In which we almost acquire a cat


Hilary has long been in the habit of feeding the local stray cats by the bin – especially in winter.  We do try not to let them become too dependent on us.  We travel a lot and cannot really take responsibility for a pet.  However, this grey cat was very friendly.  We called her Duman (with is Turkish for Smoke).  Because she was entirely grey.  We got back from our long Central American trip very late at night and there she was, on the doorstep, chatting away and…. very pregnant.

We took her to the vet who said we should bring her back four to six weeks after she had her kittens.  She had two kittens.  One was killed by one of the local tomcats.  The other…. well, she kept trying to hide it under our bed and we had to stop her from doing that because it would have been impossible to continue with that whilst we were not at home.

We were quite concerned about the situation when we went to Berlin for a few days so we built a kind of blanket fort on the terrace.  Sadly it was not enough protection as we never saw the other kitten after we got back.  Duman was fine though, so we took her to the vet.  She had her inoculations, she had her internal and external parasites dealt with, she was spayed.  The vet phoned us to come and collect her but, sadly, when we got to his office, she had died.  He was as distressed by this as we were.  He thought it must have been a reaction to the anaesthetic.  Whatever…. We never bought her home.

This year has been very tough on the feral cat population.  There has been a devastating viral disease (feline infectious peritonitis) which has killed a great many of them.  However, this winter there are a lot of kittens about.  The population is very resilient. But I am very wary of ‘adopting’ a street cat again.  I don’t seem to be very lucky for them.

6 responses to “In which we almost acquire a cat

  1. Losing a fur-baby (even one that adopted you) is always a sad time. A lot of our strays have been very poorly this year and with winter here I tend to worry when one disappears for a few days. Most of ours have now been spayed (which has taken us over 4 years to capture and get to the vet) and although the boys tend to wander off for days at a time our girls are always close to the yard. RIP little Duman. She was lucky to have you guys caring for her.

    • There has been a virus going round here which decimated the kedi population, though it does seem to be picking up again now, with far too many kittens for the time of year. I just feel guilty because, had I not tried to have Duman spayed, she would be contributing to that kitten production effort.

  2. there is a smallish feral cat that hangs around when we are here. It gets fed and has shelter but is a very capable hunter and well able to look after itself. When we arrive back after a time away it will turn up after two or three days and settle back in to its routine. Used to be very skittish but has slowly got used to the idea that we are not going to abuse it and will tolerate the odd tiddle under the chin.

    • That is pretty much how Duman was (except she tried to hide the kitten under our bed – jumping through high windows whilst carrying it). We tried to do the right thing by her. But now it’s back to the generic relationship with our bin cats.

  3. Poor Duman. I have lots of cats around my house but like you I am wary of getting too close to them as I move every 6 months.

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