Feral cats are everywhere in Qatar. The story, I’m told, is that as Qatar developed feral cats were flown in from Egypt to keep the rat population under control. I’m not sure if this story is true, but it is a cool story! Since that time domestic cats have also become part of the feral population. There is a true difference though between the authentic feral, street cat and the domestic cat that either bred with a feral cat or was abandoned. The feral, street cats are wild. Truly wild. The cats with domestic blood have a ‘friendly’ gene, this gene is not to be seen in a true feral cat.
There are cat colonies everywhere. Here at our compound too. Michael and I have done our very best to keep blinders on to ignore the cats. It was a door we didn’t want to open because there are just so many cats….. how could you open your heart to one and not all of them…….
It becomes more difficult to ignore the cats when new litters of kittens appear each spring. And as nature goes, only the strong survive – especially in the blasting heat of summer. These wee little kitties meow for food as they are weaned off their mothers…..it can be heart breaking at times….. but the kitties here are generally lucky as they are surrounded by cat loving expats who put food out to help….
Michael and I were not part of the ‘feed the compound cats & kittens population’ because of our already mentioned blinders. Then one day last June, among the population of newly weaned kittens this wee little one started to follow us as we walked the dogs. This wee little kitten meowed as he followed us. This wee little kitten with a loud voice wanted to be heard. Wanted to be noticed, Wanted to be fed. Wanted a home.
This wee little kitten made it past our blinders.
That night we put food out for him. And that morning we did too. But the next day we left for Canada for 6 weeks. I was saddened, worried for the little kitten who was working so hard to find a home. Would he survive the summer heat?
When I returned in mid-August, I wondered if that persistent little kitten had survived the summer?
A few days passed. There was no sign of him.
On the third day he showed up! And never left……….
His first trip to the vet was a shock for him as he was poked with needles that started his vaccinations, pilled with a dewormer, treated for ear mites, an eye infection, and ring worm. The ring worm meant he couldn’t yet come into the villa. For at least three weeks. But he never left us. He stayed in our yard, slept either at the door or in a plant. We put a litter box out for him and he started using that (instead of our selection of plants minus the one he slept in!). Each morning he greeted us as we opened the door to go out and feed him and said good night as we topped up his food and closed the door leaving him outside. That was difficult to do. But necessary because of the ring worm.
The three weeks passed with success. His ring worm healed. Next was neutering! That took a bit longer, 2 more weeks, as his liver enzymes were high because of the ring worm medications. I was nervous he might spray in the villa so it was decided he would have to wait those 2 weeks outside again. But that two weeks didn’t go as planned as he started making his way into our hearts even more and into the villa…….
Then suddenly he was in our villa and became part of the family like he had always been here! The dogs are slowly adjusting. Marlow has the hardest time as she is pure terrier, her hunting nature wants to constantly chase the kitten!
His name? Well, we decided on Bob. But I would like an Arabic name because he is our Middle East cat! Bob just seems so….plain! LoL!! He is such a social, playful little kitten who wanted a home and claimed us as his own. He seems so much more deserving of an interesting name!
Well, Bob is here to stay and because of Bob, Michael and I are now part of the ‘feed the compound cat colony’ population and are very happy to do so!!
Bob watching the birds at the feeder!
Bob enjoying his new covered litter box! He went in and just hung out for a while!! LoL!!
He is 100% an indoor cat, but he still enjoys coming outside with me once and a while when I water the plants!
Just like the dogs, Bob is food motivated!!
He truly is a good kitten who seems grateful for his new home…….