DEIRA, DUBAI – NEWS AND COMMENT: Zana Ismail is a cat lover who runs his own shipping company in Dubai. He is an Iraqi-born British citizen, 45, and has spent the past seven years living in Dubai because he likes the warm weather.
He likes to help feral cats and enjoys caring for them like many other individuals around the world but I suspect that it is not that usual in Dubai. He must have a reputation and it will generally be a good one but some will dislike what he does. He said, “Over the years, I have rescued several cats, and I bring them home, pet them.”
Two of the females that he was caring for in a colony give birth to kittens. Comment: I wonder why he did not have them spayed to prevent this happening? There must be a good reason. Anyway, he went to feed the family and he noticed that one of the female kittens was missing. The kitten was only three weeks old so she was not weaned.
He made enquiries and was told by a shopkeeper that a woman had taken her. The kitten’s mother is looking for her kitten and, according to Zana Ismail, crying and howling. He believes that she is heartbroken.
He is finding it hard to sleep because he’s thinking of the kitten torn away from her mother and the mother looking for her kitten. He said, “I think that’s horrible and nasty and not right for someone to take the little kitten away from the parents or any other animal”. Comment: it will be a single parent, the mother, who raises the kitten. P.S. the kitten has Van markings which is pretty typical in the Middle East.
He has appealed to the public asking them if they know the person who has taken the kitten. His message to the lady wherever she is, is “Please bring this kitten back to her parents where she belongs, she’s only three weeks old.”
His message to the wider public is that people should not disturb animals and that, just like us, they have feelings.
Comment: it is perhaps foolhardy but I would like to try and fill the blanks between the lines. It would seem that a woman took a fancy to this kitten. This is a feral kitten but of course when kittens are feral they are ready for domestication but it must be done after the cat is weaned otherwise there can be behavioural problems. The adoption shouldn’t take place until about 9 weeks after birth.
The relationship between mother and kitten is vital in the early weeks to ensure that the kitten develops emotionally and becomes a well-adjusted animal. In terms of domestication, these early weeks are also the time when they become socialised to people. Sometimes we see early weaned kittens sucking on wool and people’s ears and so on. I had a foster cat who had this sucking on objects behavior.
The problem here, as mentioned, is that the woman took the kitten at a much too early age which may lead to behavioural problems. I’m afraid that she did not know what she was doing and I thoroughly agree with Zana Ismail. As mentioned, I’ll bet that there are some residents who don’t like what Zana does because they believe that feral cats should be exterminated.