Sunday, August 30, 2009
The food I had left for Joanie was eaten up, but only in two places, so I will concentrate on these two spots now.
I did not see Joanie anywhere. But I saw the three Joanie look-alikes.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
The food I had left at the three spots yesterday evening had been eaten. I'd like to think it was Joanie who had come to eat it. I hope it is... I placed food there again, in those three spots.
I went inside the drains to search too, but she was no where to be found.
Friday, August 28, 2009
There are two cats who look very much like Joanie in the alley. They are also grey tabbies with white paws, but on closer scrutiny, it's not her.
I ended up feeding some stray cats.
My daughter, who is taking a course in vet pharmacy, asked her lecturer about Joanie's case, and the lecturer said Joanie is probably feeling much better - that is why she left. He also said it is probable her infection has cleared and she does not need antibiotics anymore.
That's comforting to hear.
So, I'm glad Indy has taken Suki under his wing now. The two are sparring partners! They play together so well.
Indy really has the kindest heart I've ever seen. And so has Vixey, actually. For this, I am thankful.
I went out yesterday morning but did not spot Joanie at all. I did leave dry food in three places and these were untouched when I checked on my way back.
Then, I was out the whole day so I didn't get the check again in the evening.
It has been truly a very busy week. Busy, but productive. Remember that death comes anytime, so while we are still alive, we ought to make full use of this time and do everything we can.
Coincidentally, I gave a talk about Gratitude to the IMU students on Wednesday, and I told them we can be thankful no matter what happens, if we choose to see the positive side to any situation. There is always a silver lining behind every cloud and thunderstorm.
The No Plastic Bag Bazaar is just around the corner (on 31st August). I hope you will find some time to come support us. This would be our first secular (big) event. I'm given a speaking slot at 5pm, towards the end of the event.
And next week onwards, you won't be hearing much from me, especially in the mornings, because my college semester will begin again, and I've been give a packed-to-the-brim timetable to manage. Teaching calculus for 22 hours a week! Is that humanly possible? Well, I'll just have to do my very best.
I like Yoda's famous quote: Do. Or do not. There is no try.
So, let's just DO it. Don't try. Just do it!
Thursday, August 27, 2009
I left dry food in three places where she was sighted. On the way back, the food was untouched.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
After coming back from Mayo with Maria's cat, Hong Yee brought Aunty Kiew and before I reached home, Aunty Kiew had already spotted Joanie. This time she was on my road but one block down.
According to Aunty Kiew, Joanie saw her, and ran off.
We looked around further, but it started to rain. Quite heavily too. Aunty Kiew left some kibbles but I know the neighbourhood cats would quickly munch it all off.
I guess (and hope) Joanie would be able to find food, somehow.
There are lots of kind people in my neighbourhood, and some houses leave food out for the stray cats.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Then, we all went back to my house and had a drink.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
That's Pole, Cow and Bunny helping me search this evening. The last photo shows the drain into the corner house where I saw Joanie dash in twice. I think she has found her space in there.
Of course the vet was surprised, and we talked at length. We both finally came to the conclusion that it is Joanie's decision on what kind of a life she wants.
The vet told me we had already done everything possible for Joanie, and the comforting thing he said was this: "She must be feeling great since she wants to be on her own again."
Yes, I hope so too.
Last night, I emailed one of my friends in Singapore who is a medical doctor and also a cat-lover (he taught me about TNRM). He said something very wise when I said I was worried since Joanie is supposed to be still on antibiotics: "Sometimes the body immune system is better than antibiotics and keeping in a stressed environment may be more detrimental to her health." Now, that is also comforting to hear.
It also made me realise that while we humans think Joanie is better off sitting on a soft towel in a cage, she may be so uncomfortable and stressed because this is not the life she wants or is used to. Maybe to her, sitting inside a drain is a luxury, being free to roam is a luxury.
Even my own Cow and Bunny, who get to sleep on the bed and sofa, sometimes prefer sitting on the hot tar road under a car, or in the drain. They actually like it.
It is just like what a vet used to tell me, that statistically, zoo animals live longer than animals in the wild, but are the zoo animals happy? Sure, they have food and shelter, but are they happy?
It all boils down to present-moment living and the quality of life.
