Earlier this evening, our mum told us she heard a cat crying loudly downstairs this morning while resting in the living room. Considering we live on the 9th floor, that is very loud indeed.
She panicked, wondering if one of the slackers might have slipped out and got lost. This is because our dad had just left, and Bam Bam had gotten lost before.
She made sure all the slackers were accounted for, then hurried downstairs but could not find the source of the cries. She said it sounded very pitiful like it was lost. I asked her did it sound like Brenda when she first appeared, and she said yes. So I went downstairs and checked out Area1, hoping to see the source of the cries, that it would not be a new abandonee.
It seems like it was a sign, for who should I sight but Brenda. Was she the source of the cries? She’s always been more interested in human company than food, so I can’t help but feel she’s still looking for a home. Any takers? She’s a lovely agouti tabby with mittens.
While she has toned down on her tendency to follow the first person she sees since she first appeared, and sometimes will even shy away when approached (probably due to being shooed by annoyed peoeple or maybe frightened by bullies), she is still too trusting to be a career community cat we feel.
I have not seen Brenda since 14 Feb, and have been worried about her. While it was good to see tonight looking well, we still hope we can get her into foster care and start looking for a home for her too. Meanwhile, it will continue to be a fretful time.
Here are some pictures taken the last time we saw her in daylight.
Her tail looks like it was chopped off, but we can’t be sure that she wasn’t born this way.
She’s very vocal, and she always seem to be asking “Can I go home with you?”
While it may have been the bestest news in a long while when we packed Stanley off for his de-mojo appointment on Christmas evening, we got a bit of a shock on Boxing day. V called btmao for a decision in the morning. Stanley was on the operating table, his juju removed. However, the vet noticed a largish lump on his ear and was asking if we wanted it removed as well. So btmao said yes. It might be a tumour, it might be not, but it seemed to be growing. As V was busy and the reception bad, it was all we had to go on for a while.
Post-surgery, Stanley would need 2 weeks of recovery time. We asked V to foster him if he couldn’t stay at the vet’s. V said he would see what can be done for the big boy. The other two were fine, although Brenda was in heat, which meant that her surgery bill would cost that much more. V would settle the bill and let us know the cost.
On Sunday, 28 Dec, Brenda and Indy returned.
V brought out Indy first. He was still placid, calm, though he did seemed a bit too wild-eyed and overwhelmed. When the carrier door opened, he seemed dumbfolded.
Next was Brenda. But even before we saw her, we heard her. She was crying the block down. We forgot Indy for a moment as we quickly opened the carrier door for her. She shot out like a champion racer and stopped only to get her orientation about 8 metres away. Then she set off purposefully, all the while complaining for the world to hear.
When I turned back from taking this photo, Indy was still inside the carrier. Since I was the one who put him into the carrier, the honour fell to me to get him out. He was still immobile even outside the carrier. So I carried him 5 metres, in the direction of his “home”. He was still immobile. In total, I moved him 5 times, putting him nearly on the doorstep of the family before he clued in to what’s going on. He never did once struggled while I carried him. Obviously, he has deep trust in people and has no inkling of self-preservation.
As for Stanley, the lump behind his ear turned out to be a pus-filled growth, mostly likely a result of an infected wound. He would be fine and need no further follow-up. We settled up with V and would see him when he returned Stanley in 2 weeks’ time.
The next morning, Monday, 29 Dec, I walked out to the mrt station, and was cautiously happy to see that Indy wasn’t outside the flat. Reality bit on Tuesday though. I can no longer be surprised at the nonchalance of the family.
It was not until last night that we met Brenda for the first time after her surgery. She seemed well, though a different cat from the one we released, simply because she wasn’t crying at the top of her lungs nor wary. In fact, she was extremely affectionate and chatting softly.
She was more interested in headbutts and kisses, and kept coming up to btmao and me while the juices of the food seeped through her dinner plate. Finally she ate.
But only a little.
She was still more interested in getting some attention.
In fact, she tried to follow us home.
She looks emaciated, and given our emphasis on not sterilising very skinny cats (especially if their history is not known), it might seemed a contrarian decision to sterilise her. But compared to the first time I saw her, she is actually padded. Also, her fur looks good, again unlike the baldy flanks she spotted then. She is doing well and should settle down fine now that her hormones won’t bother her anymore. We suspect she might be a newly displaced free-ranging pet cat from across the road (like Ryan) as she seemed to commute between the blocks there and Area1. She might also be a newly abandoned pet.
As we walked out to Area 2, who should we spot but a new young male cat, probably a yearling, lounging in front of the late Charlotte‘s home. A new member to Ian’s gang, btmao had seen the very friendly boy a few times, once sauntering out the family’s front door. We briefly discussed our options as we walked along the school buttressing Area 1.
Who should we see but Stanley swaggering his way in parallel on the other side of the fence! I shadowed him while btmao went to meet V and direct him over.
