by Ahsan ul Haq
I am a colony caretaker of 21 beautiful feral cats who are my life companions and daily visitors. I started to think about these cats in 2006. Though I was a cat lover since my childhood but did not know how to get one.
Yes, it is true that 99.99 % people here in Pakistan have their own economic problems so therefore they do not consider a lots about animals. But if I may allow to speak the truth, and if my countrymen do not mind, I may say that we as a Muslim and as Pakistanis have not performed our duty so well towards the welfare of these cats. These cats need us much more in the days of today’s crisis which our country is facing after the death of ZIA-UL_HAQ’s era. i.e. 1988. till now.
What is the basic need of a FERAL CAT?
As my experience with cats and kittens, cats are very intelligent creatures of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala and they are very loving towards human beings. They have never been harsh or dangerous with me. Not a single FERAL CAT has ever bite me or attacked me with claws. This is because, somehow, I can understand the basic need of my cats. They were all kittens and three big cats in the start when I started to feed them. I am a jobless man and no one helps me or funds me towards this job of taking care of these innocent pets.
I never call them animals because they are my family and friends of my loniliness time full of tears. They play with me and entertain me with their acts of joy and I love them. First of all every one of us must go ahead for the welfare of these cats. The basic need of a cat is very limited. i.e.
- Water (plenty of it so that the cat does not dehydrate)
- Food (Which is not harmful for cats. never feed these cats expired food, or low quality conteminated food, be very careful about selection. In coming up lines of this essay, I will give some cheap and costly both ideas, what possible food is suitable for these cats and what adverse reactions I have seen in these cats of different foods)
- Safe Shelter (If the cat is socialised with it)
and no more than that. Simple and easy, even not a burden on you my countrymen!
Water is the main source/need of a feral cat. It is very important that in every house there should be a bowl of steel/mud (not plastic bowl as it is very dangerous for a cat). Feral cats drink water very often and some of them keep drinking so long that some times (according to my experience) it seems that the cat was thirsty for several days.
Pakistan is a hot weather country, Alhamdulillah the sun rises the whole year (even in winter season) and gives his blessings of shine almost every day. We experience the thirst ourselves and drink water every day more than those living in the West.
By this self experience of thirst, you can determine the thirst of these innocent creatures. Never let them go from your homes without drinking water. They will surely thank you for your good deed and insha Allah Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala will reward you for this good thinking and deed. On that day when there will be not any shelter (The day of judgement) and that day will be the hottest one, Allaah will insha Allah let you drink from the HAUZ e KAUSAR, just because of being a follower and a kind hearted UMMATI of the beloved prophet SAW. Be kind towards others so Allah may be kind upon you.
Cats wandering here or there? Why? Have you ever thought about that? What if you have no job? What if you are so much poor that even you can not afford to buy a single pancake for one time? Have you ever considered your self in this situation? The answer will be … a straight NOOOoooo!!!
The reason is that when our stomach is filled, we think that every one’s stomach is filled. We just go aside and see a cat passing/running through a street, and we do not consider the matter that why this cat was wandering? The answer is “In search of food”.
Let me share with you my first thought about cats in 2006 which I can never forget. Here is the story, why I started to think about these feral cats and their welfare….
My wife and me, we take a ride on a bike to just be together and spend some private time together. We just wander on the motor cycle together and talk to each other. Then suddenly we saw a terrible incident happening on the road. A cat was sitting just in the middle of the road and was eating some raw dirty food. I stopped my bike a hundred feet away. Suddenly at nearly 23:34 hours, a car running fast at the speed of 140 KM/hour crushed that cat and just passed away without considering what the driver had done.
My wife and me were still looking at the reaction, at the scream of that cat, at the 2 or 3 times high jump in pain and then the cat just died. I went near the dead body of that cat, she was just terribly wounded and blood on the road still was coming out of that baby. I saw the food. That was taken from a dust box of C.D.A.
We both (husband and wife) were sad that night, we were weeping and tears were not stopping from our eyes. My wife only said these words: “Just for dirty expired food!” I replied,”Just for food!”
We as Moslems and Pakistanis can do a little favor. Not very costly, simple cheap favor and charity in the way of Allah. Just to please our lord.
- Put a bowl of steel/mud outside a safe place at our house. The cost is Rs. 40 equal to $0.40 (only one time spending)
- Buy mashed meat one KG. Divide it in equal 10 parts means 100 grams each. Serve 100 Grams raw mashed meat every day. Daily cost is Rs. 40 equivalent to $ 0.40 per day.
What is hard about doing this? Nothing? Let us start a change within us. Allah will increase your wealth and your good deeds. Nothing will be less from your pocket or spirit.
3. SAFE SHELTER:
Have you ever thought about your self without any shelter or home? I think it is a horrible thought for us humans to just imagine that we have no home. The same is with cats. Cats always need a safe shelter. You often observe that cats are usually hidden from human beings. Why? Are they afraid of us? The answer is Yes and the other answer is NO.
The YES is for the countries like PAKISTAN in which we think that these animals are harmful/dirty to our society. NO is for the culture or social values of those countries where the animals have their full support and rights to live a free and caring life.
But before you get angry with me, you have to think for a while, Why are these cats afraid of us? The answer will come out from everyone of you. Make a good shelter even if it is cheap but let these cats allow to lay down in your yards and balconies freely and try to love them rather than hissing at them and calling them PUSSSH PUSSSSH …
Just bring a little change in your self and see how a big change can occur within a short span of time. Love you my countrymen and love Islam and PAKISTAN. tc