When Mick and I were coming to Cambodia, I was certain, absolutely certain that there would be NO CAT for us here. After the tragedy of Bamboo passing away in Chiang Mai, I didn’t want to deal with the heartbreak of having a cat, loving it and then losing it or having to leave it behind. I was determined to not have a cat…odd for me, but I felt it was the right decision.
And then Asukasa came along.
We had just moved into our apartment and we saw this cute little black and white cat walk along our balcony. She stopped, meowed, looked at us and then ran away. This continued for a few days and OF COURSE i fed her a few little snacks. As time went on, her belly got bigger and it became apparent that she was pregnant…oh yes. And she came daily to hang out, meow at us and eat some snacks. I was concerned for a time because it appeared that she had mange on the back of her neck and ears (yuck!) so I called up Phnom Penh Animal Welfare Society and asked for some advice. They were lovely enough to send someone round to check on the health of Asukasa and turns out it wasn’t mange at all, it was just a bald spot from a dirty tom cat biting her to have sex…but they did say that she was very close to having her babies.
Being someone who cares for animals, I wanted her to have her kittens at our place…and also because I wanted to have kittens on tap! Oh My! And it seemed like she wanted to have them at our house too. Last Saturday (29 June) she gave birth to 5 cute little kitties in our cupboard. I was fortunate enough to actually be awake and watch her give birth to them (what a trip that was!) and she has been happily caring for them ever since in our cupboard. The last time I was around kittens this young was when I was growing up and our cat Fish had two litters of kittens, one under my bed!
All was going well until last night when a JERK of a tom cat came into our apartment last night (Monday) and took one of the kittens. He took it and he probably ate it or at least he would have killed it for sure. A three day old kitten!!! So awful. Apparently this is common for tom cats to do as they want the mother cat to go back into heat so they can mate with her again. And they can kill ALL the kittens, not just one or two. Poor Asukasa. I called up the local international vet and asked for advice – how on earth can we stop this?! He said that the best thing to do is to arrange for her to be desexed as soon as possible, within 2 weeks of her giving birth…and that would mean bottle feeding the kittens while she is away! EEEK.
The most wonderful thing has come out of this awful horror of her kitten getting taken. I placed a call for help on twitter and sent an email out to some friends to see if anyone is willing to put a bit of money towards getting Asukasa desexed (not much spare money when you are a volunteer unfortunately) and we have had the most awesome response. We have been given enough money to cover the cost of her procedure and can also cover the cost of her kittens getting vaccinated too! So wonderful! Thank you all for the generous and humbling support, it is really inspiring. If anyone else wants to pitch in a bit of coin, just get in touch with me.
No doubt I will be updating more about Asukasa and her kittens as we go along, but cross your fingers that there are no more awful things that happen to these sweet animals.