by humans.

Late that night, EJ happened to look out the window and saw all the strays running purposedly after something. On further squinting, EJ recognised who the cats were running after - the neighbour who used to live few doors away.

Days later, the number of strays remained the same and was the same months later. EJ saw that neighbour one more time another night a week after and then never again.

It was frightening to watch these strays, whom EJ believed lived together once, fight for food and heart-rending to see the timid ones retreating, watching longingly at the comparatively bigger cats gobbled whatever scraps of food.

EJ then started leaving cat kibbles on the parapet, the cemented edge of the drain but never on the tarred road. Female cats being physically smaller and less aggressive, lost out in the fight for food, became thinner and malnourished.
One pregnant cat waited in the dark corner till all have finished before creeping forward to scour the remnants. EJ waited till the others moved away before giving this pregnant cat more food which she hungrily ate. This went on for weeks. With her heavily pregnant belly, EJ could not determined when she would give birth but know it would be soon.

On Christmas Day 2005, that pregnant cat did not appear.

The next day, EJ reached home from work at night as it was raining. That pregnant cat was waiting at the usual spot beneath the street lamp. As that cat waited braving the rain, EJ had to get down from the car to brave the rain as well. Witnessed by the driver whom EJ thumbed a lift home, EJ's god brother and his then girlfriend (now wife) who happened to arrive at the same time, that stray dropped her newborn on EJ's palm.

EJ was pleasantly surprised and inspected the newborn under the street lamp. It was male and completely white. EJ then explained to the mother cat to take her newborn and to come back with her babies the next day. The mother cat understood. EJ stood in the rain and watched mother cat with her baby in her mouth walked slowly into the damp darkness.

This happening was quickly told to EJ's mother who agreed to prepare the extra cage in the backyard.

There was no sign of the mother cat the next day. EJ's mother said one neighbour found and picked up a kitten. EJ then went to that house and inspected but no, that was not the same kitten which the mother cat gave. Yes, it was male and white but the length of tail, facial features and shape were different.

Then the day after, the mother cat was seen running up and down the street, howling and wailing for her missing babies even ignoring EJ and refusing the food offered. This went on for days and it compelled EJ to end her suffering. Late one evening, perhaps from exhaustion, hunger and thirst or perhaps in want of warmth as well, the mother cat finally accepted and ate the food EJ offered. The mother cat was quickly bundled into the prepared cage. A phone call was made to the vet for an appointment the next day.

She was spayed and came home on New Year's day - 1st January 2006. Her treatment continued on subsequent visits to the vet.

As the colour of her fur is like the colour of beautiful stones found near rivers, she was named Pebble.

PS: Pebble's baby was found. His story will be posted later. 
Click here for the link.

01 July 2009

Tortie - from Tiny to Big

Tanya had five newly-born kittens. Only four were suckling. What happened to the fifth?

The fifth kitten, the smallest of all, was in the dark corner trying to move. While his brothers and sisters moved on all four limbs, this little kitten moved around by dragging his hind limbs. He dragged till fur, skin and flesh came off; and was fast getting infected with boils forming all over its tiny body. This last born kitten had deformed hind limbs - club feet with its paws curled shut.

His vet said he was born with a 'tortoise leg' syndrome and hence was given the name 'Tortie'. Treatment for Tortie was very harsh for such a tiny tyke. He was pumped, more of force-fed, with antibiotics, multi-vitamin drops and soaked in warm diluted iodine three times a day. Inspite of his protests of heart-rending wails, EJ kept at it. A cheap carpet was also bought so Tortie would not hurt more than necessary. EJ moved like a zombie for months getting up at 5am and sleeping way past midnights to give Tortie his works.

As soon as skin was formed, EJ massaged and gently pulled to straighten his hind limbs as often as possible. The long sofa was where Tortie learnt how to walk and climb. He was constantly sick and visits to his vet was on a regular basis as he grew up. EJ persisted and never once gave up hope.

Tortie then grew and grew and grew! And became the largest of them all. But his hind legs are comparatively smaller and 'knocked-knees' if you are observant enough.

When finally Tortie grew into adulthood, his vet, who has kept his silent thoughts to himself, told EJ that this is one lucky cat. He thought Tortie would not make it but on the contrary Tortie beat all odds and survived!