Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The ones I have loved, lost and may be losing...

Once in a blue moon, I blow a fuse and short-circuit. 

I mean me, not the fusebox. 

Today is such a day when I cannot take it anymore. It's called the last straw on the camel's back. And when this happens, my brain doesn't explode nor do I go on a rampage, but I'll stay in my room and cry my heart out. I know why they always advise you to have a "good cry". Crying is good. It sure is better than keeping everything bottled up and exploding later on.  

So I had a really GOOD cry this afternoon. And now, I'm able to function again...

Let me tell you what I do every afternoon when I come home from work ever since Indy migrated out from the house because he was angry with the Blueys. It's been weeks already...

As I drive home and as I approach my road, my greatest fear is seeing a dead body on the road. You'd understand why I have this fear if you read on....(be forewarned please, this is a very long post...please skip it if you'd rather not read it).

I heave a sigh of relief if there is no dead body on the road.

I park my car and I go up and down the road to hunt for Indy. My other fear is, will today be the day Indy decides to run away from home for good? And I'll never see him again? You think I'm going overboard and dramatising it? Please read on...

I look into every house, every drain, every bush...Indy, Indy, I call. Where are you, Indy? Please come out. My heart beats with fear that this might just be the day I'd never see Indy again...

A few days ago, I found him inside this dumper. Ever since he "left home", he has been looking for another place to call "home". Imagine Indy living in this dumper. He used to have a comfortable life at home, lounging in the living room. Now, he chooses to live in this dumper. Imagine how I feel....

Today I found Indy here, at the neighbour's house again. He is sitting on top of the neighbour's car. Nobody likes a cat sitting on top of his car. But how do I stop Indy from doing it? His place used to be the top of our car in our porch. But after he migrated out, Cleo has conquered the porch. And Indy isn't going to get it back.

I'll tell you what happened this afternoon in the next post, because right now, I want to rewind back in time and tell you why I cannot adopt anymore cats or kittens and that six is all I can handle.

For those of you who have written in comments assuring me Indy would come home - thank you very much, but here's Pole (photo taken this afternoon when I went to call her back from the neighbour's).

Pole was chased out by her brothers, Cow & Bunny, when she was 1 year old, after she was done nursing her litter, Wolf, Pans and Cleo. Pole has not "come home" ever since then. That's four years now. 

She only comes home to eat several times a day or when it rains. That's about it. She lives in several neighbours' porches, alternating between them as she deems fit. Once Pole went missing for four days. We searched the entire neighbourhood and could not find her. After four days, she came back one night. And when she did, she cried. Yes, Pole really shed tears. We guessed someone could have caught her and she must have travelled a long way to come home, or tried for days to escape and come home to us. Pole stayed home, refusing to go out for a few days, then it was back on the street as a community cat again.

For those who keep telling me to adopt the Blueys, I have repeatedly said my house isn't safe for kittens. And why so? Here's why....

My cats are free-roaming. To be fair to them, I cannot barricade my windows and doors as they need to come in and out.

You see these two babies up there? That's Cleo and her brother, Pans (the black-and-white one). I lost Pans when he was about 4-5 months old. He was the first kitten I lost. We kept all three of them (including first-born, Wolf) indoors and Pole looked after them so well, but Pans must have sneaked out one night. He was found stone cold under a tree across our road. My house is not safe for kittens. Neither is my road.

Again, for those who tell me to adopt the Blueys, I have also told you that Cow,Bunny & Cleo have this habit of chasing 4-5 months' old kittens out of the house. They are okay with very young kittens, but not when they find the kittens growing up and becoming a threat to them. Cleo chased her own brother Wolf, out of the house until one day, Wolf decided he would run away. We knew Cleo and Wolf were fighting, but tried as we did, we could not mediate nor stop the fights.

That's me trying to make peace between Cleo and Wolf shortly before Wolf ran away from home, never to return.

The last photo taken of Wolf a day before he ran away....for good.

We searched for him, driving around the neighbourhood, going on foot, on bicycle, for many, many days. We continued for months.  Every once in the while, my children will think they see a Wolf look-alike, but it isn't him. We never found Wolf - there is no closure - do you know how painful that is? Till today, we harbour a hope that Wolf has found a safer and happier home somewhere in our neighbourhood. We prefer to think positive.

For those who tell me to adopt the Blueys, I have told you my house isn't safe. Cow, Bunny and Cleo are too alpha. They will chase kittens out.

Perhaps the only kitten who had ever won over everybody's hearts was Suki.

Suki was everybody's darling. 
Even the blog readers loved her antics, especially her coup-de-tats (remember?)

Suki was handed over to me because her rescuer could not look after her. I agreed to look after little Suki. We kept Suki indoors for five months. We kept the windows closed. Suki was a precocious little kitten who gave us so, so much joy. She was the most intelligent kitten I've ever known all my life. Then, we started opening the windows, and trained Suki to play in the porch under supervision. When we were "sure" she would only stay in the porch (and she did), we left the windows open so that finally, our adult cats could go in and out freely again. 