It is not how long we live, but what kind of life we lead, moment-to-moment.
So, where are you now, Joanie? Wherever you are, be happy.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Ever since going missing, I think I saw Joanie thrice today. I was very sure it was her the first time in the morning, but the next two times, I'm not that sure. However, from her movements, I'm quite convinced that it was her.
I went out again just now, to look for her. I thought being nocturnal, she might come out at night. Throughout the day, in all the times that I saw her, she was inside the drain, never once on the road.
Maybe she wants to be in the "wild" again, and sleeping on a blanket inside a cage just isn't her cup of tea.
My daughter kept Suki company just now, and we brought down two soft toys for her. Now, she is fast asleep inside the big cage - Joanie's home ever since coming back from the hospital.
Tomorrow morning, I have to give a talk. This won't be the first time I'd have to put on a brave front for the audience and deliver a public talk again.
I wonder now, if Joanie is inside that drain (in that corner house), because I caught a glimpse of her using that route TWICE today. She would go along the big drain and turn right into this smaller drain (within the compound of the corner house). Maybe she has found herself a "home" there and is comfortable. I certainly hope so.
My friend from the Spore Community Cats advised me to think of Joanie having an exciting adventure now. He says worrying does not help and he is absolutely right.
So I should not pour my emotions out here - no use going there.
I figured the only way to console myself is to accept the fact that Joanie needed my help when her life was hanging by the thread and when she needed nursing care. Now that she is well enough, she has decided to return to her feral life, and I should be able to let her go.
Just as I'm writing this, Aunty Kiew text me to ask about Joanie. Call it good or bad timing, I don't know. I have not heard from Aunty Kiew for quite long now. So I told her what had happened.
Aunty Kiew merely said, "Oh, so naughty!" And she told me Joanie sometimes would disappear too, over in Old Klang Road. Then she said, "Ahh...she is a stray, that's the way they behave."
I guess Joanie enjoys the feral life. And Aunty Kiew said if I could catch Joanie, perhaps I should bring her back to Old Klang Road and let her have her old life again.
One day at a time, I suppose.
Be safe, Joanie, wherever you are now (I hope you are in that drain, safe and sound, and dry).
She behaved in the same way this afternoon as well.
Assuming that it is Joanie, at least I know she is near.
I've consulted friends to ask for ideas on how I might be able to get her to come home. Putting food out won't help at all because my cats would instantly eat it all up. I don't know what else to do now.
We took Suki down the road again just now, but Joanie did not appear.
It is already getting dark now.
She's been in my house for more than 2 weeks now, and on the first five days, I was with her for many hours in the hospital. She knows her name and she knows me.
Poor Suki is sleeping against the router now, for warmth.
We have even taken Suki down the road twice already, hoping her mewing would attract Joanie out of her hiding place.
Polar, Cow, Bunny and Tiger (all my senior cats) followed me on my rounds.
Where are you, Joanie?
I hope she will come back when she is hungry. I just gave her a treat of canned mackerel this morning and she loved it very much.
I must have looked into all the boxes and under the beds more than ten times today, each time, hoping...I might see Joanie peeping out at me.
Just now, Tiger accompanied me on the hunt. Cow and Bunny are aware of what is going on. I wish they could speak, then they would be able to tell me where Joanie is, or if she has just decided to go for a day out.
Perhaps Joanie is sick and tired of sitting in the house. Perhaps she is sick of being force-fed the antiobiotics. Perhaps she knows she has healed and she knows she does not need the medication anymore.
I don't know why she ran away.
I hope it is just for a day out, and she will return for food later in the evening.
Wherever you are, Joanie, please be safe and happy.
If you prefer to be a feral cat as you were before, I can understand and respect that. But be safe, please.
I know there are at least two more tabbies on the road (they are Tiger's friends) so I wasn't sure if it was Joanie. I called her name, and the cat looked in my direction. She was inside the drain, but under the driveway of a house, so it was too dark for me to know for sure if it was Joanie.
I called several times, and she looked in my direction. When I approached her, she would move further away.
As I was alone, there was nothing much I could do except to wait, and I used my handphone to call my daughter to come and help. Perhaps we could block off the drain on both ends and "corner" her until she comes out.
My daughter was still asleep and did not hear the phone.
