Gunnar and Mattie Meowson


(To adopt these two, please email sephycat at gmail dot com. EDIT 20071009: Meowsons’ adoption writeup here)

I had a premonition last night, and this morning woke just in in time to get btmao’s message – two docile kittens sitting on the ledge at Cara‘s feeding place! Area 1, our TNRM homebase… kittens! I almost blew my top at the inconsideration of the dumpers. Dumping at any time is contemptible, but it’s worse during festive periods.

So in the wee light of pre-dawn, I went down with the camera. Lo and behold, the two little furballs were in the exact same spot btmao described, brazenly watching the world go by.

Gunnar_Mattie_Ledge_20070918_05x
Beam us home!

I did not use the flash as I didn’t want to spook them. Therefore the artsy effect. They were on high, perched on a ledge and watching a kid and his domestic helper. Of course both persons denied knowing the two kittens.

btmao left it to me to decide what to do with them. They were obviously home pets, totally not afraid of human contact and inquisitive. At first I feared they may be sick as it seemed their third eyelids were showing a bit. But then I realised it’s probably them not being used to the camera focus light. They looked to be about the 3 months btmao estimated them to be, and of course they were a bit thin though far from scrawny. The ginger was the bigger and also the more curious and unafraid. He, I could see the peeking kitty maleness on his behind, was also a loudmouth. The white one was a bit shy and took its cue from its brother.

I had no idea what Cara would do if she found the kittens there. Also, there was the boy who probably gave Ivan his last limp about too. And just as I thought this, he prowled the murky horizon. (We’ve decided to call him Iggy. More on him later here.)

That decided me. I hoped Foster Mum, innundated with kittens as she is, would be able to take these two monkeys as well. But that call would have to wait as I’m not in the habit of making wake-up calls unless it was a life and death situation.

I called our mum for help, asking her to scrounge up a cardboard box. I expected a long wait but she, someone who has never stepped out of the house without first taking her morning bath let alone in jammies, came down in 10 minutes with a box in hand, still in her jammies!

Here I made a mistake. Perhaps it’s because Area1 has been kitten-free for so long, at least 15 months since Samia. I seemed to forget everything about handling newbies on the block no matter how sanguine they seemed. I just picked the two up – it was also here that I confirmed the white one is a boy too [EDIT 20071008 – Mattie is a girl]. They struggled a little but it wasn’t something I couldn’t manage. The problem was that, just as I deposited them into the box, a huge school bus came roaring in (the ledge faces the carpark, separated by a brick road) and spooked them so much they jumped, squirmed out of my hands and ran.

I knew a sinking feeling. Fortunately, the two monkeys didn’t run far, just up and back to square 1. Our mum was trying to hold the box up and grow longer arms to help me at the same time. But i managed to scruff both and she quickly brought the box for the furry deposits.

Once inside, neither struggled nor made noise at all.

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Not surprisingly, this tub of junk kibbles was sitting pretty on the ledge too. How considerate of the dumpers to send the kittens packing with such a generous starter kit.

Once home, I quickly brought the box into the room and shut the door on the gathering slackers.

Mattie_Gunnar_Box_20070918_04x
Peek-a-boo

Just then I had a revelation… a carrier was what I need. I needn’t have fretted our mum unnecessarily with the cardboard box request. I could have asked her to bring me a carrier in the first place, which was what I asked for then. I just hoped lightning doesn’t strike twice.

Mattie_Gunnar_Carrier_20070918_01x
Transferred

Again, the two boys showed no fear and did not panic at being shunted over. As they settled down, it was again clear that the white one took his cue from his bigger and bolder brother. As they laid down to sleep, the ginger was all big-brotherly and slept in front of the white one, facing the door.

Seeing as to their handsome looks and how “fair” they both were, I decided to name them after a pair of our most favouritest good-looking brothers in the music business, Nelson, the boy-band of our era.

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Gunnar: the fearless ginger tabby with white socks
Gunnar_exploring_20070918_15x

Mattie_exploring_20070918_20x
Mattie: the perfect-tailed pure white kitten
Mattie_exploring_20070918_13x

Later I brought in two bowls, 1 for food and 1 for water. As soon as I laid the first bowl down in front of the carrier, the boys got excited and tried to paw their way out. Obviously they knew what the bowls meant. More evidence that they had been home cats.

Mattie_Gunnar_feeding_20070918_02x
Catrebos

They lapped up every last bit of water I gave them and also siphoned up the second round before settling down to eat. So much for the starter kit their dumpers provided.

As the brothers explored the room, I realised that they were probably older than 3 months since kittens are blue-eyed only until that age.

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Amber burning bright

Mattie_20070918_01x
Sky and grass… Mattie will probably grow up to look like Teddy, who has green/yellow eyes with blue filament, if the bluish tinge in his doesn’t fade. He will have an advantage over Teddy though – a full perfect tail.

