Just when the bird rescues were over, a new influx of kittens flooded Kitzania. By the end of Ramadhan, I received a call from my friend Joseph, who’d found a litter of five kittens at his workplace without a mother. Not sure what to do, he moved them to a safe corner in the building in case the mother showed up.
The next morning, three kittens were missing and the two left were hiding. He took them home but couldn’t keep them as he had a business trip the next day.
I offered to shelter them but asked him first to take them to the vet to know their age (I was praying hard that they weren’t babies who needed bottle feeding, my worst nightmare). Thankfully, my prayers were answered and the kittens were a month old exactly.
Joseph dropped the tiny beings at my house that evening and I had to put them in the cage to protect them from the bigger cats. I named them Farhan (happy) and Marha (welcome). They were hyper and blended fast with the younger cats. It was almost Eid time when my Russian neighbour found me feeding the dogs in the wadi. She was leaving for good and had a tiny problem: the black kitten she’d been feeding for months. She had no place to leave her as the person who promised to take her in never showed up nor answered their phone. Would it be okay to bring her to Kitzania? And how could I refuse?!
The black kitten was brought in a transparent box as the lady’s carrier was broken. She was skinny and had a tilted head as if pondering life’s most difficult questions. She let me pat her but obviously was the shy type. The neighbour shared her story: the kitten was stuck in their car engine for hours and they had to bring the mechanic to remove a few parts and free her -hence the tilted head and the hairless patches on her side. I announced that she’d be called Rusiya (Russian) in honour of her owner. The neighbour left her with the box and a big bag of dry food. Rusiya was shocked by the number of cats surrounding her as it was supper time. I fed her and she vanished for two days before coming back again. She decided to stay in the office in front of us and only come to Kitzania at feeding time. Time passed and Rusiya got used to the cats and decided that Kitzania wasn’t a bad place to stay after all. It was that time when the third litter of kittens arrived in our house. This time they were from the neighbours and delivered in a huge box of Rainbow milk. There were two at the time- a black and a ginger- almost one month old. I decided to put them in the cage with Farhan and Marha in case their mother came searching. It was early morning of the next day when the third kitten started meowing loudly. She was hiding under the plant pot when I found her siblings. She joined them at 4 am after half an hour of trying to locate her! Luckily enough, they were at the eating stage and devoured the food I’d given them. Their mother arrived two days later (none but the uncatchable Borsa!). She’d spent the night in front of the cage and the next morning the family were happily united again! For three weeks, the five kittens suffered from recurring flu but now are well. Kitzania welcome its new arrivals!
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja. firstname.lastname@example.org