The biggest part of my 2018 has been my journey with Padmé, my rescued mama cat, and her five beautiful kittens. Here, I’ll be talking about our story.
A few days before I found Padmé, scared and frail outside our building, my mom mentioned a fluffy cat she spotted in our area. She couldn’t get a closer look because she was in a car with my dad. Our area is far from the main city in Doha and stray cats are a very rare occurrence. Unlike Doha where strays and colonies are literally at every corner, you will never see cats in our area. So I’d like to think that it was fate that a few days after as I was on my way out for an event that I found her just outside our building. My uber had already called me three times but I just couldn’t leave her. She was so frail and scared. My mom and I decided to take her in.
She was so thin, fur matted, and you could see it in her face how terrified she was. She was in such a poor condition that we didn’t even know she was pregnant! We only found out 2 weeks later when I finally found time to take her to the vet. We were supposed to have her groomed but the vet advised against it because she was already a month into pregnancy and would be too risky to stress her out. They told me that it was a good thing that I found her when I did. Left alone in the street without food nor water (our area is very clean, dumpsters are always sealed) she would have died. We also found out she was once a pet because she had a microchip. Unfortunately she wasn’t registered. Either her previous owner forgot to register her microchip or they deleted their details.
I named her Padmé after the Star Wars character and also because 2 months before I found her, I rescued a black male cat and named him Darth Vader hoping they’d be a couple. I was wrong. I’ll talk more on this some other time.
She is such a sweetheart. Once I finally gained her trust she never left my side. She would always climb up onto the bed with me and cuddle, always making sure at least one part of her body was touching mine. I could not fathom why her previous owner would dump such a beautiful cat. We helped her recover. She was so scared she wouldn’t leave my room. She’d explore for a few minutes, only if I was with her, and run back to my room. Slowly she started grooming herself, getting rid of the knots and and matted fur herself.
About a month later, while my family was in the Philippines for vacation (I had to stay behind because I haven’t earned my yearly leave yet), I was getting ready for work. While I was running around the house she would follow me around and try to “talk” to me. By this I mean she would meow with urgency, like she really wanted to say something. She does this sometimes. Between me and you, I honestly think cats are smart enough to talk to us but we just don’t comprehend the same language. When she was doing this I had the biggest gut feeling that this was her way of letting me know that today was the day. Unfortunately, I had a long list of tasks waiting for me at work and I decided that it may be nothing.
When I got home that day, I opened the door to my room and was greeted by an angry meow from Padmé coming from her little nest we made for her (a big box that was once used to store a large microwave). And then I realized her meow wasn’t the only noise coming out of the box. There were several tiny meows that chorused with her. I opened the top of the box and saw that she had given birth to 5 tiny kittens! I will never forget the feeling of joy and panic I felt upon seeing this. As this was my first time ever to witness anything like this I quickly called a vet and asked what I should do. There was blood everywhere and the kittens were all still wet, a sign that she had just given birth and they have only been in the world for a few mins. The vet calmed me down, made sure I checked that everyone was breathing normally and that umbilical cords were all cut. All there was to do was make sure Padmé was comfortable, able to rest, and had food and water near her as well as make sure that all 5 kittens were feeding off her. After a day, she cleaned herself up! No signs of blood and gunk on her fur. She was amazing!
For the first 2 days I didn’t touch her kittens, because I read that it might make her angry or make them smell like me and not her kittens. But slowly I tried and she let me. She was always so attentive tho. Once I pick one or her kittens up and they’d meow she’ll sit up and watch us closely. For the first few weeks she rarely left the box. To the point that she’d forget to eat and I’d have to feed her personally. It was so beautiful watching all this happen, watching her care for them.
Now I’ll introduce to you our 5 beautiful munchkins. Lets start with Yoda, our little angel.
Yoda. I named him Yoda because, well, he looks like him. He’s the runt of the litter, the tiniest. Padmé used to single him out, take him out of the box and put him beside it on a piece of cloth. I found this odd and I Google’d it and found out it could be a sign that he was sick. Later on we found out he had a birth defect. His rib cage grew inwards, so as he grew older and got bigger his lungs and internal organs got pressed together. We were on borrowed time with him but we tried everything we could. He was such a mama’s boy, never leaving Padmé’s side. Well, except for when he’d climb ontop of me to sit on my lap. He passed away just when they all reached 3 months.
Shuri. The first to get adopted was Shuri, whom I named after the princess of Wakanda, sister of T’challa (Black Panther). She is a dark tabby that has an orange streak on her face and a single white front paw that makes her unique. Her name is Mia now and was adopted by my mother’s friend. She lives with a doggo too who I’m told she like to bully. She was the curious one, always investigating things and exploring holes and tiny corners. This unfortunately got her in a lot of trouble. She once tipped over my full sized mirror (don’t worry the mirror didn’t break!) and got her foot caught beneath it. In her panic and struggle to get out she hurt her leg pretty badly and had a limp for a few days. She recovered quickly though. Padmé, being the smart cat and protective momma that she is, meowed at us and scratched at the mirror until we finally put it in the other room.
Luna. Luna is the sweetheart of the litter. She is also a dark tabby that has such a sad face and I find it sooo cute. She’s a little cross eyed but that’s part of her adorable charm. She’s one of the more reserved kittens and likes to keep to herself. Her name is now Mimosa, adopted by a high school friend who showers her with all the love (and toys) she deserves.
Bella (aka Bellatrix). She is our fierce little beauty. She’s a tricolor cat with such a beautiful face. She’s also the most mischievous and hyper of them all. She’s the first to lift her head up, stand, jump and run. She has so much energy it’s hard to keep up. She’s the most photogenic of them all and she knows it. We have so many selfies together! Her name is now Nami adopted by good friends of mine. I still see her a lot when I visit them.
Luke. Luke is the only one left with us. Even after efforts of posting cute pictures and videos of him, no one has come forward to adopt him which makes me so sad. Out of all his siblings, he’s the one that looks most ordinary. He looks like a stray. However, if you get to know him he has such an amazing personality. He’s the clingiest of them all, always wanting to be on your lap or curled up onto you when he naps and sleeps. He loves to play hide and seek and he’s just the best! I’ve never encountered a cat like him. As no one has stepped up to offer him a forever home, we’re gladly keeping him.
This journey with these kittens have been such a beautiful experience! I am so blessed to have found Padmé when I did. Its been life changing. Caring for them everyday, seeing them grow up and witnessing their milestones has been something I will remember for the rest of my life. Seeing them open their little eyes, lift their head up, take their first steps, and eventually let them go and live on with their new families are all treasured memories. It was hard having to let them go one by one, but I knew it was something I had to do. I had done my part and other families will not have the privilege of having them in their lives.
I encourage anyone reading this to rescue and adopt beautiful souls or help in any way you can. There are strays and dumped pets out on the streets that need you! The expenses and the stress and the hassle is worth the bond and the love you’ll share with these creatures. They’ll change your life just as much as you’ll change theirs. #AdoptDontShop