Falling for a stray cat in Merida

Let me set the record straight. I am emphatically not a cat person. I never have been and never…oh, um, maybe I will be soon. You see, we have had a bit of a feline adventure over the last few days and my certainty that I am a dog person (and therefore never, ever, a cat person) has been shaken to its core!

The other night after the kids went to sleep, husband and I were watching our new favourite Mexican show, Club de Cuervos (check it out on Netflix if you can, it’s fabulous) when we heard a strange and continuous noise outside. We assumed it was a baby bird as we have birds nesting in the garden. The next morning the noise was still there loud and strong so I went to investigate. In a large pot I found a teeny tiny kitten. We have no idea how it got in the pot as it could barely walk let alone climb up the smooth sides of the pot. Maybe its mum abandoned it in there. Whatever the reasons, we weren’t going to leave it alone.

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I really don’t think it can have been more than a couple of weeks old. It was so small and pathetic. We immediately tried to offer it water and milk. We then learned that cats shouldn’t have cows’ milk so took that away. It didn’t know how to lap at the water. Sadly we had to go out then so we left water and a little bed made of my t-shirt and an open box. We weren’t expecting to find the cat still there when we got home, assuming it would go and find its mum once free…but it didn’t. It was right where we left it but up on its feet and having a little explore.

We tried offering baby cat food – nothing. After frantic googling I learned that we could offer rice water so we did that. I also learned I had to wipe the cat’s bum to try and encourage it to go to the loo so I did that too. Yay.

On Monday night, husband and I sat outside with this tiny kitten until midnight trying to encourage it to accept rice water in a syringe. After lots of cuddles and attempted suckling on husband’s arm (haha he got a love bite from a kitten!) we eventually got it to accept a little bit. Tuesday was a little better as husband (totally smitten with a kitten by this point) went and bought a baby bottle. And hurrah, we had success, the kitten would suckle from the bottle (ahem, why did my children not learn to accept a bottle as quickly as a sodding cat?). We knew then it’d be ok as finally it was getting sustenance.

Our kids fell in love with this cat but we just couldn’t keep it. We’re not here long enough and it wouldn’t be responsible pet owning (can you own a cat? Robin Hobb tells me no) or responsible parenting to teach our kids that you can keep a pet for a short time. So after 24 short hours with us we managed to find a friend who loves cats who said she’d take it and try to find a good home once it’s bigger.

My kids named it (her, we think) Golden-Stripe Nutelita Pot. So, here’s to you little Golden-Stripe, we miss you, even after just 24 hours with us, we feel your absence and the small boy cried when we took you to your new home. Thank you for teaching me that cats aren’t pure evil put on earth just to scratch people and look haughty.

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