Kiki was a stray cat, part of a colony that was living near a block of flats. She had cat flu and was in a bad way when P. found her.
Using Kiki’s love for food, P. managed to win her trust and took her to the vet. Without thought for the safety of her fingers, she managed to medicate Kiki by smearing the medicine on her paws. The little cat responded to the treatment: her eyes cleared up and she stopped sneezing and coughing.
P. wanted to give Kiki the best life and tried to integrate her into indoor life in her flat. Unfortunately it wasn’t an easy process, and in the end P. decided that Kiki was better off living outdoors, but with regular feeding from her. She blossomed into a plump little cat, with a glossy black-and-white coat. She also became quite friendly with everyone who stopped to greet her. But she was always P’s special cat. She used to wait for P. on her return from work and greet her by stretching, and then trot over, jaunty tail in the air.
I grew quite fond of Kiki because P. used to send me updates on her life. And I was impressed by what P. had achieved with the feral colony, in particular, Kiki. Through love and patience P. had changed the life and outlook of a cat. It gives us hope that we can do the same with the strays we meet. It was one of those feel-good stories of how animals and humans can meet by opening their hearts to one another.
Recently I got an e-mail from P. Kiki had vanished. And then the bombshell: some neighbours had complained about the feral colony – they believed that the cats were peeing indiscriminately and scratching the cars in the carpark. So they contacted the environmental agency who came and because they were lazy, took away only the cats that came willingly to them. This included Kiki.
There is no happily ever after to this story. The environmental agency ignored the fact that Kiki had had a little tag taken out from one of her ears – this was a clear sign that she had been spayed by the state vet. The agency’s policy is that all strays were pts within the week.
(Their error exposed, they have taken refuge in red tape, fingerpointing and prevarication. In the meantime, the wild un-neutered cats in the feral colony have continued to wreak havoc.)
So a loving cat who only wanted to love others has gone to the Rainbow Bridge before her time.
Goodbye Kiki, God bless …
Run wild and run free.
(This is what P. has to say:
“I just read your post “Do cats have souls?” I truly think that Kiki really was/is my angel and in everything that she’s doing, the little signs that she’s been giving me, she’s letting me know she’s still around. She did teach me a lot: how to let go, how to love a cat and have a pet but allow it to have the freedom to roam, because it was happiest that way. I used to need my pet next to me, with me. But with Kiki, she’s taught me how to trust and love and let go, knowing that they’ll come back if they love you.
I guess just being her, her character, sweet, but spunky, loving and tame but always fearless, I should learn from her.”)