Cats Of Medina And Mecca

I could not find kibbles in Medina and Mecca. I could not believe it. Something so simple and yet…wow! We encountered many stray cats as we traveled from Jeddah/Medina/Mecca. From the stray cats at the airport to skinny ones at the rest stops along the road to Medina and beautiful ones in Mecca. They tend to be unfriendly towards humans but was very pleased to meet a few new “friends” along the way. Those cats that we met on a daily basis while in Mecca were quite friendly towards me. Several would try to climb on my hijab and allowed themselves to be patted and held up. They get to eat rice with fried fish or chicken.

I actually wrote to a rescue group which is based in Jeddah. I also realized that animal rescue is not a big thing in Saudi as I had difficulties in contacting a few other groups for advise especially on getting cat food. Or could it be a language barrier? I have no idea. But those who are travelling for hajj or umrah, and you are a feeder yourself, please bring along kibbles with you as I can tell you this – you cannot find kibbles in the shops at both places. Even if you ask them about cat food? They will laugh at you…soooo……..;-(

IMG_20151225_040042.jpgA tom cat with his pretty girl friend in the surau of Jeddah hajj/umrah terminal airport.

IMG_20151225_064531.jpgTwo cats we saw (among many…) at one of the rest stops from Jeddah to Medina. The night was cold. Maybe about 15C. These cats were outside looking for food. I felt bad as I did not have anything to give them.

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In Mecca. Cats we met nearby our hotel.

See the black boy at the left side? He is blind on one eye.

We met these two regularly as they were always near our hotel. The one on the right has beautiful Bengal-like spots.

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Handsome Tom

Each time we walk to Masjidil Al Haram, we would bump onto this handsome fella. One of my favourites as he was very friendly. He has many other friends outside of the mosque. Not sure how they survive…

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One of the nights on the way back from our second umrah, we went out to feed the cats. Plenty of hungry cats….big and small.

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As I was preparing for Maghrib prayers at the outer court of Fatima Az-Zahra (The Floating Mosque in Jeddah), I saw a black cat at the upper wall of the mosque.

 

Tom, The Cat Who Thinks He Is A Seal

2013-02-13 23.36.22Tom the sealTom the sealTom the seal

 

TOM (Jan 2013-Dec 2013)
Dearly missed.

As you lay motionless in my arms, I am drowned in sorrows
Caressing your velvety paws
Never say it is over
Till it is over.

When you reach that glorious place
Tom, with that handsome feline face
Never say it is over
Till it is over.

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Pix of Tom in my arms yesterday morning just before I bury him underneath the rambutan tree in the garden. The same garden where he loved to play in.

Tom was a rescued cat from a wet market. He was hungry and was looking for food the day I found him. With that lovable face and baby blue eyes, I was instantly in love with this boy. He was loving and loved to move about on the sofa or the floor like a seal.

 

Boris

Several weeks ago…

My heart felt such deep sadness and I had no idea why. My lower left eye kept on twitching endlessly.

Early this week…

Boris was clingy which was unusual. He picked a new favourite curling place by the sofa and wanted to be picked up all the time. We came back from work and he stood up against my legs as I entered the family hall. I quickly called out his name, picked up this gorgeous boy and hugged him tight.

In a flash, I saw an image of him on the street, laying motionless. It was so quick that it took me by surprise! It felt as if electricity just went passed my body! I looked at his handsome face and he stared back at me with his green eyes and purr-ed…

It must have been a figment of my imagination, I thought.

Two nights ago….

We came back home late from one of our classes. It had been a long day. I cruised the streets leading to our home and had to drive slower as there was a neighbour’s car moving slowly way ahead of us. As the car slowed down and turning left to park, there at the end of the street, I saw a shape on the street. It was so near the house.

My heart skipped a beat and I could not breathe. Somehow I knew.

We got closer to home and there was Boris as how I saw him in the mental image I saw several nights ago.

How could it be? What was he trying to tell me? I did not understand any of this. I stopped the car, breathless, and choked with tears. I ran towards his lifeless body and carried him in my arms towards the porch. I had no idea when did George brought the car in. Moments just stood still for a while, it was so surreal.

Boris.

