Diary: Rescuing lost kittens

Gulf News Community Web Editor Mohammad Jihad recounts his day-to-day experiences of finding and rehabilitating a pair of lost kittens, which he found near his home.

  • Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bed
    Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bedImage Credit: Supplied
  • Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bed
    Lysis eating dinner and making a mess in her new temporary home. Image Credit: Supplied
  • Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bed
    Rescued kitten Lysis seems to be doing better at the vet's in Nad Al Sheba. Image Credit: Mohammad Jihad/Gulf News
  • Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bed
    Lysis plays with a toy mouse while she recovers at the vet's.Image Credit: Mohammad Jihad/Gulf News
  • Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bed
    Lysis, now recovering after being rescued by Mohammad.Image Credit: Mohammad Jihad/Gulf News
  • Lysis (left) and Mikey getting ready for bed
    Mohammad spotted this small kitten under one of the big rubbish bins.Image Credit: Mohammad Jihad/Gulf News

A new friend

I just received an update on Lysis from one of the Feline Friends fosterers. Apparently she is doing very well and recovering from the trauma she experienced.

Although she is still thin, her eating habits have become normal and she has put on some weight. She was also de-wormed.

As I expected she is quite an active kitten. She has become friends with all the cats and kittens and plays with anyone around her all day.

She has also found a new best friend (or it could be more than a friendship). His name is Mikey – he was named by the son of the family who found him in Safa Park. He is a bit younger than her and they seem to be hitting it off. They play with each other all the time and even cuddle up together at night.

Lysis and Mikey will be moving to another foster for the time being as Feline Friends does not have enough room to shelter any more cats.

Lysis will have to wait until she is eight weeks old to get a vaccination and only then can she be given to a responsible caretaker who will give her a permanent home.

Day 3: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Today I visited Lysis and Seabiscuit at the vet in Nad Al Sheba where they were taken to get check ups.

When I arrived I received both good and bad news. I’ll start with the bad news:
Seabiscuit turned out to be completely paralysed from the waist down. He could not move his hind legs and had no control over his bladder and bowel movements.
The vet had to euthanise him.

They told me that it was more humane to put him to sleep than have him suffer like this for the rest of his life.

It is unfortunate that these things happen and what is worse is that Seabisuit was in a so-called better condition than some of the stray or abused cats that come in.

The vet told me that after Seabiscuit was put down, Lysis kept meowing. I’m not sure if it was a cat’s instinct or that she was put in a cage alone without her sibling.

When I was there I saw four stray cats that were just sterilised and waiting to go back on the street. This is apparently a common practice that they do.

They sterilise the cats so they don’t repopulate and repeat the incidents of Seabiscuit and Lysis and increase the number of stray cats.

Moving on to the good news; Lysis seems to be doing better.

When I first saw her she was sitting peacefully in the corner of the cage. We opened the cage to see how she was doing and she immediately started playing around.

They also gave her a toy mouse and she was definitely showing it who was the boss.

Rescued kitten Lysis

She occasionally meowed but there wasn’t much sound coming out. It seemed as though she had lost her voice from meowing for her mother on the street. She should recover soon.

Although her guard was still up, I was amazed at how friendly and playful she had become with anyone who came into contact with her.

I was also amazed that even though no one has trained her, she did her business in the litter box.

The next step was to give her to one of the Feline Friends volunteers who was kind enough to take her in, de-worm and care for her until she is old enough to be sterilised and given a permanent home.

Going through this process I realised it is not hard to help an abused animal. All it takes is a little time and a bit of effort and in return it would save a life.

Day 2: Morning

Sunday, October 31: There’s more than one!

Sunday morning comes along and I’m getting into my car to go to work when I hear the same meow (it must have been meowing continuously for two days).

When I approached her I noticed that she was sitting in an odd way. I also noticed that it wasn’t her… it looked like her twin brother.

The brother started struggling to get back under the garbage skip. His two front legs were dragging his body because the hind legs didn’t seem functional.

