Adopt don’t shop
How many times in life can a cat be abandoned and left on the streets? Well in Bob’s case we know it is at least twice.
We believe he started life as a pet, however when his owners left the compound Bob was put outside and left to fend for himself. He then befriended some people who had moved into the compound and lived with them; he had his own bed inside and food in his belly. Then they left the compound and poor old Bob ended up back on the streets yet again!
He then turned up on my doorstep because he was hungry and needed a friend; unfortunately I already have two cats (one who isn’t friendly with other cats) so he couldn’t come inside but providing some food for him was the least I could do. But Bob needs and deserves a home of his own, he sits looking in through our patio doors crying to come in – it is just heart-breaking. If I sit outside he comes and curls up on my lap!
Unfortunately Bob has tested positive for FIV, so he urgently needs a loving indoor home where he is the only cat (he doesn’t share well). FIV cats can live long happy lives but do need to be in a protective indoor environment – not in a garden with the extreme 50 degree heat in Qatar in the summer.
I just wish someone could finally give Bob his happy ending, he can’t stay on the streets. In Qatar it is so difficult to find good forever homes for rescues, even the rescue centres abroad that I have contacted have been reluctant because of the FIV; it makes cats harder to home, they then have to spend longer in the shelter which obviously translates to costing more. The timing isn’t great either because of COVID, when the centres are struggling because of lack of funds.
He isn’t the most handsome, he has a swirly broken looking tail and a very low meow as if he has a sore throat but he is the most loving sweet guy around. He is only about 2 years old, he loves to chase a ping pong ball around the garden.
We don’t know how much longer we will be in Qatar but we are not going to add ourselves to the list of people who gave up on him and drove away. Therefore we have started the RATT process (rabies antibody titration test), which would then allow him into the UK without quarantine but this process sadly takes time, at least 4 months. In the meantime I have been introduced to a new contact and we are looking at the possibility of him going to America, which is a much quicker process. I have everything crossed that this might work out and I will be writing a happy update soon. I just hope that someone will finally give him the home he deserves, he just wants a chance.
In Qatar, we have a lot of sad animal cases, if you follow some of the rescue groups you would pull your hair out and not know where to start! Personally, I try to stick to TNR (Trap Neuter Return) as that is about prevention but of course, working on the streets means you come across cases who need help and numerous dumped pets. This latest case though I didn’t find on the streets but saw on a popular Qatar facebook page…should never look at them!
Zima was abandoned by her owner, the owner moved away leaving Zima behind at the house where she had been living. The people who were sharing the property didn’t want a cat and they certainly didn’t want a cat who then gave birth to three kittens! They put an advert on a Facebook site offering the kittens for free – literally just go and pick one up, as if they were toys! The kittens were only about a 1 week old and still feeding from mum; as these are cute Persian kittens plus offered for free, loads of people responded saying they wanted a kitten and would go and get one. I read the post with horror seeing the photographs showing newly born kittens and quickly responded saying the kittens were far too young to give away, the person replied saying they were giving them away because they couldn’t afford to feed them, at which point I offered to bring them food but please not to give the kittens away.
A heartbreaking visit to the family to give the food saw the reality of where mum and kittens were living and how they were really not wanted; mum looked so sad and was so so thin but such a good mum, her kittens looked healthy and she was very protective of them hiding them under a kitchen cabinet to try and keep them safe. I was devastated to have to leave them there but had nowhere to take them having my own cats and a new rescue at home.
Following a sleepless night worrying about them I received a text message the next day from the people saying they simply couldn’t keep them, unfortunately, the food hadn’t bought the family time. I desperately contacted a fellow cat rescuer asking if she could help find a foster home but I literally needed it in the next few hours! She performed a miracle and found a wonderful foster home for the whole family. Now that they had somewhere safe to go I drove across town to collect the family, on arrival there it was almost like the mother cat knew help had finally come, on placing the carrier down mother cat calmly walked in it and sat down, as if she sensed a better life was just around the corner.
A visit to the vet confirmed that the kittens were all in good health but mum was in a very poor state. She had a vitamin injection but couldn’t be vaccinated because she was just too weak. It was also discovered she has hardly any teeth, therefore must have been really struggling to eat at all. However, they were given the all clear to move into the foster home. Thankfully she also tested negative for FIV.
Zima (Slavic for winter), as she was named by her foster mum, and her family moved into 5-star accommodation! Their very own room with fleece blankets and soft food that mum could eat. They must have thought they had landed in paradise!
Paradise is where they still are but the next challenge is finding good homes for them and covering all the veterinary costs of 4 cats – spaying, vaccination, antibiotics, worming etc. Good homes in Qatar are hard to come by and that is putting it mildly. A lot of rescuers ship abroad to America or the UK in the search for forever homes, an extremely expensive option! I hope it won’t come to that, divorce will be in the air soon as my long-suffering husband hears about the next cat rescue problem but we just can’t ignore the plight of the animals around us and help where we can.
A happy update – all three kittens have been adopted by Canadian families, lucky babies will one day end up in Canada, a far cry from where they started life. Mum is getting her happy ending too and flying to America.