Thursday, December 22, 2011

One day with Bert

This is a story left to be told, and in loving memory of the animal we will never forget. Having worked with so many over the past few years, each animal has a place in our hearts, and heart wrenching ones like these, will only push us on to pursue our causes even further.

Note: The writer finally took time off to write this blog post, so that when she grows older and looks back, these beautiful memoirs will make her smile no matter the tears shed.

Seems like it never rains but pours. Having been more active on cat cases and sterilization recently, this discovery was nonetheless shocking and heartbreaking. This story involves an extremely young kitten named Bert. The lifespan of this little kitten was only less than twenty-four hours, but still, we needed a name to remember him/her by. Unfortunately, we did not even know was Bert a boy or a girl, but still, he/she will be well remembered.

Dumpling Festival was fast approaching and E’s grandma was boiling dumplings on a charcoal stove just outside her flat. They have just taken the first lot of dumplings out from the pot, and the pot was left there to cool for a while before the water was poured away along the gutter just outside the corridor.

E’s auntie suddenly heard some soft sound, alike whimpering. She glanced up and down the corridor, but did not see anything or anyone. The sound seemed to get softer and softer, and she was sure it was not her ears playing tricks on her. She searched high and low, and finally, saw a small shadow moving under the fish tank outside the neighbour’s place.

E’s auntie walked towards the fish tank, and realized it was meowing. A kitten! What was it doing there? The stray cats at that block have all been sterilized with tipped ears. E's auntie did not know what to do, and hurriedly rushed into the flat to get E's help. E stretched her hand under the fish tank and carefully lifted the kitten out. He was already wet but luckily not badly scalded. The poor baby’s eyes were unopened, and he was crying nonstop. E immediately brought him into the house and dried him.

E and husband swiftly went to a pet shop nearby, and returned with kitten milk and feeding equipment. Bert was fed, kept warm, and fell asleep very shortly after. Though E knew very well that Bert’s survival rate was low, E still wanted to give him a chance to live.

It was actually a working day the following day and E was thinking hard about how to manage Bert as he needed regular feeding every few hours but she decided to deal with that later. E brought Bert home and kept him cozily tucked away in an A4 paper box with towels, a stuffed toy and a clock. She read online that the ticking of the clock is similar to the heartbeat of a mother cat, which would help the kitten settle in easily.

E’s dogs could sense Bert but they were not allowed to go near him at all. The eldest dog was seemingly aware of what was going on and he would jump up from his sleep whenever the kitten made any slight noise even though it was in the next room. When E woke up every two hours to feed the kitten, he followed suit but waited outside the room door obediently. In the wee hours of the night at about 4am, E's husband felt the dog’s cold nose constantly touching his arm as if trying to wake him up. E's husband immediately sensed something amiss and went over to Bert. There was no more heartbeat.

E was devastated though she had tried to mentally prepare herself for it. We all know how young kittens seldom make it, but it was a life lost after all. E wrapped Bert up and chose a safe spot to bury Bert, and made a little cross to remember Bert by. It gave us comfort that this cat passed on in the comfort of a home, warm and fed, not alone, cold and starving on the cold cement floor.

This could have probably been a case of irresponsible dumping due to household pets not being sterilized. A spayed pet is a healthy and happy pet, why allow your pets which you treat like your own children to go through unnecessary pregnancies? As much as many of us out there involve ourselves in helping stray animals on the streets, we need pet owners to take responsibilities for their pets too.

Don't forget to sterilize your pets today. You're not only helping them, but you would be helping society at large – to reduce the stray problem.


masterofboots said...

It always breaks my heart to know about abandoned pets. We should spread this message, especially during Christmas

blackangel said...

i had a tears when i read this.. only angel have your heart.. no many would do like u did.

blackangel said...

i hv tears from reading it.. only an angel would do like you did! and you an angel.

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