Having left my public service job as a lecturer, I decided to work from home for a while before trying my luck as a lecturer in the private sector. In the one year hiatus that I took, I began tutoring a small group of students for their GCSE Cambridge ‘A’ Level exams and did some freelance curriculum development that came my way.
After all the tutoring, marking, writing reports to parents and completing curriculum development projects, I was left with time on my hands. Lots of it, since my husband worked as a flight crew and I was often home hours on end. Alone. As a prolific animal lover, for as long as I can remember, I wanted to own a dog as well as a cat. The problem? My husband wasn’t particularly fond of cats!
I tried to go through all lengths to persuade my husband to adopt a kitten from a pet shelter, picking out the cutest pictures of possible adoptees, but to no avail.
Then, Zippy miraculously happened!
My husband was on one of his usual round island bike rides, but it had started pouring heavily. He made a stop, hoping that the monsoon rain would calm in time, but it didn’t. My husband bought a flimsy make shift rain coat from a 24 hour -convenience store, and continued his cycle back home, with some of his fellow riders that lived around our area.
Somewhere close to an hour back home, he spotted a tiny kitten trying to cross the road, struggling under the hard hitting rain and unrelenting traffic that would not stop. So home came Zippy, shivering and fighting my husband with his claws, while my husband held him safely under his flimsy make shift raincoat, trying to cycle back home as carefully as possible, with one hand on his handlebar. I was greeted at the door with a tired, drenched to the bone husband and the sound of a mewling, petulant kitten. My Pomeranian, Princess, watched on in confusion.
As soon as I understood the situation, I started using my hairdryer to lightly warm hand towels as fast as I could, to dry Zippy up, as he didn’t seem like he would not last the night due to hypothermia. Just as we started to give up hope, at 6 am, he took a few tentative steps slowly, and that was a ‘hurrah’ moment for the both of us!
Ignorant about cat needs at that time, we managed to find a bottle with a straw from which he could sip milk from and he hungrily drank it, milk trickling down his little cheeks. Later I found out of course, that kittens can’t digest cows’ milk.
Now, many months after, Zippy has turned from a petulant, uncooperative kitten to a father figure to our four other rescue kittens that we adopted from shelters or foster kitten parents
My major worry is his health, as two vets have mentioned that Zippy and Nova (our other rescue) are likely to have some Siamese in them.
In Zippy’s case, this has always translated into stomach and digestive issues, at one point leaving him with a stomach so bloated, it made him utterly miserable. I made a decision that from that point onwards that one meal would be a salt free meat meal made at home, following proper advice from reliable websites, and the second, a reputable grain free-dry food meal to ensure he and the other kittens got the minerals and vitamins they need, like taurine as well as other essential minerals and nutrients. We also supplement his (and our other our rescues’) food with a vet-recommended L-lysine supplement.
Today, he is a happy paternal figure to our four other rescues kittens, each with their own unique personalities and has been one of my best pets so far in that his love is not just limited to his forever humans, but also his adopted brothers and sisters, my Pomeranian included.
Written for Right Pet.