I must have stayed in the drain for 15-20 minutes. The cat looked at me and did not budge.
Finally, I decided to quickly run home and get my daughter.
We got a can of mackerel and got into both ends of the drain. The cat was still there. My daughter shone a torchlight at her, but still, we could not be sure if it was Joanie.
Knowing a cat has tremendous patience, I decided to crawl into the drain and get her while my daughter would block off the other end.
The drain was incredibly slimy and very narrow, and I could barely get in. I was on my hands and knees and there was rough concrete debris, animal faeces and "other things".
I must have crawled about 4 m into the drain when I encountered pieces of wood supporting the pavement above from collapsing. These pieces of wood hampered me as it made the space half the size now, and I could barely get through.
I had to use my hands to clear off the cobwebs, but I was very near the cat now. I saw that familiar marking on the head. It IS Joanie!! And I saw the white paws too (on the hind leg). I was quite sure it was Joanie and was so excited.
Just then, she made a dash through the pieces of wood, and zoomed past me. Before I knew it (it isn't easy to move about inside the drain), she had whizzed past me and run off.
We tracked her for awhile after that, still inside the drain, and by the time I got out of that slimy drain, Joanie was no where to be seen again.
My daughter carried Suki down the road with the hope that Suki's scent or mewing might attract Joanie out and make her come home, but there was no sign of her still.
If a cat wants to come home, she will.
If she doesn't, there is no way any human can force her to.
My hands and knees are lacerated (from the concrete debris), and I have just taken a bath.
It is raining now, though not very heavy.
Joanie, if that was you, I really hope you know what you are doing.
Perhaps Joanie prefers the feral life, living in the drains where she feels more comfortable.
Sometimes we think sleeping on a soft blanket and being served mackerel and Hill's Science AD is a grand luxury. For us, maybe, but not for the cat.
They know what they want.
I hope that cat was Joanie. At least I know she is safe and independent.
It really looked like Joanie, though. I saw the familiar unique marking on her head and the white paw, and she did look each time I called her name.
The rain is getting heavier now.
Joanie, where are you?
I have gone on foot, and by car, around my neighbourhood, calling out her name, but she is nowhere to be seen.
If this were the first time a cat has gone missing from my house, I would ring the panic button and cry buckets right now, but I have encountered this before...and learnt from it. Polar (also a female, but very independent) has gone missing for as many as 5 days to a week, but she finally came home, and still comes home now. Wolf went missing, but never came home.
Some of my friends scold me for not caging my cats, but cats are independent and free-roaming creatures. They will not be happy being caged up. None of my cats are caged up, unless they are sick. It is my decision not to cage my cats, even after Kimba passed away. I know there are risks that come with this decision, but I believe they will be happier being free.
I have also learnt that if a cat does not want to be found, you will never be able to find him/her.
It is ironical that my husband predicted that Joanie will run away once she has healed. He said he could see that in her eyes, that she is a free spirit, and wants to be so. "She is just waiting to run..." was his exact words.
Of course I hope Joanie will return. I know she has that homing instinct, because she went missing from her colony for 4-5 days when she was living in Old Klang Road. But when she was suffering from her obstructed labour and needed help, she went back to Aunty Kiew and asked for help. Aunty Kiew also told me that Joanie is a very "unsociable" cat and would not even allow her to pat her, or come near even though Aunty Kiew feeds her.
If Joanie does not return, I know she has healed and prefers a free life. If Joanie is in pain, is hungry or misses Suki, I am sure she would return.
I am very sad right now, and I am crying.
But this is a fact of life, and this is the way it is.
I have to accept things as they are.
Joanie has lived her entire life as a feral cat. Maybe she prefers to be so, and is not happy living inside a house. It is her decision and I have to accept that.
If you can, please pray that Joanie is safe, wherever she is.
I will pray for her safety and happiness.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Joanie and Suki are already fast asleep now. But Joanie has not pee-ed for today, so I might have to bring her to hospital again tomorrow.
Poor girl (Joanie, and also me!)
The reason there was no posting this afternoon is that I was running around doing AnimalCare work. I am delighted that many people have written to and called me, wanting to adopt the white kitten I had advertised. White kittens seem to be so popular (white supremacy?), and I did not even know she is purebred, because the cat experts have classified her as a "belgian shepherd laekenois kitten". Goodness gracious! I didn't know that! I'm normally not too interested in branding. A cat is a cat. A dog is a dog. I don't know their "brands"!
