Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The story of three cats

On Saturday I called Delfino to remind him that he was going to come over and look at the stray siamese cat to see if he might know the owner. Delfino thought he did know the owner, someone who had lost a bunch of cats thanks to a neighbor's poison. The family had hoped that a couple cats had escaped, because their bodies hadn't been found - Cappuchino was one of those cats. Delfino called the 'owner' and provided directions to our home so they could come over and check out the cat.

On Monday the father and daughter came over and although the cat didn't act like it knew them, the father was convinced that it was their cat (the daughter was not convinced and was a little distressed that her cat did not want anything to do with her - in fact, the cat took off while they were there). They were happy to leave the cat with us as they do not have a good place for her, we were all afraid she might be poisoned again, and she is clearly happy in our garden. But they decided to send the mother over to see if she could identify the cat.

Later in the afternoon the family came back, and the mother confirmed that although Cappuchino looked like their cat (and they wanted to believe their cat had survived), it was not quite right. Must be a sibling or cousin - a cat with the same parents but not their cat. Sadly, they left.

And happily for us, Cappuchina (because she is a girl, the "O" turns into an "A") is here to stay. She is a very friendly, affectionate cat and everyone who comes here is greeted by Cappuchina. The cat is still trying to work her way into our home, and she has succeeded by convincing Loco to open the door for her. But we are keeping her outside - our other cats do not like her and Minina frankly goes nuts trying to beat her up through the screen. It is probably just a matter of time, but right now Cappuchina is an outdoor cat, sleeping in the rocking chair on a nice blanket, and jumping into the laps and hammocks when anyone is there to provide the lap.

Velose, the wild kitten living in our garden, got to the age where spaying/neutering became critical. Other stray cats were grabbing her (because Delfino confirmed Velose is a 'she') and acting like they were trying to have sex with the baby cat. So since Delfino didn't need the cage he brought to take Cappuchina away, we decided to try to catch Velose while he was here.

We put some canned food into Velose's dish and placed it inside the cage. We all watched as Velose innocently examined the door of the cage, and then tentatively stepped inside to get the food. Once inside, Miguel quickly jumped up and slammed the door shut, none too soon as little timid Velose turned into a snarling and growling wild cat, thrashing around and very upset about being caught. A blanket placed over the cage calmed the cat a bit, and off she went with Delfino, to be spayed after the weekend. We told Delfino to bring the cat back to us when she was ready to be put back out into the wild.

On Monday evening I called Delfino to find out if he had done the surgery. Yes, but unfortunately as someone was cleaning the cage Velose got out and was now free in the clinic. Because Velose is wild, nobody could catch her (she is named Velose (Speedy) for a reason). Delfino was prepared to just let Velose live there, out in the back, but we really feel bad and want her back where she is familiar and where we provide food and water for her.

So Delfino has to trap Velose, which isn't going to be easy since he has so many other cats there. I rather expect we'll never see Velose again, but I'm still hoping she will come back to us.

We were driving through La Gloria yesterday and about to turn the corner when Miguel spotted two dogs chasing a kitten up the road. He forgot about the turn and drove up to where the kitten was being attacked. Other people were lingering around and watching the two dogs tossing the kitten around, nipping at it, and trying to kill it. Nobody was doing anything to help the kitten.

Miguel got off the cart and crossed the road. As he did that, I sat on the cart and just started yelling at the dogs, which startled one dog and it stopped the attack. But the bulldog kept at it, and the kitten was no longer able to do anything - it lay limp in the middle of the road as motorists drove around and past it - nobody stopping. The dog was not responding to Miguel's attempts to get it to let go of the cat but finally an opening came and he was able to grab the limp kitten.

As I sat on the cart controlling Loco, I noticed a woman up on her balcony of the house beside me. She was watching, and pleading "don't hit it". I asked if it was her kitten - no, it was her dog. My thoughts? Seriously lady - don't hit your dog after what it is doing to the kitten? Frankly, I would like to kill your dog. And I'm not too happy with you for not doing anything to stop your dog. I kept my thoughts to myself.

The dog followed Miguel over to the cart, and afraid of attack on any or all of us, Miguel grabbed the large stick we happened to have in the cart and just held it and yelled over and over at the dog to go away (Vamos!!). I took the kitten from Miguel and laid it on the seat between us - it tried to bite me once, but then just gave up and laid limply on the seat. The dog came over to my side and I took the stick and looked the dog in the eye and also yelled at him. The dog was confused, he knew the cat was somewhere around the cart, but the scent of Loco and us mixed with the scent of the kitten threw him off and he didn't know what to do. Finally Miguel got the cart started and we pulled away.

