Cats

Cat Profile(s): The Late Children Of Neko

Neko‘s first litter was four kittens and the second was two kittens. (As far as we know – she must’ve had more kittens before that). The third litter was six, of which we got one which Neko abandoned. She was the runt, thus her name – Iota.

WARNING: You might find this post depressing.

The First Batch: Oreo, Cupcake and Chocolate (who is the remaining one). The fourth one we saw only once, and we don’t have any photos of him (or her). It was the first day and naturally all of them were afraid of us, so the only thing we know about the fourth one is that it was completely black.

Cupcake

Cupcake was pretty much identical to her mother. She was very friendly and playful, but sadly stayed with us for a short time. She was extremely cute and, like all kittens, loved playfighting. Often Oreo and Chocolate would be rolling around together biting each other and she would pounce on both of them. Cupcake’s end was a sad one – she was apparently electrocuted by an open electricity wire after the rain.

Oreo

Oreo was also quite friendly like Cupcake, very playful and always loved sitting in laps. In the first few days he even came into the living room (but got quite a scare when we shooed him – sorry, it was a she.. – when we shooed her out quickly because Mama didn’t like stray cats in the house!)

When Muffin and Chloe came, we were expecting that Oreo, being more sociable, would be friendly with them and Chocolate, being the scaredy-cat, would not. We knew that there might be a little enmity in the beginning but definitely had no idea what Oreo’s response would be!

Of course when Oreo and Chocolate first saw Muffin and Chloe they hissed and ran. Muffin, although he was the male, was just sitting dopily there and Chloe hissed.

Contrary to our expectations, Chocolate quickly became fast friends with Muffin and Chloe. But Oreo refused to come anywhere near them. She would go to the back of the house and stay there all day, or would go next door or on the terrace. She wouldn’t even come for food. I was compelled to give Oreo special time by going to the back and playing, patting and feeding her there. (Chocolate became fatter because she ate with Muffin and Chloe as well as with Oreo. Just kidding! But she did eat more).

Over time Oreo gradually became a little less moody and started interacting with Muffin and Chloe. Commercial cat food is an instant lure for our cats. Being strays, they go completely bonkers when they get a whiff of it and it was the only time Oreo would come near Muffin and Chloe. Slowly, not being able to resist the enticing food in the same plate as the two new cats, Oreo became friends with them. (All good friendships have one factor in common: Food).

Then the four became BFFs. Here are some group photos.

One night we gave the four some bones from dinner. Oreo’s was a thin, flat one, shaped just like the roof of her mouth. All of them started gnawing away on the food.

After a while we noticed that Oreo was clawing at her mouth and shaking her head. After this went on for a while we decided it was not stuck in her throat – whatever the thing was. My sister bent down and looked and said that the bone was stuck in the top of Oreo’s mouth!

If this ever happens with your cat, open its mouth like you would a horse’s: slide your index finger and thumb into the end of your cat’s mouth, where there are no teeth. Use a light to see what the problem is. (Don’t shine it on your cat’s eyes!)

Well, since I was holding her mouth open my sisters refused to take the bone out with their own fingers B/ and so we got a toothpick and wedged it between the bone and the roof of Oreo’s mouth. We were afraid to pull it too hard for fear that it would injure Oreo’s mouth.

After a while my sister was compelled to take it out with her hands. When we did, Oreo ran off. And so we learned to never, ever give cats thin, flat bones! (If this ever happens with you save your cat the pain and yourself the worry and go straight to taking it out with your hands).

Oreo passed away from I think food poisoning or something sometime between mid-October to late November.

Rocket

Rocket was from Neko’s second litter, Pirate‘s brother. Both were scaredy-cats in the beginning, naturally. See how Pirate suddenly became friendly with us here. Rocket obviously came a little later.

He thoroughly enjoyed being patted and he, Pirate and Chocolate always slept together. From the beginning he had an abnormal problem of unending eye discharge – goopy yellowish liquid. Sometimes it was more, sometimes less, but always there. I was forever gently cleaning the poor kitten’s face with damp tissues. He didn’t like it but never struggled.

One day Pirate was sitting in my lap, as usual, and then Rocket climbed up, too. I have never managed to comprehend why all of Neko’s kids adore sitting in my lap, or anybody’s lap in fact. From then on he climbed up whenever possible. Once Chocolate climbed on – then Pirate – then Rocket – and then the fat Muffin tried to sit too, and he fitted! Not without squashing some parts of the others though. The weight on my legs was quite heavy so I put them all off in a few minutes!

Rocket was a very بھولا بھالا cat. (I have no idea how to define this Urdu phrase in English, sorry!) He was happy with whatever he got and liked sitting in front of the heater in the winters on a pillow. When the other three went off to eat he sometimes stayed. He didn’t like changing position in the cold and was usually in the center of snuggles.

2019’s Pakistani winter was too long. It lasted till late March. Rocket had not been feeling very well and just sat in his bed all day long and occasionally skipped meals. When I tried to get him out so I could put him inside in front of the heater, he held on with his claws. When I did get him in he just slept there without moving.

One day he was worse. His eye discharge was more than usual and he was panting and clutching things. I gave him catfood but he didn’t sniff it. I even soaked it in water and gave it to him but he didn’t pay any attention.

The next morning, we found him lying on his bed, as if he had passed away peacefully in his sleep.

Chocolate

Chocolate was from Neko’s first litter. The scaredy-cat of the bunch, she stayed at the back with Neko instead of playing with her siblings, which were much braver and came nearer to us, spooked easily till the end.

It took some time, but when Chocolate did start coming near humans, she didn’t come near anybody but me. I guess that was because my sisters often found it funny when she got scared (I’m taking revenge on my sisses on Chocolate’s part now). Nobody really liked her much either, because of her color. While Oreo snuggled in my lap, Chocolate’s envy slowly won against her fear and she started lying down under my legs as I sat on the doorstep. When she climbed into my lap the first time, it was after Oreo died, I think. She loved it. Pirate and Chocolate would then squeeze into my lap while Rocket sat in a perfect loaf nearby. Chocolate didn’t like having her lap-time intruded on, though.

Chocolate hated being alone. She always had company, but one day, Muffin and Chloe left for a night or two. Chocolate had a very high-pitched squeaky voice, and a few miaows were enough to melt your heart. She spent almost the whole day inside then. She had a habit of kneading your legs, and also had extra-sharp claws. I sewed a pillow for her and put it under her paws when she made biscuits on my lap, because it was painful to say the least.

Chocolate was an extremely well-mannered cat. She kept herself clean, didn’t run all over the place excitedly, and due to her scaredy-catness, usually kept a respectful distance. It was easy to note her sickness due to that.

First, she started having a third eyelid problem. Her appetite gradually decreased and she ate very little of her favorite foods, and sometimes didn’t eat at all, but she drank a lot of water. Then she grew very weak. Eventually, in a very bad state, she disappeared. She had all the symptoms of kidney disease, which unfortunately has no known cure. She died in Ramadhan 2019.

Okay, that was a pretty depressing post…. But I really felt these kittens should have a place in my blog! 🙂

To cheer you up, Neko is a dependable kitten-producing machine. If we run out of cats, all we need to do is feed her. She’ll take it from there.

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