Last Wednesday afternoon I was working at the kitchen counter with a window overlooking the courtyard, when a security guard arrived carrying a ginger cat. He asked if it was my cat. Ginger was fast asleep on the diningroom chair so I said, no, it's not my cat. As I took the cat (which was hanging limply in his hands), I realised that it was a very, very young kitten, very thin with a dirty, tick infested coat. Can anyone, reading this post, guess what I did next? Returned the cat to the guard and said: "Take it back to where you found it" ?
I thanked the guard, carried the cat into the house and placed it on the floor in the spare room. Back in the kitchen, I diluted a bowl of milk with warm water, filled another with dried fish and carried the meal to the room. As I put it down in front of the kitten, as small as it was, it growled ferociously and within a few seconds, gobbled, first the milk and then the dry food. Then it leapt onto a louvred window pane and glared into the passage. When I went out, I found two very inquisitive, but jumpy cats peering through the interior windows and mosquito gauze between the passage and bedroom.
Shadow and Ginger staring at the new apparition in the house
When Shadow is afraid or nervous, his tail becomes bushy and doubles in size. Take a look...
I removed as many ticks as I could from the kitten. Then it curled up on the bed and where I'd placed a few toys. A full tummy, no parasites drawing blood and a warm, dry place to sleep. What more could a kitten ask for?
The next morning, I bathed the kitten, towel-dried her (we think it's a female) and put her on a dry towel in front of the window. The sun streamed into the room and soon the kitten was warming up and licking herself. In my experience, this is always a good sign. It shows the cat is taking an interest in its personal hygiene.
A bedraggled - but clean - kitty
In my experience, a cat that cleans itself is a cat that's interested in its personal hygiene
Clean, dry and settled into the Hedges 5* Kitty Hotel
Grant and I are speculating about the cat's pale ginger colouring and her darker markings. It's an absolute no-brainer that somewhere along the line, Ginger's genes had a part in this little cat's being. Ginger was neutered on 28th February this year and this kitten is younger than six weeks. So he's not the father. Perhaps the Grand-pappy? Ironically, although Shadow has taken to the kitten, Ginger has definitely not. Strange...
These days, as I walk up the long passage in my Kenyan home, I can see a cat in each of the three bedrooms. Each cat asleep on its own double bed.
The new kitten in the second guest room
Ginger in the first guest room
Shadow asleep on our bed in the main bedroom
What a life; what a world to live in if you're a cat!
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