Lessons in Feral Cat Care From Pakistan
By Ahsan ul Haq in Pakistan (Caretaker of Feral Cats and Kittens)
Fifty Fifty (My abandoned now 6 months old kitten)
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One night when my wife and I were just coming out of our home’s door, we saw an 8 week old kitten wandering outside the road in search of food. She was just snuffing the ground. I saw her with a broad smile, and indicated to my wife to look what this kitten was doing? We both just stood there to watch her.
Suddenly, we heard a fast running car coming towards the road, straight towards this kitten girl. I ran fast towards the kitten and stood right on her. She started snuffing my feet. She was confident. She did not run away. The car driver was a boy under 18 (without license). He looked at me as he was a bit angry of what I had done. But Alhamdulillah (Thanks to Allah), the kitten was saved.
I took her up in my arms. Looked here and there, because her mom-cat could be any where. But unfortunately, I found that she was abandoned by her feral mom-cat.
Yes, I have an experience that most feral cats kill or leave their kittens to be on their own because they can not feed them milk and in this way the litter of 6 sometimes remain to only 2 or one. The ratio of survival of Feral cats in Pakistan is very low. It could be;
- From 3 to 2 kittens or
- From 2 to 1 Kitten or
- All are killed by cats/ animals/ humans or died with hunger means THE END. And this is my experience.
My question has always been a bitter truth for humanity. Therefore many people start hating me and many of my own relatives/ countrymen start abusing me. The question is;
My lord! Caliph OMER once said, “If a kitten is killed/dead with hunger under my caliphate, Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala will ask OMER, why it so happened and Omer! were you not the caretaker of the whole community?”
My dear country men! Islam is peace. Not to harm any human or animal. Cats and kittens are the property of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala. And more over they are the property of Islamic state. Who are we to decide to harm or kill the animal by ourself? No! not at all. Neither State has allowed you to do so nor the religion which you are saying that you people are so much sincere with.
So, the objections are raised in a negative way. They say that your truth sends a negative messages towards the western world. Stop it or you will face the circumstances.
I replied and still replying, Why to hide a truth behind thousand curtains of lies. Why don’t we change ourselves and accept the true message of Allaah Subhanahu? I don’t care, even they murder me. I do for the sake of my lord. Not for them.
My daughter Khadija said, “PAPA! Why don’t you become a vet? Please do something?”
Hmmm… she is right but vet here means 15,00,000 rupees in pocket and that is equal to 15,000 dollars. One thousand and one night tale. I cannot let Khadija understand this but what if my lord let these cats and kittens live their full life and accept me as a caretaker for them, and they are happy in streets, and are daily visitors to me for food and shelter and water. This is what I can do and every other Pakistani can do.
Well! let us come back to FIFTY FIFTY kitten. I took her to my upper floor terrace and served her chicken liver, milk, kitten food and water with shelter aside (a small box for hiding her if needed, I will write about the hiding phenomena of cats and kitten in my article in future, insha Allah)
I left her and got out for a bike ride with my wife as I have told in my previous article that now I want to drift out with my wife and see the world. I am sick and tired of being caged at home.
When we came back, I went to the terrace to see whether she was there or not? She was there, she just used the litter box, the poop was okay, healthy, chocolate color. She was sleeping with no fear. I looked at her face. Half light brown and half black. My daughter named her FIFTY FIFTY.
I laughed at Khadija. 50/50? A good sense! Though funny, too.
The next morning, I tried to pick her up and she did not like that. I used gloves because she bit me and this time it was deep. No problem! Just patience is required because it is as same as you are dealing with a human child which has been raised in jungle of his own. He will not consider you as he is. A good example is the character of Edgar Rice Burroughs…….TARZAN (Feral boy).
I checked the entire body, ears, heart beat, claws, inner mouth, teeth, tongue and specially the backbone of this kitten girl. What I found was dehydration. Her backbone was weak enough and the good news for me and my Khadija was that she started to drink a lot of water. Yup Yup Yuppy Yeaaah…. She wants to live. Ahaaa! I mean she wants to live for her own. Not like a pet girl. And this is good.
Now, we both discussed a lot. “I want to keep her” said Khadija. “But she don’t like you” I said.
“Papa! How can you be so rude towards this kitten girl, she is mine.” I said “No! she is not!” She just took her in arms and the 50/50 answered her will. She bit Khadija. Aaauuch! He he he so the rude dad was right. 😀
Khadija admits, “You are right papa!”
“Yeah, Papa is always right”
And what we can do, is give this girl affection by providing, food, water and shelter and of course love. Start with me to pet her and take her fear out. This is the basic instinct of kittens that has been transferred from the mom-cat, specially in the culture like Pakistan.
Cat-mom delivers the message to their kittens to avoid human contact because human are their first enemies. This is nature, we are talking about. And specially the nature of Feral Cat-moms. Let us change overtime their psychology. I know, this can only be changed if we human beings make a final decision to change our Feral attitude.
Feral Cats are not WILD CATS, they have been forced by us to be WILD. Do you not see that? We are forcing them to become as WILD as possible. Stop it please. Let live with them. They are the most deserving animals within the population of human community.
These events passed 4 months. And our girl 50/50 stopped biting us, she became a family member, she sleeps with us, she is happy, protected and very much healthy (with the grace of Allah Subhanahu) and we are really feeling happy with her company. At last thanks to Allah who has given us the strength to love kittens and special thanks to my girl Khadija Fatima and at last Thank you, FIFTY FIFTY (now 6 months old).
Note from Michael: Fifty Fifty is a calico cat (tortoiseshell and white).