Managed to talk to her and am preparing to send the monkeys over to Foster Mum’s and return the room to the slackers.

(To adopt these two, please email sephycat at gmail dot com. EDIT 20071009: Meowsons’ adoption writeup here)

(EDIT 20071010: Apparently, these two were dumped the previous day)

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9 responses to “Gunnar and Mattie Meowson

  1. This is sad, very sad. How heartless some people can be. You have a great mum, if only, only …..

  2. Every time a major holiday peeks around the corner, home pets get dumped out together with the springcleaning trash, it’s not unusual. I am not prejudiced, but our experience is that cats tend to get dumped in the lead-up the Muslim public holidays.

    I just wish there was a way to get Muslims to understand the basics of animal welfare, that is more than just saying “I have cats!, and “I sayang them”. They need to understand that homecats should not be dumped and that they should sterilise their home cats, keep them indoors and feed them food that provides proper cat nutrition.

    But there’s always a communication problem and again experience indicate that the community does not like being told by others about these things as they feel it’s always been this way with cat-keeping. I wish community leaders and role-models would step up and SAY something.

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  4. Dear Kootoo,
    Please tell your papa porky thank you from us. The Mattie pics were great!

  5. To calsifer, please, please do not generalize.

    I myself am a Muslim and it simply irks me that you use the term so loosely.
    I am a cat owner myself, like my elders before me and they have never been people who dump cats, ever.

    I understand that there are some in the community who may do the undesirable and despicable act of dumping their pets when the festive season comes around but when we generalize, it becomes more problematic because does this show an underlying sense of racial/religious prejudice?

    I sure hope not.

    Please understand that I too am appalled at how pets are seen as disposable commodity. I just hope that such nice, generous people as you guys are will refrain from making such generalizations in the future.

    As an end note, let me applaud your efforts in helping and fostering strays and ex-pets.

  6. Kahwa,
    First, thank you for your coherence in talking about this admittedly touchy subject. I admire your restraint. Very nice to be in a discussion, and not shooting down stupidity like I so often have to do on our White Tiger post.

    Second, I applaud you for having clarity on the issue and not being part of the dumping community.

    Third, I am speaking from experience (as I stated clearly in my previous comment), and hardly generalisations, though frankly, the temptation to do so is overpowering, with the evidence that pile up year after year after year.

    If I were generalising, I would be saying things like “Alll Muslims” or “Every Malay”, but no, I am sure I used terms like “tend to” and “our experience”.

    Kahwa, I assure you, the empathy for this issue transcends religious or racial lines among cat caregivers and cat lovers. I have Malay Muslim friends and among them are those whom I got to know because of our TNRM efforts. They too speak of how they have problems with this behaviour among the community and their disgust at how prevalent it is.

    One is even close to hitting her sister-in-law for her extremely bad treatment of her pet cats. But we commiserate and we have sat together, ranting about dumpers and the difficulty in getting those who do so to stop letting their pet cats wander outside their flats and to sterlise rather than have litter after litter of kittens on their hands or letting the unsterilised pet cats stay unsterlised rather than pay for the one-time operation that would imporve their health and longevity.

    These friends know all our frustrations are aimed AT the dumpers, not themselves. This is because they themselves feel the same, and know the sinking dread that haunts our TNRM efforts.

    If I bear an underlying sense of racial/religious prejudice, do you think it would not show? That these friends would be comfortable to speak of these things with me? That they would still be friends with me at all?

    But it, like everything else that needs a solution, is a problem that must be acknowledged and dealth with, not hushed and tipped-toe around. I have made numerous posts about such problems – white tigers, captive entertainment animals, puppy mills, the Asian cat and dog meat markets, the Chinese bear bile farms and the Chinese tiger farms etc etc. Closer to home, I’ve ranted about the stupid HDB ban against cats and even the SPCA’s annual 90% kill-rate of the animals sent to them. If I’ve said anything untrue, I’ll apologise and correct it, but I won’t stop saying things just because of sensitivity. I hope you understand that.

    That you are irked at my previous comment is understandable. But you are also being a tad sensitive with your reaction. But that is still good. I hope the irking may be useful in some way to help raise more awareness among those with the tendency to dump, let their pet wander and not sterlise.

    Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Kahwa.

    PS: I just remembered this post – didn’t think it would come in handy – maybe if you can look at it with a calm mind, you’ll see that I’m not the prejudiced facist your sensitivity makes me potentially out to be.

    PPS: kahwa. A question: honestly, would you have taken my previous comment the way you did and charge me with generalisations if I were a Malay Muslim?

  7. BTW kahwa, thought you might be interested in this discussion thread.

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