Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Kenyan Cats

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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  1. Of course I knew you would take in the poor lost kitty. You had 3 beds. Obviously, you were in need of a 3rd cat to fill it!

  2. Cute little kitty, Jo.... You truly do run a Kitty Hotel... BUT--you cannot take in another one---unless you start adding more and more bedrooms... ha ha


  3. I knew you wouldn't have chosen the first response. Yet you are sure to run out of private bedrooms soon. It's/she's adorable, as kittens usually are. I'll bet Shadow is thinking "new friend" while Ginger is thinking about two teenagers running around the house. You are blessed.

  4. Ah yes, the Hedges Cattery in Kenya. LOL
    Absolutely love it, Jo, especially the fact that Ginger's grand-kitty or great-grand-kitty showed an interest in her personal appearance and is now pretty as a picture. And each has its own room, although Shadow has to share with you and Grant. LOL
    If I come to visit, do I get to choose between Ginger and the grandkitty?
    (Sure wish I could, but it's just not on for this year. How long are you going to be there?)
    Luv — K

    Kay, Alberta, Canada
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  5. What a wonderful story, Jo. Now you will need to name your new baby! Super pictures, each so expressive of the moment. I really admire you for taking this on, but it does not surprise me in the least! Huge hug, Des xoxo

  6. What a sweetie, Jo! You are such a wonderfully loving person and how fortunate these kitties are to have found you and Grant! Love your photos!! Hope your week is off to a great start! Enjoy!


  7. What an interesting tale. I wonder where the kitty came from? It does seem like Ginger might be the grandpappy.

  8. Very blessed kitten to have been placed in your hands, Jo!

  9. How totally unexpected for you to take in a dirty, parasite infested stray! Oops, remove tongue from cheek . . .

    What a pretty kitty is is. How could any sensible person resist it? I love the photo of your wet-cat and the others outside the door. They were probably a little concerned in case the mother suddenly attacked them.

    Congratulations on your newest family member. You have one in every bedroom, we used to have one for every day of the week.

  10. what a lucky kitten to land on your doorstep
    looks like it's a cats world at your place :)

  11. What a wonderful story.
    You've gotten a reputation, I think, with the locals. That's one lucky kitty!
    Margaret and Mandu

  12. Thank God he was brought to You Jo!!! She's SO PRETTY!!
    What's her name going to be???

  13. There was no chance that you would not have taken it in:-) Glad to see that it is now a happy kitty and that it settles down well. My husband is allergic to cats so sadly it is one animal I cannot have in the house:-( Diane

  14. Hehehe ! when I started to read, I knew alread the end, lol !
    From an ugly little duck you made a beautiful swan ! the kitty is real cute and has a strange color indeed. To remove ticks, put simple kitchen oil on a cotton, put press it on the tick, they suffocate and you can take them off very easily. My Grandma's recepe !

  15. The cats are lucky to have their own bedrooms. The new kitty is really lucky to have found you.

  16. Oh how sweet, Jo! I have done exactly the same thing myself on occassion...who could turn away an animal in need? I'm still heartbroken at losing my boy Oreo last month, but am telling myself to be content with one cat and one dog, and adopt no more. However, strays do seem to find us, so I guess it's never say never...LOL!

    Even though it's the middle of July here, today is gray, rainy and cold and I find myself thinking of that lovely African sun baking into my bones.

    Hope you're having a wonderful week...:)


  17. Hi Jo!
    You certainly are a kitty magnet! What a cute little kitten and how lucky to have found you :)
    I'm so sorry that I've not been around very much lately.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend.
    ☼ Sunny


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