The story of KitKat – Changing one life at a time
This is the life-changing story of a dumped kitten, surviving against all odds for nearly 5 weeks.
Each and every one of us can BE the difference when it comes to rescuing animals. If you can’t adopt, foster. If you can’t foster, volunteer at a rescue organisation. If you can’t volunteer, donate. If you can’t donate or help, at least don’t harm them.
As a volunteer for the Cape Town-based rescue organisation Capetonians Against Animal Abuse (CAAA), our mission is to help and care for animals discarded by society, with a very specific focus on feral cats. We provide education, TNR (trap, neuter, return), and feeding programs to more than 400 feral cats.
KitKat was a kitten of only 5 or 6 weeks old when she was dumped at a factory where we have a feeding site in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. She wasn’t dumped AT the feeding kennel though.
She was dumped somewhere close to the entrance, a long, long way from the kennel at the back of the factory, and with all the trucks and vehicles moving in and out this busy entrance, it is a miracle that she managed to survive for almost 5 weeks. The security guards alerted us of the “wild” kitten, but she hid so well, that it took me almost 5 weeks to catch her.
When I arrived at the factory, again, one Thursday afternoon, in broad daylight, she sprinted past my car towards the carport, where my fellow feeder left some food earlier that morning. I set my trap with smelly tuna treats, and with her being so hungry, I had her within minutes. Although she initially hissed at me quite a bit, it was clear that she wasn’t born feral.
I took her straight to my Vet to have her checked out and tested for Feline Aids and Leukaemia, and while I waited, I put my hand into the cat basket to see if she would allow me to touch her. Having worked with ferals for such a long time, you sort of learn their body language to assess exactly how wild they are.
Although she was frightened and stressed out with being trapped, and the car ride to the Vet, she allowed me to touch her, and by the time that they took her to the back to have her tested, they did not even have to sedate her to draw blood for the test.
She tested negative for Feline Aids and Leukaemia, had her first round of vaccinations, and went home with me. The process of cleaning her up and rehabilitating her now had to start. She spent almost half her short life having to fend for herself, and it still amazes me that she managed to survive in such a hostile environment for so long.
The first 3 weeks she spent hiding underneath the couches, and behind scatter cushions. I had to sneak up on her and grab her to force her to get used to my touch. Working from home, I could invest the time for getting her to trust me. She slowly started warming up to me, but was still very reluctant to get too close to Albert.
We networked her far and wide, with only two families showing interest in adopting her, but unfortunately, neither of these was the perfect home for her. She had grown so attached to me, following me everywhere, and we soon realised that it would be too traumatic for her and us to rehome her.
She does not like closed doors, has no respect for my private time in the bathroom, LOVES her treats, and turned into the most perfect lap cat I’ve ever seen. Her happy place is on my lap when we watch movies, and she spends her days with us in the study while we’re working.
She’s perfectly okay with being on her own when we leave to feed our feral colonies, or when we go about life, but when we’re home, she’s no further than a meter or two from us.
With her big, round eyes, she has stolen Albert’s heart too, and in spite of him being allergic to cats, she lives with us in our living space. We understand and accept the commitment made when you adopt a fur baby, and she will spend the rest of her life with us, having the best we can afford.
To us, this is a lifetime commitment. Under no circumstances will we ever pass a fur baby on to another home because of any inconvenience, amount of work, or the cost of their care.
I cannot even imagine how anyone can live with their conscience knowing that they have just dumped a baby that should still have been fed by her mommy. Dumped to fend for herself, in a very hostile environment, with not enough wildlife to survive on from hunting for her own food.
If you really can’t take care of a beloved pet, do the humane thing and take it to an animal shelter to try and rehome. At least they will be taken care of there. And do not consider taking in a pet if you cannot afford or intend to have it sterilised without having even just one litter. Not sterilising your beloved cat or dog is adding to the millions of cats and dogs that are being euthanased globally every year because they could not find homes.
If you can’t help an animal, at least don’t harm them.
Support Animal rescue and welfare by donating or read more about the organizations we support (CAAA)