By Ahsan ul Huq in Pakistan
In 2006, when I decided to feed the feral cats of my area, I had no knowledge about the needs or psychologies of these feral cats. I felt like a kind/gentle-hearted person towards them but when I surfed the internet, I got much more knowledge about the psychologies of these cats wandering outside.
Well, I had decided to step forward for their welfare. Of course, I was alone (and still I am alone here only with my three daughters). I started feeding them on a regular daily basis. The first cat which I can remember was TUMTUM’s mom to whom my elder daughter Khadija Fatima named BUBBY.
My elder daughter was 6 years old at that time. She was a small girl. At that time, I never came so close to any cat or I never tried to touch/pet any cat but my Khadija Fatima used to pet BUBBY and I just looked from a distance and sometimes smiled and some times I got angry with Khadija,
“Do not touch that BUBBY as she might be dangerous and can change her behavior at any time and scratch you. Don’t you know that she is a FERAL CAT????”
But my Khadija never stopped until one day she was weeping and I asked her. “What is wrong with you, my blue eyes baby?” She told me that the neighbor drove over her BUBBY cat, and BUBBY was killed in that way.
I was dumb silent. I had no idea, what I should do? I took my daughter in my arms and was consoling her not to weep. I was trying to tell her that accidents happen in life but she was the witness of that cruelty. I understood that I can lie because I am a grown man but I can not stop or ignore her truth because I know that a child never lies. Well! I thought that the story ended there but NO! IT JUST BEGAN FROM THERE.
One day early in the morning I heard Khadija (my daughter) and a small meow, meow, meow. I came near the door and I saw a beautiful scene. There was a kitten 9 weeks old (TUMTUM BUBBY’s son) and my daughter was petting him. He was drinking milk and playing with her. Tears ran out of my eyes and I came out. TUMTUM became afraid and jumped up to KHADIJA. She yelled at me with anger, “Papa, stop where you are, He is afraid!” I stopped. “Who is he?” I asked with a smile on my face. “Your boyfriend?” I joked and then she yelled at me again. “NOooo! Bubby’s son.” Ahaaaaaa so this is it!!! 😉
It was my daughter who named that kitten TUMTUM. And from that day till he became a real FERAL (on his own), he visited us regularly and got his right and due LOVE.
The good news is that TUMTUM has been tamed and socialized by me and has been accepted as a backyard cat by my neighbor. They are PATHANS and they feed him a very high quality food i.e. Chicken breast meat. A lucky pal. These neighbors saw me handling the cats and they began to interact with my socialized cats. Otherwise, these feral cats were not in contact with any human in this area and are considered the threat towards the population. Yes!
This is a fact not to ignore that these cats only know one man and that is AHSAN UL HAQ. The others are still their enemy and these cats still are afraid of the human population. TUMTUM is happy and enjoying the rest of his days and I hope that where ever BUBBY’s spirit is at Allah Subhanahu’s place, she may feel a satisfaction about her son TUMTUM.
I have only one sentence to say:
“It is not the cats who are FERAL, our attitude is FERAL towards them. If I can socialize my babies and they can be adopted, so why we human can not change our attitude from FERAL to social???? Any answer???”