One evening, when I was out, Suki must have wandered out onto the road. I came back and could not find her anywhere.

Later that night, we found Suki. A neighbour had knocked her down. Suki was gone.

My house is NOT safe for kittens unless I keep them in a locked room or a cage. I do not want to do that to any cat - to remain locked up for life.

My road is NOT safe for kittens.

So, please stop asking me to adopt the Blueys.

And for those who tell me my cats will all make peace....

This is Joanie. Joanie was dumped on me by a rescuer from Old Klang Road. Joanie suffered from obstructed labour and I nursed her back to health after a miraculous surgery done by one of the greatest surgeons I've ever known (who unfortunately has now left the country). 

After 20 days with me, Joanie ran away from my house. She must have been intimidated by my alphas or the presence of my cats, so she ran away. I cried for days after that. We spotted Joanie for a few days after that, but we never saw her again since then. My only consolation is what the vet told me (or rather, comforted me with), he said Joanie must be feeling on top of the world to run away and be free again. She had lived as a stray and she just wanted to be free again.

And this is Wii. 

Wii and Vixey were rescued together from a rubbish heap at the playground. Vixey was a pygmy kitten (congenital growth problems) and lived a short life. After Vixey passed away, Wii exiled himself out to the back alley and once he had vacated his space in the house, he could not get it back. Cow & Bunny chased him off each time he came home to eat. Tiger was his only friend. I finally had to rehome Wii because the back neighbour could not tolerate the sight and sounds of any animal in the back alley. My dear friend, Roselin, whom I am indebted to for lifetimes, adopted Wii. Wii is now happily living with Roselin's family, and he became an alpha in Roselin's feline colony!

And for those of you who say everything will be fine and my cats won't fight anymore, or Indy will be okay and he will come's another story, and this would be my last story for this post as it is the saddest...

This is Kimba. I loved Kimba so much. Kimba came to my back alley late one night and called for help. He was also a bluepoint. To cut a long story short, I believe Kimba had a past-life affinity with me because he jumped straight into my arms when I opened the backdoor and he made himself right at home. 

Kimba slept with me on my bed every night, and accompanied me everywhere in the house. 

Indy and Kimba were the best of friends. They got on like a house on fire.
We were so happy just watching them play.

Then, as luck would have it, a rescuer dumped Creamie and Crackers on me. 
Yes, I was a total sucker for emotional blackmailing at that time.
Kittens-in-box-if-you-don't-pick-up-they-will-die, familiar?

Creamie and Crackers were in dire straits so I had to spend time nursing them. Kimba got very jealous and started running out to the road. He would come into the room, see me nursing Creamie and Crackers and he would growl, hiss and run off. Kimba stopped being close to me, but still followed me if I was out of the room, away from Creamie and Crackers.

One night, Kimba followed me out to throw the garbage. A neighbour's car drove pass very slowly. Kimba walked straight into the path of the car and was run down. I watched Kimba's body jerking on the road. I carried Kimba's bleeding body into the house and I stayed with him. I almost fainted in those few tragic-stricken moments where I could do nothing but pray for it to be quick. Kimba died in my arms within minutes, or was it seconds? I don't know... 

It was almost like suicide, if you asked me. He walked straight into the path of the car, almost like saying, "It's time for me to go now...goodbye." And he was gone. I went into denial for weeks. I was traumatised. I bargained with someone higher to give me back my little Kimba. Every moment, I bargained. I bargained and I bargained but nobody would answer me and grant me my wish. Every moment, I told myself it was just a nightmare and that I would wake up the next moment and see Kimba again. I went into depression after that. Months of depression where I became suicidal.Till today, Kimba's tragic death replays itself in my mind.

Now you know why I fear seeing another dead body on the road.

If you have been through what I've been through, you might be able to empathise with me. I'm not made of steel. 

My husband has said Indy will be our last adopted cat. You can help foster, he said, but get them adopted. We cannot adopt anymore. Kimba died. Suki died. All the rest who came after that were all adopted out. There have been many, and they have all been blessed to have found good homes. 

Maybe there is something about Indy, maybe he is the last cat we would ever be able to adopt - that's my husband's theory. 

So, house and my road is NOT safe for kittens, so please stop asking me to adopt the Blueys.

If you want to be my friend, please help me find the Blueys a good home instead.

This is as much as I can take, and if the next person, again, says to me, "You only have six, what's another two more?", please forgive me if I say something impolite to you.  I've heard that too often, and I'm very tired of hearing that now.  

Yes, I offer to foster, but if and only if no one else can do it. That's all I can do - FOSTER kittens until they can eat on their own. That much I would do, if need be. Even then, there is the danger of my cats running away. And of course Cow & Bunny will go on a massive spraying spree and I'll have to paint the house again. 

