Last Thursday, we left two 5-days old kittens to an animal hospital for care.
We had no one to seek help with their feeding for last weekend because we have to be away for "work". The Mrs took care of them from Wednesday after the stray cat mother disappeared from our parking lot together with another of their sibling.
On Saturday, the vet called us to inform one of the two kittens died. It was expected since it had not been taking much milk, body cold and sleeping all the time.
Four or five months ago, the mother was pregnant and delivered three kittens also. However, someone stole them and for days she was seen looking for her three lost kittens. This time, it is her and one of the kittens' sibling that is lost.
Out of six kittens and a mother, only one survive. That is the stark reality facing stray cats, which many is not aware off. They reproduced many but survival rate is low.
The Mrs have been providing food and medical help to stray cats hanging around our parking lot. However, this particular mother stray cat was exceptionally friendly and communicative. We talked of providing our home to her.
Being a stray cat, the mother stray cat could not be domesticate. She runs off whenever we tried to hold her. Either she is too happy with her freedom or just plain insecure.
This is not the first but the second time we tried to help the mother stray cat with her newborns.
In both cases, the mother stray cat refused the box provided with towels padded for warmth and took her delicate kittens elsewhere. Initially, the mother stray cat would return for feeding but stopped coming and disappeared.
The Mrs is sympathetic to stray cats but we had inherited our mother's glee towards cat, especially kitten. Furthermore, we are asthmatic. Thus, we are not cat friendly.
However we learned to appreciate them from the sister-in-law, who upon retirement took care and provided for 15 stray cats. Once in a while, the Mrs would help her, especially when taking the cats to the vet.
She started with three cats. The three may have told all the other cats in the neighbourhood of the kind lady giving them food and shelter to come and stay with them.
We begin to learn that cats are biologically and emotionally similar to human.
Many past practises to feed cats with fish together with the bones is not proper. Just like human, the bones will get stuck in their throat and be an irritation that sometimes led to their death.
Like human, cats needs proper hygiene. That is why some cat owners bathe them.
They are sensitive to diseases like flu, bronchitis, fever, etc. Everytime one of the cats catch any disease, sister-in-law would quarantine her in a cage. Otherwise, it would spread to other cats and one after another could die.
One ex-YB who used to tend to some 40 stray cats was left with 10 cats after a disease epidermic. That ex-YB is also asthmatic.
Quite sure, most thought those alley cats are hardy and tough. We have mistaken them with wild cats living in the jungle.
Stray cats that survive by scavenging food through rubbish are susceptible to diseases. Usually they do not live long. So to maintain their specie, biological science logic claim the animal reproduce in large numbers and frequently.
That is one irritating character of stray cats that may have made the Chairman of our Persatuan Penduduk upset and rear his ugly head. He became obsessively anti-cats to the point of inhuman abuse on them. He is our #1 suspect for the disappearing kittens and cat.
Our sister-in-law faced the same cat reproduction problem till the vet advised her to neuter the female. Like human, they have to ikat peranakan.
Perhaps some animal activist would scorn at such practises, however admit it. One have to be cruel to be kind. Family planning is necessary. With 15 cats, it is already a handful for sister-in-law. She can't even travel for holidays.
Sending to the SPCA does not help. If no one comes to take the animals, they will have to send them to sleep. That is unless someone donates large sum of money to the animal shelter.
Money donated and spend for animal care including feeding stray cats is tax deductible. Keep the pet shop receipts.
Sister-in-law's present predicament to travel reminded us of our late grandmother. She worries of her chickens in the coop whenever she has to be away with us. "Siapa nak kasi makan ayam aku?"
Now we are worried too.
We have to pick up the kitten today. The cost which conclude medical and probably burial will be more than RM400. No joke.
"Siapa nak kasi makan anak kucing kami?"
The Mrs works till late evening. We have erratic schedule. Sometime SOHO, sometime at cafe and spontaneous meetings.
The kitten need to be fed every one and half to two hours.
Oh no ... no no ..... Please don't look at us. We are not good at feeding, change "diapers", and taking the "baby" everywhere like a house wife. We only like babies when they are already fun to play with.
This is heavy responsibility. Any boarding school for a Bumiputera kitten?