About a month ago I heard a loud meow at the back of the house and on investigation, found a hungry female cat begging for food. I didn't have the heart to shoo her off so I did what most people would have done.......gave her some food. I knew that this single act of kindness would be interpreted as an invitation for more meals. I was not wrong in my assumption for Kitty ( I decided to call her that) not only expected to be fed twice daily but also decided to make the premise her home. So, I felt justified that she be put on the pill, too, like the rest of the female strays.
Of course I did all the preliminary examinations essentially important prior to starting her on family planning. A wrong move will have disastrous results. A pregnant cat will not show immediate results after swallowing the pill. She will carry through to full term as if nothing had happened. The problem will only arise at the time when she goes into labour. In most cases, according to the vet, the cervix will not open and the only option left is surgery. With this in mind, I did a thorough examination on Kitty which was to view her abdomen from various angles!!! Satisfied that Kitty was not pregnant, I gave her the pill.
Kitty seemed happy and contented with her new home and she began to expand, belly included. The marked increase in belly size began to make me feel uncomfortable. Even my so-called expertise wasn't quite enough to tell the difference between a food-laden belly and a belly full of kittens!! My uneasiness over Kitty's ever-growing belly was driving me crazy. I called the vet to lessen the anxiety that was plaguing me but was told there was nothing he could do now. He advised me not to worry so much. That wasn't good enough for me. I had to be further assured, so being a firm believer in the philosophy "Mothers Know Best", I did what I always do in times of trouble like this......sought my mother's opinion. After some thought and some mental calculation on when Kitty first came to stay with us, Mum attributed Kitty's overly rounded belly to her endless eating sprees!!! I hope she's right again this time.
I was never particularly bothered about giving them the pills before Kitty came into the scene. There had never been any mistakes, or so I thought, until one night while lying in bed thinking whether I had done the right thing to Kitty, the mysterious death of another female cat, Adik, two years ago was unfolded. I had done the same thing of giving her the contraceptives as I did with all the other females. She was OK throughout the one year she was with us until one evening I noticed she was not her normal self. On inspection I noticed there was fluid oozing out of her genitals. I thought she had a fall or was bitten by something. The time was 5.30p.m. Friday 2008. I could have rushed her to the vet but she did not appear to be too much in pain for she could still walk. I thought she would be OK by tomorrow. That was to be a big mistake which had me feeling extremely guilty to this day. The next morning at 5a.m. I found her lying on her side unable to move. She could still open her eyes when I got near her and even to this day I still remember the painful groan she let out as if begging for help. There was nothing I could do to help ease her pain because the vet was closed every Saturday. She died a long and slow agonising death at 1.30a.m. Sunday. I never knew the cause of her death until that night just a few weeks ago. The realisation kept me awake the whole night. It took me two years to realise that she was, in fact, in labour when I noticed the fluid. Her small tummy belied the fact that she was pregnant. She must have vomited one of the pills that I gave her fortnightly and mated during that period.
It was the stark realisation that made me feel guilty of the possibility of repeating the same mistake on Kitty. What's done cannot be undone so now I keep a close watch on her. and pray that she will not go into labour on Saturday. If, however, she decides to do it on a Saturday, then I will have to take her to the vet in Sungai Petani. I looked up the Yellow Pages and discovered this vet and when I called to confirm, they told me it's opened everyday.
As at of this writing, Kitty does not eat as much as when she first came. She is no longer sluggish and I think her tummy has flattened out a bit. It was not mere imagination for Mother commented the same this morning. I hope and pray Kitty and the rest of the strays will not suffer the same fate as Adik, Insya Allah.
This picture was taken 2 weeks ago. Note the belly.
Also taken 2 weeks ago.
Picture taken yesterday 24th November.