FOSTER is not rehome. 
FOSTER is not adopt. 

But all said, who do I blame for my snapping today? 


I blame myself for getting so disappointed because I made the mistake of trusting people and having expectations that they will keep their word. 

So, I blame no one but myself. 

And now, if you'd excuse me, I have to go look for Indy. It is raining heavily and I don't know where he is. Thank goodness for umbrellas....

And oh, I owe you a story about this afternoon....hang on. I may have snapped today, but I can still write. 

And, will I foster anymore kittens after this experience? 

You got to be kidding, right?

Maybe I will, but will you promise to take them once they are on kibbles and are well enough? 

You promise?  


And if you cannot find any adopter, YOU will take them yourself when I say I can no longer foster them? 

That is precisely what I would do, if I ask someone to foster animals for me.  


Carol said...

Nobody has the right to expect you to do more than what you have been doing already. The emotional trauma of separation and giving them up for adoption is a heavy price in itself. It's SO easy to judge...Let you heart be at peace, Kah Yein. You can only do your best. A lot of us understand.

Su Ann said...

Who are these people who keep telling you to adopt the kittens? They are being ridiculous. If they're so "kind", why don't they adopt the kittens themselves? I've never heard of such thoughtless people. But perhaps they are rampant around here. I've fostered a couple of litters of kittens as I CANNOT adopt any myself. My parents hate cats and will only let me foster in dire situations. After they are 8 weeks old, I HAVE to find homes for them.

In other countries, fostering is a great option for people who can't adopt pets. It's their way of helping the animals, and nobody gives them crap about not adopting them. Isn't helping to foster at least STILL a form of helping instead of just knowing how to criticize and give stupid advice when clearly, the foster parents obviously knows their situation a lot better than some random person who'd never stepped in their shoes?

Huey said...

I always do that too - I mean the crying part, especially when things started to pile up, and up, and up...

After so many posts, explanations, comments by people who really care, etc, I thought it was clear that we should all be more understanding on others' situations. Apparently it's not. How sad this can be. Have these people ever realise that they are the ones who make the work on animal welfare more difficult because of their self-centred and selfish attitude?

If animal haters and abusers are people who give direct impact on the animals, you, the demanding and inconsiderate people, are those who give indirect impact on the animals. It's because of your 'emotional bombs' that people who are already trying their best have no choice but to turn away, and probably too scared to do the good work they have been doing again, because they can't handle this kind of 'bombs' or expectations that can lead them to nowhere. If you have a family, so do they. If you have a job, so do they. It's never easy to part with an animal - I can't even part with a puppy I once rehome-d after only spending 2 hours with her. But should I bring home every animal I meet or help and upset my family?

Can't you be a little 'humane' to human as well?

Anonymous said...

Dont let these people hurt you. You have no obligation to justify your decision to them. Personally I cant stand people like that, instead of judging and criticizing, they should make themselves useful and offer some help instead.

chen said...

Err ... I think the tabby in the picture is Tiger, not Wii.

Bernice said...

We love you and the work you do. We know how it feels to have loved and lost an animal...We have lost a few too. And the pain does not get lesser with each passing. We have our own (fur)kids, but we would not hesitate to feed and help those without mommies and daddies. But yes, we too would not be able to adopt anymore, not because the love in our hearts are only reserved for our own kids, or that there is a lack of love, but because we have to be fair to those at home too. Our motto is ...Making a difference, one life at a time, and doing it well.

You have made a difference to many a life...Let ye not be judged by those who have not.

Dawn Tan said...

Oh gosh KY, I'm so sorry to hear of those you have lost. I cannot imagine (and may God forbid it happens) having to cradle any one of my boys (cats) dying from an accident.
The one time I witnessed a car rolling over a cat sleeping underneath, it stayed with me until today. After jerking in pain, her eyes slowly came out of her sockets, the whole time looking straight into mine, as if pleading for help. And all I could say was "I'm so sorry, I'm so sorry!" I can't imagine how so much harder it must be for you :(

From then on, everytime I see a cat napping under a car, I would whisper to it to come out faster when the car starts.

I understand too that it is so difficult to bring new cats to existing ones. Mine either hid like a refugee, not even allowed to surface by the new dominant ones...or they'd rather run away from home, than having to keep fighting to establish their hierachy. Either way broke my heart. The only thing I could do was praying every night till I felt asleep for God to tell me what He wanted me to do with them. Finally everything laid out: 2 at home, 2 in the office (I'm blessed with animal lover bosses too).
But recently when we brought Sugar to the office, the nightmare began again. Fortunately, Sugar's getting adopted so phew...:)
Sometimes, it's very difficult n only you yourself can know the pain, but I always console myself by's for the animals, so God please help me help them.
Take care KY