What did you try to tell me nights ago? That it was time for you to go? That you wanted me to hug you so that I will remember you that way?

It took me two days to frame up my thoughts on how to write a memorium for Boris. He was, after all, a special cat.

He was brought back home from the vet sometime in September last year after being abandoned there by his owner for two years. Our vet took care of him well and they did an awesome job at it.

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Thanks to our friend, Emi for this beautiful, beautiful picture of Boris. What a handsome looking boy!

Boris loved to take his evening walk. The weather had been crazy and it could get really annoying hot and humid in the evening. With his thick fur, the evening walk outside of the house must have done him good. He usually did not go too far; just around the corner of the last house on the street and settled himself in some flower bush.

He has this walk or gait that I love to see and such an adorable gentle giant with the greenest eyes.

This is how we want to remember him. A cat who finally had his freedom.

 

Dennis

Dennis was the most recent furbaby that died due to the stray dogs. I couldn’t find him the day before that fateful day. Looked for him the entire evening. Called his name but he didn’t come back. The next day, the neighbour came by and told me that she saw him deep down in the storm drain.

The Daughter going down the storm drain via a smaller drain nearby. This was her very first attempt at picking up an ex cat in a storm drain…..she had never done this before as there was always me around. But somehow she wanted to on that day. Armed with a black bag, a long pole and disposal gloves, she slowly trailed down the small drain.

Poor, poor Dennis.

RIP Dennis.

Farewell, My Julius

Julius Caesar has crossed the Rainbow Bridge after being sick for a while. The cold has taken a toll on his tiny body and he was showing signs of degeneration due to dehydration and virus when we took him to the vet. The weighing scale barely moved when he was weighted. Julius only weighted 0.46gram and he barely meow-ed when he was checked by the vet. He looked painfully skinny. A far cry from his previous active body. His brother, Marcus Antonius is 3/4 bigger than Julius.

Julius Caesar about a month ago.

Julius, photo dated 29 October 2011.

Julius, sleeping on my lap after his feeding. Photo dated 1 November 2011

Farewell, my dear baby Julius. Over the Kitty’s Rainbow Bridge, you are healthy and eating all the wet food that you like. You will be missed very much.

Abah, here’s another kitty for you to play with until the time we meet again, Insyaallah.

The Fiasco That Brought Strangers Together As Friends

Cat rescue @ Petknode

Joint press conference on Petknode Abuse Case @ Armada Hotel

Petknode Rescue Mission – Fosterer Batch 2

Kucing, our fostered boy. Giant furbabe.

Some of the cats caught in the drag net during the rescue mission.

More links on Petknode here.

And here.

More pictures compiled from the internet can be found below.

A mommy cat with her dead kittens

The cats ate their first meal after ten days of hunger

Look at how skinny this furbabe is.

Annie, the one and only dog left at the pet hotel

A mommy cat and her kitten found dead.

Our family was not even sending any of our furbabes to Petknode but as animal lovers, we could not say no to taking in one of the furbabes who got caught in the drag net that night. The rescuers were out again after receiving news that a few domestic-looking cats were seen in the vicinity of  building where the pet hotel was located.

One of the lead rescuers called me up that night and at around 1 am that night, we drove to Damansara Damai with a voyager, packs of cat food, towels to pick up our foster boy, Kucing.

There were already a good few numbers of rescuers and volunteers at the appointed meeting place. Cages and carriers of various sizes were brought in by these good samaritans as there were shout outs in the FB group that the rescuers were running short of cages. George was standing in between the cages when one furry hand reached out to his shoes from one of the carriers, as if saying, “Hey, I am here. Take me home.”

We brought Kucing home that night. He was full of fleas, with dusty fur and looking hungry. After wiping his body with wet cloth, I examined his ears, mouth, nails and spraying Frontline to his fur. The rest of our furbabes were curious. Dexy was not happy as she kept on hissing at this new boy.

He ate some of the kibbles but not much.

The first night at home, The Teenager had him with her in the room. He kept on staring at the mirror, which was kinda creepy….

He disappeared the next morning by escaping through the door to his cage!  The Teenager and I were frantically looking for him in the back alley of the house in the wee hours of the morning. We finally found him sleeping at the back of one of the neighbours’ houses and promptly took him home.