It was an awful sight to see. Then his sister, whom I had named Lysis, joined him. The closer I got, the more aggressive Lysis became – clearly defending her sibling.

I left them alone, as they appeared rather stressed. I rushed to the office and called Feline Friends to see if they were able to pick up the kitten with the damaged hind legs. I had named him Seabiscuit.

But, someone had beat me to it because it turned out that the driver of Feline Friends had already picked him up.

I gave the driver a call to ask him for updates and we agreed to meet after work to collect Lysis, too.

At the end of the work day, I called him to meet up.

To my amazement the reply I got was: “There was a problem. On my way to the garage to pick up the van, the cage where Seabiscuit was in, was left in the taxi.”

I was speechless.

He said he was waiting for the taxi driver to drop the kitten back so I left him at that. There was nothing I could say. I decided to drive to Mirdif where Lysis was hiding and try and capture her to give her to the driver to be taken to the vet.

Here kitty kitty

When I reached Mirdif, it was pitch dark as there are no street lights and the kitten was as big as my hand so all I could do was follow her meows.

Since the Feline Friends driver rescued its sibling Seabiscuit earlier that day, I think Lysis saw no reason for staying in her safe house (the big rubbish skip opposite my house).

I followed the meows, which led me to the other side of the road, and there she was – a small body with big ears.

I tried sneaking up on her but she heard me and ran straight for the bushes on the side of the road.

I got two towels to cover my hands in case she scratched me and knelt down and tried to catch her. She looked terrified.

It was not a pretty sight when passersby kept looking at me on my hands and knees on the side of the road with the headlights of my car shining on me.

She ran away again but now into a neighbour’s garden. I walked by the fence and crawled down to look for her in the dark, when I heard: “Can I help you?”

The neighbour and her husband were sitting on their porch with their cups of tea looking at me bending down and making weird noises.

I quickly explained why I was there so that they wouldn’t think I was a burglar!

After telling me repeatedly that there was no kitten around (and me snooping around in their garden) I thought that the kitten was gone.

I went back to the car disappointed. Before leaving I thought I should drive by to see if I could spot her one last time.

While passing the neighbours’ house I saw them searching for something.

I quickly parked the car and ran back to their house to ask them what they were doing.

They said: “We heard the meows and we’re sure it’s either between the tree branches or in our neighbour’s garden.”

Off to the rescue again, I got my towels and started searching. I finally found her in a place where she couldn’t run away!

She was up in a low tree, hugging a branch with all her might and shaking – it seemed that she had never been this high up before.

I finally grabbed her and tried to rush back to the car as she was trying so hard to slip out of my hands.

I called the driver to collect her and take her to Seabiscuit for a reunion. While waiting in my car, I looked at Lysis and for the first time in my life I could see sadness in a kitten’s eyes, as if she felt no hope.

Now, I have to wait and see what the vet has to say about their condition and see if someone can adopt them.

Day 1: Friday, October 29

 What’s that noise?

Tweet, tweet! was the first thing I heard when I stepped out of my house on Friday. I live in Mirdif.

As I was getting into my car I kept hearing it, I thought it were some birds, so I ignored it. Those tweets soon sounded a lot like meows.

I was trying to look for any movement on that road when I spotted a small kitten no bigger than my hand under one of the big rubbish bins.

Lost kittens

She was a beautiful kitten not more than five weeks old and her big ears perked up in the air - alert - to what was happening around her. I approached her to investigate where her parents were when she snapped at me with a big hiss.

It’s not every day that I get hissed at by a kitten – I never knew kittens were able to hiss in the first place. She must have been terrified for her to act that way.

I didn’t want to move her from that spot in case the mother came back, so I placed a small bowl of water and some small bits of chicken for her to eat and left.

- More updates coming soon.


  • kmali

    Nov 9, 2010 10:49

    wow i heard abt humanity but am seeing animality here...lol....anyways g8 job guys all of u are realy hero's who r undicovered..cheers...!

