Sunday, 18 January 2015

Unlucky kitten

It was early morning, I used to workout sometime up in the terrace, it so happened that day that when I was doing some warming up, a faint chirping sound started pinching my ears. I thought it was some rats and got scared, then after some time there it was, a tiny little kitten. Maybe it was just a day or two old. I was excited to see it, and I started to meow to him, he started to meow back continuously. After sometime, I thought maybe its thinking his mother is back and he is really hungry to have breakfast. But I was little worried too.

The day went by, and later I came to know from my mom that there were actually 3 of those kittens just few days back there. She hadn't told me about it, because she knew I would spend my whole day going there. But now I knew and started worrying me in that if the mother cat took two of her kittens, then why is this one left behind? Or maybe just that the mother was waiting for a right time to secretly transfer him during night in the cover of darkness. I thought by tomorrow, he would be gone. With the rising sun of the next day, I went to see there, and then there he was still lying alone, the tiny little kitten. He looked skinny than the day before. I tried to feed some milk with help of cotton cloth, but got really little success with it. I was completely inexperienced. I thought maybe, the mother cat was inexperienced too. I found this in google, while doing research. Some inexperienced female cat who is just going to rear her first litter might sometime leave her weakest kitten to lower her burden just because she is suddenly pressurized with so many kittens to feed for the first time. If this kitten is really orphan, then he is certainly going to die. I did not want that to happen.

I told my mom, I am going to see until next day and if its still there, then I am going to take him in, and try to do what I cam to save him. I started doing more research. I came to know then cow milk is not suitable for cats, especially kittens. There were no groceries that sell cat foods in Nepal. I went to buy a feeding bottle, but only found the one for human babies. I bought it. Next day again, the kitten was still there and even more skinny. I took him down into my room for some warm environment. I tried to feed him milk with the bottle but the nipple was too big. Then again used a cotton cloth to suckle him. At times, he used to suckle my fingers, I used to feel wonderful and at the same time sad knowing that he is thinking its his mother's nipple. I started realizing he is not urinating or defecating. Again after researching, I came to know that kittens need to be stimulated for that. In the wild, their mothers would lick their genitals to stimulate them to defecate, so we could use a towel cloth soaked in warm water (body temperature) to imitate their mother's tongue and rub their genitals gently to stimulate it. He did urinate, I was relieved, but he was not defecating. It seemed like it was going to come, but then it just stops there. It got me too worried, I just felt that I am really inexperienced and was not sure if I really can help this tiny little helpless kitten.

Next day, he was looking lot better than the previous day. His tummy was looking full, looked to me like he was healthy. I was happy. I fed him, then started making him defecate, but the same problem. He was urinating however, I thought it was fine. That day too passed and I thought that I might be able to see him open his eyes one day soon. The next day, scenario seemed completely different. The kitten used to show active movements and sweet meowing vocals those previous days, but this day he was very slow, inactive, silent. I was too scared. I tried feeding him again. He was not taking milk actively. I tried defecating him, and again unsuccessful. I could not help myself and ran looking for some animal clinics. I found one at New baneshwor, but they seemed to just know nothing about cats. They just told me feed him cow milk, and they even didn't seem to know anything regarding defecation procedure for kittens. I came home, discussed with my mom, thought of taking him to animal hospital. It was just too late, the office hours were already passing, but still I had no hopes that even they would know something about kittens. Because in Nepal, cats are not as popular as dogs in terms of pets. People just know very little about cats as pets, rather they are seen as pests most of the time. I was really really worried, I even had not met my then girlfriend for almost a week, and had quarrel with her for not giving her time because of the kitten-care. Well, I just didn't care of anything else at that time than of the kitten. My full dedication was on the kitten. I needed to save him. I wanted to save him. I wanted him to open his eyes next week. I wanted him to grow. I wanted him to be a cat one day. Unfortunately these dreams I saw for him never turned true. I cannot express about the feelings I had to go through that day after I came back from the clinic. Because if I do, then it would be really impossible to explain it here in short words. All I can say is I cried so long for almost an hour or more. He had taken his last breathe around 9pm that day in my palm, I even tried to do mouth-mouth resuscitation. He was already cold. I had seen somebody die infront of my eyes for the first time in my life. I cried wildly, didn't had any food that day. Then wrapped him nicely with some cloths and kept him in his box. I don't remember how I spent that night. It was darkest night for me.

Me and my mom went to a river bank early next morning, and buried him there. We kept some flowers and I prayed for his departed soul to rest in eternal cat heaven. I felt really sorry that I could not help save his life. I thought I did a huge sin in my life by not being able to save his life. God had given me the chance to do it, but I was just too weak to fulfill that job. I still remember that poor little kitten I loved so much like my own child. Though for just few days, he had already left an important place deep in my heart. I always remember him as my sweet little child.

The following night when I took the kitten in the first day, I had heard howls of cat for long time. I had thought it might be his mom, it was sounding like how lionesses calls for their lost cubs. Thought had came in my mind to put up the kitten out in the corridor, but then again, if its not his mom, that cat might just try to kill him, infanticide. I was just scared and too confused. Or maybe it was just my very greed that let all this happen. I just can't say anything. I just didn't knew what was right thing to do, because it all seemed so confused to me. If the mother was really coming for him, then why was he not shifted with other kittens? Many things circling my mind like a whirlwind of confusions and scary nightmares. I just didn't keep the kitten out because I thought the cat might not be his mom, and it might kill him or the kitten might just feel too cold outside and maybe die even. But if any of these decisions were wrong, I really blame on me for all this. I blame myself for taking his life. I don't know what to say. The kitten was just too unlucky I think and I was just too inexperienced or greedy.

I don't want anything as such to happen again. I would study these wonderful creatures one day and try to understand them better, and do my best to make their life wonderful. I have dream to do something for such helpless stray cats or orphaned feral/stray kittens. I don't want to see another kitten to die helplessly in front of me just because I didn't know better about them, and couldn't do my best. I will study these cats, small cats, big cats, wild cats, domestic cats, all cats. This is my life desire. I have always been fascinated by them since my childhood because I really really was scared of these little ferals that roamed our cities. They were just too fierce looking predator and they really are such. Cats are the ultimate predator any ecosystem has, be it jungles, grasslands, rainforests, swamp-lands, mountains, deserts or even urbans. They are just wonderful creations of nature. We should definitely conserve all cats that are facing threats due to ever increasing habitat destruction, encroachment, poaching, hunting, illegal trade, conflicts.

Admire the beauty of nature, don't desire it. Conserve all endangered cats. They are wonderful. Nature is just wonderful due to them.

Rest in peace my little kitten! I am really sorry I could not save you! If possible, please forgive me!


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