When V and btmao met up with me, Stanley was in between blocks of Area 1, As V set up the cat trap, an Indian grandpa and his two young granddaughters watched a little distance away. Though language was rather the barrier, I managed to explain to the granddad what we were up to, and he considerately pulled his young charges a little further away.
Stanley showed no interest in stepping inside the trap, so V went to get his net. While V was away, Stanley went into gladiator mode, as another tom, a young (we estimate 2 years old) Tabby Tuxedo male crossed his path. It was pure happenstance, but as concentrated on posturing as Stanley was, V was able nab him without incident. At last, our second enfant terrible was in the carrier!
V quickly brought Stanley back to his van, and then came back to work on the other male. When he showed no interest in food and was thus not going into the trap either, V went ot get another carrier.
Jut as V was walking to his van, who should come walking up but Brenda, another newbie female who resembles Freda. She was first spotted only on 12 Dec 08. A skinny, famished cat with some balding parts on her rump, she was scared and wary at out first meeting, but who last week, allowed btmao to touch her upon their first meeting. She was a bit malnutritioned then, but has since fattened up a bit. V simply picked her up and brought her to the van.
To cut a long story short, the tabby tuxedo boy got away.
So we decided it was time to go over to Area 2 and try for Saba and BambiBaby.
We spread out in different directions.
Saba was nowhere to found.
As for BambiBaby, btmao found him in his usual hiding place behind the eatery. Since our last report, he has learnt that hearing btmao means dinner but that she’s not to be trusted so much. btmao has to put the food down among the bushes, and step back at least 3 metres before he will cautiously approach the dinner “plate”, check out the coast in an elaborate 5 to 10m minute ritual before he starts eating, gingerly.
By the time I joined btmao and V, I could see BambiBaby cautiously sniffing outside the trap and calling as loudly as ever.
An audience was also gathering. There was a gazebo nearby, and some among the usual evening gaggle of men who gathered there tried to sabotage the operation by distracting BambiBaby with catcalls of their own. One of them even stamped his feet loudly just as BambiBaby took his first step into the trap. V tried to explain to the group but the saboteur started posturing. Fortunately, he had open-minded companions who were more receptive and managed to keep things calm.
BambiBaby got spooked nonetheless and ran a little away and almost into the drains that surround the eatery, so btmao went to drop a dollop of canned food at the trap entrance.
At this time, a family walked by and obliviously gathered, less than 0.5 m from the trap. btmao asked them to move back and they did, though they continued to watch.
It was a very tense time, but after 10 minutes, BambiBaby finally did enter the trap. It took him another 10 minutes to venture deep enough to trigger the trap door. Success!
Then V took the trap one side to transfer BambiBaby to a carrier… and he promptly escaped. Looks like getting this growing scaredy cat will take more doing. The head of the spectator family then came up and started sharing clandestine info – that there were a few cats around, 1 “mother” and 3 or 4 kittens and that the mother was often there calling. We suspect he meant Saba and that he may have mistaken other kittens (as yet unsighted by us) for BambiBaby’s litter as Bambi (who is still MIA) had never been seen with any other kitten.
The peacemaker from the men gaggle also offered some insider news: there’s a family of cats whom people are feeding. We suspect he was referring to the calico cat we spotted that day. She definitely has a litter, and he confirms the whole family is being irresponsibly fed.
With the double setbacks of not finding Saba and BambiBaby’s escape, we decided to go and get Indy instead.
Strangely, he was afraid of btmao but would respond to me. As the family was home, we did a bit of stealthing: I carried Indy to the next block where V met us and I put him into the carrier with no effort at all. In fact, he purred all the way.
Frankly, I was wavering over whether to sterilise Indy or to leave him for his family, even though we are quite sure they would probably do no such thing, given their history, but years of accumulating peeve made me want to try for a game of brinksmanship with them. But Iggy came to mind. Frankly, we have more than enough kitty-sized albatrosses around the neck to deal with, so I surrendered as we did not want that to befall another beautiful cat.
We have more than enough cats in Area 2 needing de-mojoing. The calico mothercat‘s brood is 3-4 months old: 1 short-tailed and small-sized black kitten with white mittens, 2 cream-coloured tabbies, 1 torbie calico and 1 short-tailed agouti. All are scaredy and scoots readily into their drain of a home. The good thing is, they are not difficult to find though their schedule is also not fixed. All are ravenous and we hope they will stick around for another month or 2 until we can get them sterilised. Their mother, who has the most lovely large blue yellow eyes, we hope to settle sooner.
Along with the family, BambiBaby, Saba remain on the radar, so V will be back.
We are going to burn a hole in our pocket, taking on responsibility that so-called pet owners, who own their own cars I might add, at least for Indy and Saba, and most likely the escaped tabby tuxedo boy, but the alternative is not something we want to happen.
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