  • Siva

    Nov 3, 2010 4:56

    It's nice to know there's yet another one like me out there who could take so much effort to save abandoned kittens. Just to share with you guys, I recently had one such opportunity to save two kittens abandoned wrapped in a towel in a small carton near the trash bin in Jumeirah where I live. They were less than a week old with the ears still folded and eyes hardly open. I heard the continuous crying of the kittens and took a closer look at the trash bin then I found them trying to scramble out of the box. I was not sure if the mother cat is still around so undecidedly I came back home. Then the next morning I found the kittens still lying there hungry and thirsty. Then I decided to take them home, so I had to make room for the kittens in the small place where I live. I had trouble feeding them because I don't have skills even though I adore cats. Then I bought a couple of nursing bottles and baby cat milk powder from the vet. They just love the milk. Now they are 6 weeks old and I have already put them on other cat food but they still love to drink milk from the nursing bottle.Once they grow big enough may be I will put them up for adoption because I don't have a big house to keep them. Of course I will keep them if I don't find any kind person to take the kittens. By the way I named them Chebby the boy and Spider the girl.

  • SR

    Nov 3, 2010 3:38

    Great stuff MJ. You're great person with a great mind. I did have a similar experience in Barsha, where a kitten hardly 2-3 weeks was on the middle of the road. As usual everyone drove around it and the big ones just drove over. I some how managed to stop and pull the poor fellow into the car. I contacted one of the reputed clinics that wasnt really entertaining cos they dont do charity apparantly. But they managed to give me a contact for Feline friend. Later on as instructed i dropped her off to a clinic, where they did a thorough check up and said that the kitty is weak and wont be able tolerate medicines. They had to put her to sleep. Tears rolled down, but i calmed myself. It's better this way than suffer pain and get run over by people who was have no time for a good cause. later i adopted a cat that was being shuffled around houses of ppl that i knew. He's finally happy and healty and a very much loving 8 months kitty.

  • Pauline

    Nov 3, 2010 12:22

    Well done Mohammed, you've done a humane and caring thing. These poor little creatures have so much to give us and yet so many live in fear on the streets. We have 4 'rescued' cats but I prefer to think that they chose us :)

  • Naheed

    Nov 3, 2010 8:27

    So many people these days are so busy and wrapped up in their lives that they forget these small gestures of hope.im sure ur gesture was not small to lysis! maybe u saved a whole cat family:)

  • IMI

    Nov 3, 2010 1:43

    I am so happy to read this. I did just the same a year ago when i rescued a kitten that fell of from his mother's mouth while she was relocating her self. This kitten was found right in the middle of the highway. I was lucky enough to reach on time and rescue that cat. Its now over a year, and i still have him with me, I love him so much and i have named him lucky. I have 2 resuce cats with me, and I do the same here in Qatar. I wish there was something that i could do for cats in Qatar. Great Job MJ !!

  • daniel katz

    Nov 2, 2010 5:29

    You are a true inspiration ! I hope that she finds a good home and a good heart.

  • Amanina Nasir

    Nov 2, 2010 4:15

    its always good to hear there's still some type of humane treatment on animals out here in Dubai. Cats are one of the most beautiful animals out there! You won't regret taking them home!One good deed can influence many more. Thanks Mohammad:)

  • Sidra

    Nov 2, 2010 2:16

    Nice work. And nice name for the kitten: Lysis.

  • Derar

    Nov 2, 2010 2:06

    Thanks a lot for helping the poor kitten, its great to know people like you still exist in this country.The same thing happened to two of my cats, and now they have been happily living with me for the past few years. Every creature deserves a chance to happiness and safety!

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Latest Comment

wow i heard abt humanity but am seeing animality here...lol....anyways g8 job guys all of u are realy hero's who r undicovered..cheers...!


9 November 2010 12:41jump to comments