For the next couple of days I was on a cat-watch and was a bit worried when he didnt show any signs of poo poo or pee. He ate well though.

On the third day, I thought of giving him laxapet when I spotted (OMG!) a poo box full of poo! That must have been the three day’s worth of poo and maybe some!

Everyone is trying to adjust to each other’s presence….

It has been close to 4 weeks since Kucing has been with us. He is only allowed to be out indoor with the doors and windows closed. He will sit near the glass door and look out as if longing to join the rest of his new friends out on the porch and in the garden.

Kucing is still adjusting to the household. No one has claimed him yet which is sad. But we also think there is a possibility that he might be a street cat and got caught in the drag net that rescuing night. He is not yet neutered and so the raging male hormone is playing tricks on him.

The KTAJ group  (Kumpulan Kucing Terbiar & Anjing Jalanan) has been active in promoting the savings of displaced animals. Compiled from a group of animal lover, they came up with a strongly facilitated discussion group and several initiatives. They have came up with a neutering program with the Klinik Kembiri SPCA/DBKL this coming weekend. Kucing will be one of the furbabes going.

The Petknode Fiasco has prompted so many highlights in the recent weeks. The latest is the review of the Animal Welfare Act of which anyone caught being cruel to animals will face a fine of up to RM100,000 and a jail term of not more than six months. This was announced by the Veterinary Services director-general Datuk Dr Abd Aziz Jamaluddin on the 6th September 2011.

It took a fiasco like this to realize that humanity is still alive and well. That strangers with a common belief and passion became friends.

This blog is dedicated to the administrators of KTAJ, rescuers, volunteers, fosterers, vets and allies of KTAJ who have worked hard and un-selfishly day and night to make sure that these cats (and a dog) are receiving the deserved attention they should and that their unheard voices are heard loud and clear by the humans.

RIP Comel (1999-2009)

The grand old lady finally passed over to Kitty’s Rainbow Bridge at approximately 4pm on 21 March 2009. She was 9 years old, or 52 human age. She left behind Rexton who is now coming to about 5 years old and a very sad 18 year old teenager whom she literally grew up with.

 

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In Virgil

9 years ago Lyn brought back a kitten home. She named her Comel. Comel literally grew up along with my daughter, shared the same bed, shared the same burger when I wasnt looking, played chase. Comel would wait for Lyn infront of the bathroom and would happily stroll in inside to be with her and didnt mind the water at all.

This grand old lady has not been well for a while now. She refused her favourite cat nibbles last night and I knew that it was close to her time.

As I type this away, she lays on her favourite old tshirt that belonged to me, and breathing her last breathes. Her old body seems to shrunk since this morning when I saw her last before leaving for work.

Comel has been a part of the family since forever. Whereever the family went, she would be there as well. I dont know how I really felt at the moment. It is kind of a mixed feeling – relief that her pain would be over, but it is like watching a loved one slipping away too.

As I stroke her body, she makes some whiny sound, her usual way of telling us when she was pleased. But, there was no more cheeky look coming from her eyes, but just a distant look. Once in a while, she would look at me.

I have delivered, cared for, raised, watched them grow, get sick and buried all of my cats all these while but Comel is definitely in her own league. I dont know whether cats do really feel any love as how we human does, but I do hope that she feels that she is loved all throughout her life with us.

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Rainbow Bridge For My Kitties

Anyone who had read my previous posts would know that my daughter and I simply love our kitties. We have quite a few of them at home. A few are in the special cat house built at the back lawn but the rest will have a run for the house and they give certain nooks and cranies of the house special characters with their claims of those corners as their own. Rexton, the 5kg girl, for instance refused to venture any further than my bedroom door. Dexter, the male Tom who cant walk but hop around like a bunny due to his mishapen backbone loves to sprawl anywhere – the staircase, kitchen cabinet, shoe rack, flipped down toilet seat…you name it and he might have left his tummy mark there. Mayoko for instance, loves nothing better than to chew on my aloe vera plants. Oftentimes, I can see her marks on those soft aloes as they turn brownish… 

So, when any of the babies passed on, there would be certain void in the house, some some of empiness. And sadness knowing they are no longer around.

Today’s post will be dedicated to two of my kitties who passed on recently.

