Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Pitter Patter of Kitty Feet

Marrakech is full of cats. For the vast amounts of cats roaming the streets, I am surprised I have not seen more of the dead variety (just one laying in a garden and one, ironically, laying outside the walls of a graveyard). We have a couple of cats living in our building, just like any other apartment block or restaurant. There is a black one who liked to hiss and bear its teeth and also liked to sit on our washing machine. There is also a lithe grey one that likes to dart down the stairs as we are walking up. You see, cats are not really our friends. So we were more than a little surprised to open the door and find two kittens, less than a day old, on our door mat. They were extremely newborn and abandoned. The placenta and blood was nearby;  but no mother was insight. We followed the blood trail downstairs, but still no mother.

Kittens must be born everyday in Marrakech, with no vetenary care and no human contact. But I felt some ownership for these kittens on our door mat. We waited inside for the mother to come back. Perhaps she just needed a rest. However, after some internet research, I knew that the kittens would soon die if they were not kept warm and fed every two hours. So I made a little shelter out of an old kettle box and some kitchen towel and carefully placed the kittens inside. Every five minutes we checked for the mother. Still, she had not come. I went downstairs again and found the mother resting in the sun in her usual place. It was the grey cat that likes to dash down the stairs. However, she was not lightning quick, but sore and bloodied.

I brought the kittens downstairs and left them there for their mother. Later, when we left our apartment, the grey mother leapt out in front of us, spooked by the openning of our door. She dropped one of her kittens but picked it up quickly. I was relieved to see the kittens being taken care of.

I spotted the mother for the first time in over a week today. I will keep an eye out for the kittens too.

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