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Do not buy, adopt a pet

Readers rescue three kittens that were too young to eat on their own

Image Credit: Supplied
Syed Huzaifah and Syeda Murjan rescued three kittens in their neighbourhood.
Gulf News

Sharjah: On November 15, we were were riding our bicycles with some friends in the area behind our building in Sharjah, when we heard a few meows. Out of curiosity, we all went to check and saw three kittens left alone in an untidy place.

We told our parents about them and they helped us in trying to find the kittens’ mum, but we were unsuccessful.

Along with the kittens, we also found some bowls of milk, so it seemed like people were taking care of them. However, the bowls were too big for the kittens to be able to drink from. Additionally, our neighbours told us that some people were feeding them cow’s milk! You should never feed kittens cow’s milk because they cannot digest the enzymes in it, as stated by the US-based Partnership for Animal Welfare. They can be fed mother’s milk replacer, which is easily available in the market.

We convinced our parents to take them home and give them shelter. Initially, we kept them in the balcony, because they were quite dirty. But, in the morning, the first thing we did was take them to a vet and get them checked up.

The doctor told us that the kittens were around 25 days old and they did not have any infection or fleas. She gave us tips on how to clean their eyes and ears with clean water and cotton. We were also told that we shouldn’t bathe the kittens as they are not used to and not ready for water at such a young age. So, we went home and cleaned them with wet wipes and let them play for a while.

The kittens could not drink milk by themselves, because they were too young. We fed them with syringes at first and later with small feeders made for kittens. We also went to a pet store and bought some things for them, such as toys to play with and litter boxes, along with some food for when they get a bit older.

We always wanted a kitten from the pet store, specifically one that had fluffy fur and different-coloured eyes. But, then we found these kittens who were abandoned by their mum. They needed shelter immediately.

At the pet store, the cats, kittens and other pets do have a place to live, someone looking after them and someone willing to pay a hefty amount to take them home. But, the stray cats have none of those luxuries.

Instead of buying a pet from one of those stores, wouldn’t it be better if we were able to provide food and shelter to one of the abandoned or stray cats? And no matter how they look, you should love them the way they are and in return, they will love you. This bond would be real, similar to ours with the kittens. Patra, Didi and Avery are special to us because we rescued them and we hope that they think that we are special for them.

Today, they all are very healthy and playful and we will keep them with us for as long as we can. Since we both like to make videos for fun, we thought it would be a good idea to make videos on the kittens so other children our age can understand the importance of adopting or rescuing a pet rather than buying one from a store. We uploaded a three-part series, “Abandoned baby baby kittens!” on our YouTube channel, 2x tubers, for every animal lover to see. We hope that our efforts will inspire others to adopt and not buy a pet, because this is what we also learned.

You can watch our three part series here: Video 1, Video 2 and Video 3

If you really love animals, than rescuing and providing them with shelter and love gives you a special feeling, which is not there when you buy one.

- The readers are pupils based in Sharjah.