And to that, people sometimes exclaim, "HOW can you NOT know??? I thought you like animals!" Precisely, my friends, I do like animals....that is why I don't bother to know what breed they are. I like them all.
So back to this belgian shepherd laekenois kitten now - I have three people lining up for her, but I'm most likely to give it to the first one, a very kind lady by the name of Asnidar, whom I shall be meeting tomorrow. Asnidar was looking for a kitten to give to a mother-cat who has just lost her own babies. Hey, sounds familiar, yah?
And when Rani said she has another slightly older kitten as well, Asnidar said she would take them both! Oh wow! Isn't that wonderful?
Now, I have to ask Rani to ask around for more baby kittens. I need two more baby kittens for the other two persons waiting in line.
Suddenly, we have more adopters than adoptees?
This is almost too good to be true!
Good night........good morning!!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
The first photo shows Joanie grooming Suki in their cage. Both had a feast of AD today. I should switch them over to dry food soon, or I'll be milked dry (AD is RM8.20 per can, but I get it for RM7.50 now)! They practically eat one can per meal now. That's a good sign, of course. AD is very good for Joanie, so I'll keep her on it for some time still. The surgeon did say her recovery might take months.
The second photo shows Bobby, my 13-year old "mongrel poodle". He's mixed, and we got him because my children were young at that time and were afraid of the bigger dogs at PAWS (I had wanted to adopt), so we had to get really small dogs. Hence, we ended up with Bobby (we were told his mother was a toy poodle, and the adult size would be 10 inches - Bobby must have taken after his father instead!) and Mac (a Pomeranian returned by his owner). Poodles, I just learned, are the most jealous dogs in the world, and it's true. Try living with one, and you'll see. But...Bobby has been super magnanimous, sharing his house with all the cats. Not only that, he also looks after every rescued kitten I bring back. Bless his kind heart.
Monday, August 17, 2009
Oh, my little star sweeper
I’ll sweep the stardust for you
La la lu, La la lu
Little soft fluffy sleeper
Here comes a pink cloud for you
La la lu, La la lu
Little wandering angel
Fold up your wings for tonight
La la lu, La la lu
And may love be your keeper
La la lu, La la lu, La la lu
Sunday, August 16, 2009
But Joanie is naughty today and spat out half of what I fed her.
I also saw two patches of urine in her litter box, but I dont know if it is hers because on both occasions, naughty little Suki was inside the same cage. Suki spends half the time with Joanie now. It relieves ME a great deal!
I also went down to the clinic. Rani had rescued a dog from USJ11 and is now boarding at the clinic. It's a very friendly dog and is definitely a home pet. http://www.myanimalcare.org/2009/08/lost-dog-in-usj11.html Rani has asked me to help her find the owner. I've put up a pet profile at petfinder.my. I hope the dog will be reunited with his owner soon.
At the clinic there was a very sick kitten. He's being treated for mange, and appeared to be very weak. He could not even get up. Was in a lying down position (sideways). Poor little thing. I stayed and talked to him for a while, telling him to be strong and that he must get well. He mewed, and then he got up and walked towards me. I hope he gets well soon. Will go see him again tomorrow.
Sometimes don't you wish you had a few pairs of hands, and a few houses (!) so that you can bring back all these sick animals and nurse them? If only we had more "animal nurses". Sometimes, as Terry said, all it takes is just to hug them. That already helps. Even if you don't succeed in healing them, at least you've filled their final days with love and caring.
AnimalCare is looking for fosterers and "nurses". If you are keen to help, please contact me. You don't have to be trained. All it takes is to look deep into your heart, and you will know what to do. It complements what medicine is already doing. It really, really helps. Believe me, it does.
For every life saved or comforted, you have given something precious and meaningful to a fellow living being.
Suki (aka Xiao Li) was rescued by Yen Ling after having fallen into the drain THREE times. Hers was a sad case because her own mother did not bother about her. Maybe the mum was afraid of water as Suki was found covered with filth, oil and moss in the dirty drain. She was only about 2 weeks old, and the mortality rate for kittens this young is very high.
