6.14.2012

my little friends.


(please excuse cell phone photo + video.
this covert operation doesn't allow cameras + fancy lenses!)


Normally I'm not a morning person. But lately 5:30am is my favorite time of day. I wake up at 3am, and watch the clock...just waiting for 5am. Because every morning at 5:30am, Gabe and I put on our shoes and head down the rickety elevator, with a bag full of bottled water and cat food, because...

...it turns out stray kitty is a girl...and a mama to five adorable baby kittens! You can just about imagine all the squealing, clapping and excited tears that came from me, as we counted them in the dark, upon finding them this weekend.

At first, they were scrawny, lethargic and barely responded to our presence. Mama cat, who I've named Amala...Arabic meaning "hope...was so tiny, we worried she wasn't producing enough milk for five kittens. But after six days of square meals for mama + kittens, they're much more playful and alert. We've watched them for the past week, and guess the kittens are five to six weeks old.

Our biggest task has been checking on them multiple times a day, without others seeing it. Because here's the thing: strays aren't looked on kindly in Kuwait. Poisoning stray dogs + cats is common practice, widely used even in parks and public places, and animal abuse is quite high here. (Read here or here if you can handle it.) So, our biggest fear is that our frequent trips down the elevator and past the apartment manager's window (yes, he lives in one room off the lobby...present 24/7....it's tough to sneak past him over and over!) and into the secluded tree-filled courtyard will lead to our kittens being discovered, taken from their mama...or worse. Therefore, we always keep a wad of "hush money" in our pocket. Just incase we're stopped...we plan to buy his silence.

But, we've agreed that if we see anyone messing with our kitties, we'll take this covert operation one step further and quietly move them all into our apartment until the kittens are old enough to be separated from mama. We don't hang around long, lest we draw attention to them. Just long enough to clean up their little nest, retrieve food containers and top off their water.

Oh, and obviously long enough for me to shoot a few videos. This little orange tabby is quickly becoming one of my favorites. :)

video


So, on to the biggest question: should we adopt one in a few weeks, when it's ready to separate from mama? :)

23 comments:

  1. Yes! Yes! I mean, I understand the position of not wanting to adopt, and I'd even consider it fair, but after reading about the situation where you are at, and how strays are not seen kindly, I imagine there's not even a humane society to take them in? I'd definitely be adopting all of them and get them all (including the mom) neutered.

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  2. Yes! Definitely adopt one...otherwise you'll probably regret not doing so, and wonder why you didn't do it.

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  3. Yes!

    Oh, they are so cute. The human, mom side of me says yes. The practical, logical side of me says--heck no! I love how playful these little guys are.

    What do you think you're going to do? Is it legal? Could you get them shots? I can't wait to hear what you decide to do!

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  4. i told you if you told gabe about the high rate of animal abuse he'd give in! who wouldn't? definitely take in a kitty. that little orange one is adorable!

    hannah

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  5. This is so sweet! And yes, you absolutely should adopt one when you can!

    xoxo,
    Joelle

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  6. Yes! Absolutely adopt one! Could you maybe put collars on the others so they don't look like strays? Can't imagine how hard it would be to let them go and have to worry about what might happen to them... Love that you're taking care of them!

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  7. I'm not trying to be the Debbie downer here (you know I completely endorse kitty (and bunny) love to the fullest extent) but if you plan on adopting one I would check on how difficult it would be to get it back to the states or another country you plan on going to. It may not be that hard as I don't think they have Rabies there but I know to get a cat from the US to Dublin takes a 6 month quarantine where you can only visit them once a week.

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  8. @Mary: Such a valid point! We've been totally torn for all the logical reasons. I told Gabe that getting a kitten home was one of my biggest fears! Not to mention that the trip home is a brutal length of time. (28-30 hours, if everything goes smoothly.) The thought of a kitten (well, cat by that time) being alone + in transit that long...sad.

    So, we're planning to do some research, and also looking into finding a decent vet here to get their shots + get them fixed, if possible.

    I think the knee jerk reaction (Western mentality!) is to just adopt them all. But long term, we might only be here a year or two. And we might take a job in another country.

    So, we've got some thinking to do! :)

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  9. They are absolutely adorable!! I would say to adopt one, but...there are those logical reasons that pop up into your head and you wanna do what's best for them ultimately! Hopefully somewhere in the research you'll find a loop hole, you can always say cat is a therapy pet and try to take it on board with you ;)

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  10. Bethany!!! Kittens are good for the soul and I know that the logistics are quite hard to look past, but I think you'd be a wonderful kitten mommy and it may make you feel better about all the transitions. Love the video... thanks for sharing! :)

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  11. oh my goodness!
    so cute! and lucky you've found them!

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  12. Oh, this warms my animal-loving heart! No matter what you decide, it's so kind of you & Gabe to help them as long as you can.

    p.s. I've had two orange tabbies- they're the BEST!

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  13. Thank you for taking care of those furry little creatures! It warms my heart to know they have a chance at surviving because of the two of you! <3

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  14. OUI OUI OUI YES YES SI SI SI !!!! xx

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  15. Bethany - those kittens are adorable and you are an angel for taking care of them. The best thing you can do for them is find a way to get them spayed & neutered (and the mom, as well.) That will prevent the kittens from having litters of their own. Hopefully you can find a vet nearby!

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  16. Such precious kitties! Good for you guys for taking care of them!
    We have 2 rescue dogs, and have had good luck with the vets at Royal Animal Hospital by Friday Market, next to the Avenues. Next door to RAH is Al Dohama, another animal hospital. I've also heard good things about International Veterinary Hospital.
    The sad truth with strays is that those who aren't adopted see going to spend their lives eating out of trash cans and at the mercy of

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    Replies
    1. Ok, not sure what's going on - anyway, I was going to suggest PAWS or K's PATH for the kitties you don't keep - as far as I know they're no-kill shelters who take in strays. Both have websites and FB pages. Good luck to you all!

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  17. I am not a cat person at all, but these kittens are so so cute! It makes me sad that someone would want to hurt them!

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  18. Yes, I would adopt one. Who wouldn't wanna take in one of those adorable kitties? I wouldn't say no to those faces :-)

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  19. I love kittens and it breaks my heart to see them living as strays on the streets of Kuwait. Of course you should adopt one and call PAWS. :)

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  20. They are adorable. And adopting one or two could certainly make Kuwait feel more like home.

    Two could be fun, because then they'd have each other to play with. At least in my experience, they tend to socialize better as kittens when you have more than one. They will learn not to bite, etc.

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