Saturday, August 26, 2006

A Bad Month for Pets

One of my co-workers went in today to get the mid-level bid list (which got posted yesterday after the end of our workday), and one of the guards told him to call me because "Mama Cat" was sick.

Jerusalem, like most places with large muslim populations, has tons of street cats. The Prophet Mohammed allowed cats to be around him even when he prayed, something considered quite an honor, because they were clean. That coupled with the belief that spaying and neutering is "unnatural" (I have argued with our staff that the street cat situation is unnatural because these are the descendants of pets and not wild animals), and you get a city that is overrun with street cats. They are in every dumpster, at every restaurant, in every alley.

We have a few street cats that hang out at the consulate because we put out food and water for them. Three of them are regulars who will let us pet them and have "names," or at least what we call them. "Mama Cat," by far the sweetest and most affectionate, is the mother of the other two, "Handsome" and "Little Girl." Mama Cat got sick a couple weeks ago, and I thought we would lose her. She disappeared for a couple weeks and when she returned, she was emaciated. She could barely walk. I put soft food and water by her head, and she would eat and drink, and slowly she improved. But since then, she has started looking pregnant, not an uncommon appearance for street cats, but Mama Cat was spayed.

So I suspect a serious problem. I went by today to check on her and she was under a truck breathing hard and crying occasionally. She looked awful. The vets are all closed today for Shabbatt, but if she is no better tomorrow, I will take her in. But honestly, I don't expect her to make it through the night.

Mama Cat in the Consulate garden

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