The great rescue of Khammas

While minding my own business on Thursday night — I’m sure you know by now where this is heading, dear reader — I heard a kitten meowing in distress. It was a typical scenario where a mother cat would go to feed and her kittens panic by her sudden disappearance.
However, the meowing continued with the same persistence and without a mother meowing back to comfort. So, I decided to step out to investigate further.
At the gate, I assessed that the sound was coming from the neighbour’s house right opposite of ours. The house was occupied by a group of Asian women working in a nearby spa. As I stood planning further action, a group of my strays were already assembling at my feet led by the eldest cat in the garden: Saleemo, the tailless cat.
The Kitzania emissary — led by me followed by ten cats and kittens — crossed the street to the house. The main gate was opened and as I peeked inside, I realised that the sound was coming from above. As I lifted my gaze up, I saw a ginger kitten of two months locked in the first-floor balcony (a flower box more like it).
The kitten kept pacing left and right trying to escape the narrow space. My accompanying cats decided to sit and watch closely in a bored interest that only cats are capable of. The windows were without curtains, so it was easy to conclude that the ladies
were in. I rang the bell and stood in the dark waiting for someone to answer.
One of them came to the door and peered out. It was too dark to see so I shouted: “Hi! I’m your neighbour! Please open the door!”. There was a sudden locomotion—with the first lady running back and someone else coming forward to take a peek — while I stood in the dark repeating the same message.
Now the locomotion changed into shouting as more ladies came forward to glance over without opening the door. I understood at once what was happening.
From their position, all the ladies could see was a bunch of cats sitting in their garden accompanied by my voice declaring that it was their neighbour and asking them to open the door! The door opened eventually when I stepped into the light and waved my hand. Pointing at the balcony, I questioned if they’re aware of the kitten locked and meowing upstairs.
The lady denied at once having any animals at home. I suggested that she comes forward to see for herself. She was surprised by the sight of the panicking ginger kitten. I asked if it was okay to step in and rescue the kitten, to which she gladly agreed.
I went upstairs and it was impossible to catch the super stressed-out kitten. Luckily, I spotted our cleaner passing by the street and shouted to him to come upstairs and help me. But he made it worst by announcing loudly that he was here to the rescue, which agitated the kitten even more (typical male attitude!).
Finally, I decided to go home and get a cage to trap it. As I came out with the cage in hand, I saw him returning with a big smile and the kitten scruffed by the neck! The kitten’s delicate features and eye colours were that of a half breed. We called him Khammas as he was rescued on a Thursday.
How he reached the balcony — with no trees around — will always be a mystery (I came up with two tree-free theories so far!). Nevertheless, welcome to Kitzania Khammas!
Rasha al Raisi is a certified skills trainer and the author of: The World According to Bahja.