I really thought the kitten would die, but as we drove off it was still breathing. Miguel headed for Delfino's clinic but I told him it was pointless - it was after hours. We pulled over and called Delfino, who was on his way to Cancun. Delfino gave instructions where to go with the cat if nobody was at the clinic. We drove along and there were times I thought the cat had stopped breathing, but I just gently stroked its head/neck with one finger as I held Loco with the other hand, and when we reached the clinic the kitten was still alive (although it was just lying there limp).

We were happy to see one of Delfino's employees come out of the clinic, and when she came over and I handed her the kitten, it opened its eyes. Since there wasn't any blood, the kitten may just have been in shock from the shaking and tossing - I know another few seconds with those dogs and it would have been over for the kitten. I tried to call Delfino last night to see if the kitten had survived, but he was not answering. Even if the kitten died, at least it wasn't torn apart by dogs. I'll try to get an update today and will post if I do.

Once again, Miguel is my hero. After he came back to the cart with the kitten, he loudly said something, in Spanish to anyone within earshot, about people who don't control their dogs and let them hurt other animals. I hope all those cowards who stood by and watched and did nothing felt some remorse, and maybe next time Miguel's words will come back and they will step up and do the right thing.


Ann said...

What a story! Glad you were able to help the kitty , even if it was only to die with a little dignity.

KfromMichigan said...

I hope the kitten is still alive. Poor baby. Thanks to Miguel!

Dorgon said...

Sue, what a heart wrenching story today! First, I am so glad that the beautiful Cappuchina is now one step closer to your inner sanctum (which I know is cat heaven.) I also hope that Velose will be returned to you soon.

You and especially Miguel were so good to help the beleaguered kitten. Whatever happens now is out of your hands but at least you did what was right. Please thank Miguel on our behalf for his compassionate actions.


Life's a Beach! said...

It's just horrendous that an owner would stand on a balcony and watch their dog attack and try to kill a kitten. If it does that, I bet it would also attack children and other people? Thank God for Miguel! I hope the kitty lived.

I'm glad Cappuchina has found her home, and hope Delfino can capture Velose and bring her back.

Jonna said...

I've seen similar too many times, the horror is always just out of sight down here. Besos for Miguel, he's a hero.

Jane said...

All that time elapsed, and the woman had still not come down to get her dog, even after you and Miguel had saved the kitten, gotten onto your cart, and Miguel was protecting all of you with a stick? Was she crippled or what?

Anonymous said...

Well that gave me my cry for the day. Thank you both for having such loving hearts. Hope all ends well for all. dujy

Islagringo said...

Miguel is indeed a hero. But one of these days he is going to get hurt. What is wrong with people and their dogs here? I am so sick of not being able to walk where I want for fear of being attacked by a dog. Packs are starting to roam our neighborhood again. I wonder what that woman on the balcony would have done had the dog actually tried to attack you to get to the kitten?

Anonymous said...

The animals of isla are lucky to have people like you there to help. I could not live there as I think the attitude towards animals and their treatment would upset me on a daily basis. Many countries are like Mexico and it is troubling.

Sue said...

Ann - that is what happened in the end. But better that way, for sure.

K - it didn't make it. :-(

Doris - Cappuchina made her way into the house quite a bit while the family were here. Doors left open, and girls determined to convert her and resolve her disagreements with the other cats. But she's still outside, and quite happy - she has a blanket on the rocking chair and that's her spot (except when she's in a lap, or snuggling in the hammock). And thanks for posting and for all your good thoughts!!

Beck and Jane - the owner was just concerned about her own dog, but not enough to come down and get it under control. Grrr...

Jonna - I know what you mean. Sometimes we hear terrible noises out there somewhere, and I wonder what is actually going on. It is unsettling.

Dujy - thanks for caring.

Wayne - I thought about the dog going after us to get to the kitten, or Loco, but it either was confused by all the smells, was afraid of the stick, or it wasn't interested in anything other than the kitten (which it couldn't find after we took it away from him). Miguel has lots of experience with animals, he didn't just jump in, he waited for the right chance and I hope it will always be that way. He cares so much about all animals that I hope he will be around a long time to keep taking care of them.

Anon - it is one of the hardest things about living here, but you just have to do what you can and hope things will change. I do see some changes, so the education is working, it's just taking too long for this impatient soul.