To cut a long story short, I decided to put the two together. I felt Joanie was depressed because she had lost all her babies. Suki needs a mother's warmth and love. So, I tried, and it seems to be working well now.
Joanie is responding exactly as a mother-cat would. She lets Suki suckle all day, and is very protective of her. The vet tells me that although technically, Joanie has no milk anymore, sometimes the suckling can make her produce milk again. The milk production does not come from the ovaries (Joanie had a total hysterectomy to remove the uterus and all her decomposed babies), but it is from the brain.
I don't know if there is milk, but little Suki is so happily suckling.
Whatever it is, the emotional bonding is helping both of them.
Joanie is still not fully recovered. Those of you who have been keeping up with her news would know about her urinary problem. That part of the tissue connecting the urethra to the vulva was already dying due to the extent of septicaemia. We are now hoping that somehow, it will heal. To hope that it will regenerate is...well, too much to hope for. We would be happy enough if it heals and she can urinate daily. If she cannot, it can lead to severe kidney problems.
The good sign last night was that she squated to urinate - that's voluntary urination. Earlier on, the vets and I said we would already be so happy even if she just leaks it out. So, that's already a bonus!
The vets continue to be amazed at Joanie's recovery. Until today, they say Joanie is a total miracle. Every day of her being alive IS a miracle.
Yes, miracles do happen, sometimes, if you believe and work towards it. And even if it doesn't and things do not work out as you wish it would, at least you've tried your best, and that's all that counts.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
I didn’t know how old the kittens are and I assumed that they are all new born kittens. So I left for Kuala Kubu Bahru at 10.30am armed with 3 packets of milk (for the kitten), 3 tins of wet food and some dry food for the mother cat. I also brought along a syringe to handfeed the kittens with milk. I have seen KahYein feeding the kittens with a syringe before but I have never done it myself personally. Like it or not, I have to handfeed the kittens.
I arrived at the Bodhydrama Centre at around 12noon and was shown the kittens behind the kitchen.
It was a relief to me when I saw the kittens. They are actually quite big – probably about 2 months old. They are a bit thin as the friend had said but they are definitely not dying. They were running around mischievously. The friend was very concerned that the kittens would be dumped at the market soon, hence the distress SMS to me for help. I then handed the foodstuffs to the workers at the centre and told them not to dump the kittens.
I hope my appeal to them did not fall on deaf ears.
I left the centre at around 12.45pm. From KKB, I took a country road through Bukit Sentosa to Bukit Beruntung.
I was almost reaching Bukit Beruntung when I suddenly saw a 2-feet long monitor lizard lying motionlessly in the middle of the road. It was lying in a rather dangerous spot of the road where there was a bend. I drove past it and look at it again through my rear mirror. Even though it was motionless, my instinct told me that the monitor lizard could still be alive. I immediately made a U-turn and drove back towards the lizard. Several cars were passing by that stretch of the road at that time and I was praying that they would not roll over the monitor lizard. After parking my car, I quickly ran towards the monitor lizard and found that it was still alive. A few cars and lorries drove towards me and I had to signal them to avoid them running over the lizard and me. I picked the monitor lizard up and placed it by the side of the road, free from harm. Then I ran back to my car again to collect an animal carrier from the boot of my car. (I had brought the carrier along to save the mother cat and four kittens).
I then smsed KahYein whether the vets at Subang Jaya or the animal hospital in Gasing can treat the injured monitor lizard. Her advice was to bring it to them. AnimalCare would sponsor the medical cost for the lizard.
I drove the injured monitor lizard to a vet in Section 17 and reached the vet at around 2.10pm. The vet has never treated a wild monitor lizard before but she said she would try her best. An examination of the lizard showed no external injuries but there are internal injuries judging from the bleeding in its mouth and blood clot on its skin.
The vet gave the lizard four types of injections. It took a bit of time to inject the lizard as it gave quite a very strong resistance. Furthermore it was quite difficult for the needle to pierce through the thick skin of the lizard.
The lizard is now in my house, recuperating from its injuries. I will have to nurse him/her for a few days before I release it to the wild unless somebody wants to adopt it. In the meantime, please send positive energy to the injured monitor lizard.