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Goergie Girl my super-duper feminine kitty with lush tails and the gentlest disposition. She has this motherly love towards all kittens and will act as the host for any new kitty that comes to our home. Georgie loved nothing better than to show off her beautiful tail. The garden chair was where she used to curl up under the morning sun.

On that fateful day, I was away in the city. Lyn called on the mobile telling me that she just picked Georgie from the roadside and that she was bleeding profusely on the head. Apparently she was trying to cross the road infront of my house, and got knocked over by a motorcyclist. I rushed back home, and the minute the car swerved at the driveway, I saw Lyn with this bundle of fur, all covered with blood.

My Georgie passed on a few days after but I think she is in a better place now where there is no pain for her anymore…and all the tunas that she wanted, and loved.

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This is Baby, Sock’s mom. She was named something else as a little kitty as she was very sickly. The Malays have this believe that when the name is not suitable for that person/animal, they will get sick and eventually die…. I cant for the life of me remember what it was her real name but after a few weeks looking at how frail and sickly she was, we decided to change her name to that, Baby, as she was like a baby – needy, loved to be cuddled, bottle fed and slept on the bed.

She disappeared from home for a few days recently. The weather was not so good. It rained cats and dogs for one week straight and I was getting a little worried. I know how she liked to do nothing better than to curl up at her favourite corner, nice and warm, during cold rainy days. Baby came back soon after but I was in for a shock. She looked horrible. Skinny, with runny nose and extra mucus dripping from the side of her mouth. And she could hardly purr when I picked her up and stroked her neck gently, the way she liked it. The fluffy soft fur was gone.

Baby passed on a few days after. Now, her corner at the staircase landing is pretty much empty. The other kitties sometimes stopped by the place where she used to curl up, as if still seeing her there, all curled up and purring away.. 

How To Dig A Grave

The grave is for my cat, Killer. A real tomcat, with orangy spots all over his stout, strong 5kg body. Handsome boy.

You see, within a space of 2 weeks, 2 of my cats died. And today, just as I was about to lock the gate to the house I saw a cat lying in the middle of the road infront of our house. No mistake. It was Killer. Someone knocked him down. And there was so much blood. I broke down in the middle of the road oblivious to the traffic.

2 years ago, Killer was born to Tres, the tri-coloured pretty looking feline I had ever seen. Initially Killer was not named Killer. He had no name. He was fat, and fluffy, and playful. When he got bigger, about 6 months, he got naughtier. And that was when the nightmare started. At least for any newborn kittens in the house. Killer loves eating newborn kittens. Which brought our household into a state of anxiety everytime theres a pregnant mama cat in the house. We would keep the mama cat in a cage, inside a room. Away from him.

But sometimes Killer would managed to sneak in and eat the kittens. Thus his name.

As brutal as he may sounded, he was a loving cat to other cats in the house. Just not with the kittens. Maybe he felt territorial, I dont know.

We moved in into our current house early last year. Killer didnt want to be kept at home but preferred to roam around, hanging out at the housing estate, checking out other female felines who happened to be just behind the house, and would come back home for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Almost always on cue, he would perched just outside the cat house where we keep the rest of the cats, and waiting for his meals. On good days when his mood is a bit mellow, he would allow me to touch him and scratch his ears.

Well, I digged him a nice, comfortable grave in the garden at the back of the house. It measured about 3 ft x 3 ft, and deep enough so the rest of the cats would not dig into. I curled him into his favourite position, though the rigor mortis had set in and was a bit difficult. I stroked his chin, his body, his long tail. As if the other cats in the cat house knew what was going on and as if they also wanted to say goodbye, they lined up by the cat house. All 10 of them. Staring intently. As if saying goodby telephatically. Slowly I lowered him down. He looked as if he was sleeping if not for his smashed skull. I looked at my hands. I had blood stains on them. Even on my t shirt. I remembered I craddled him on the road. Dexter the white cat was next to me. Sniffing Killer’s body quietly and meowing in his soft voice as if asking me about him. Bits of earth were gathered around his body now. I slowly covered his lower body, then going up to cover the rest of him, and offering a silent prayer to my Killer.

May you have a great time playing catch in Cat Heaven, my Killer.