It all started six years ago, with Mickey, a black and white, chubby, cuddly cat.
Mickey first started showing up near our house, and of course on seeing him the first thing we did was feed him some of the left over chicken. Day after day he would show up at the kitchen window, taking advantage of his baby face and making us love him even more! After almost a week, a shy little kitten started appearing behind Mickey, making his way into our hearts too, we named him Figaro and he was an Egyptian Mau baby. Mickey loved him as if he was his father (he might have been his father) and soon Figaro's brother Kimba came with them too. It didn't take long before all of Mickey's friends found out about this gold mine, since we were the only cat lovers in our area.
A new face was noticed, a fluffy golden brown kitten, we called her Nouny. She was a unlike all the others, she was very fierce and aggressive with other cats, but very very sweet with us humans! She was the only one allowed inside the house, the others were just outdoor cats.
Honey and Flea found out about us, and came in to join the clan, they were very young, about 6 months old, and it looks like they had lost their mother. Its really strange, but somehow all those cats were living together in harmony, unlike most stray cats. Usually stray cats don’t get along much, especially male cats.
One day I woke up in the morning and felt there was something unusual, when I asked what has happened, I was told that last night Honey was found on the sidewalk, hit by a car!!! I cannot begin to express how I felt at that moment!! Flea, her brother was left alone... I could see the hidden tears inside his eyes; I could see he was devastated!! He lost all he has in this world, his loving sister. Naturally, he was allowed inside the house, fearing that what happened to his sister might happen to him also. From that day on Flea held a very special place inside my heart and my parents’ also. He was very weak, and always had fights street cats that were not ours, and mostly he would lose the fight and come back home with injuries. Once he went missing for seven days and when he came back he was injured so bad.. the skin on his head and left ear was all ripped off! He lost so much blood and his condition was terrible. I thought he would not make it, but thank God, in a week he was already starting to recover and the wound was healing, two weeks and it was like he never had this injury! It was a miracle!
In about that time, I discovered that Nouny was about to have babies! It was very exciting!
I started all the preparations; I made her a tiny little room under my desk, with a little cozy bed. Everyone in the house was excited about this, even the other cats.
In about three months Dbdoob (means teddy bear in Arabic), Kitty and Bunny were born! The babies and Flea were going along very well, he would even baby-sit them when mommy would go out for a walk.
A month after the new babies were born, Chiggy, (a stray cat who also joined the clan) gave birth to a litter of four in the garage. Tommy, Cocoa, Vara (strange name! It originated from the word Fara which means in Arabic ‘Mouse’, he looked like a mouse) and Qau (instead of saying meow he would say qaaau! so we called him Qau).
When the kittens were about two weeks old, a horrible accident happened.
Our German neighbors were walking their dog... when suddenly the dog would go lose and run into the garage and attack Chiggy and her kittens. He bit Cocoa by her tummy like she was one of his little toys!! The poor little kitty died of her wounds! She was still very fragile and small, she could not make it!
Those arrogant neighbors did not care at all to what happened to this poor little thing! They were supposed to pay a fine for walking their dog unleashed, but unfortunately, they wouldn’t even apologize for what had happened.
Chiggy the mommy was living in terror for almost a week, until she felt the threat was no longer there, poor poor cat lost her baby right in front of her eyes! I cannot imagine how cruel a human being can be!!! (it is not the dogs fault.. after all he is an animal!)
Days went by, the little kitties were growing up, the indoor babies were allowed to play in the garden every once in a while, and sometimes the mommies would go hunting and bring back food for them! (I thought it was gross, but that is nature!!)
I would cook food for them, and they would all eat from the same plate, and the best part is when I call them for their meal, they would be playing in the garden, some even outside the fences, and once they hear me clapping for them... a flood of cats would start running towards me! Cats of all shapes and sizes!
Well... it was all going well until once when I went out to serve them breakfast, Dabdoob was sitting in a corner all alone. I went to him to see what was wrong and he looked perfectly fine. I picked him up and took him to the plate so he can eat with his friends, but he could not stand!!! I held him up again but he kept falling and could not stand on his feet!!
I took him inside the house and called my mother's uncle who was an expert on cats, he said that I better call a vet, this could be serious. I called the vet and he said that he would come right away.
A few hours later the vet came and he said that Dabdoob could have eaten something poisoned and that he was paralyzed! He hoped that this would not be permanent.
Later that evening I noticed that another cat (Vara) was having the same problem!
It was clear to me that some of the neighbors were doing this on purpose ( and by the way, they all had dogs!!). The two cats were kept inside the house, treated and taken care of until they got well again.
I have never seen two cats love each other like those two, Dabdoob and Vara! They were like twin brothers. Vara imitated Dabdoob in everything that he did, and that’s how I think he got poisoned too. Miraculously, they both recovered and started walking again. It was one of the happiest moments of my life when I saw Dabdoob stand up on his two feet once again!
Nouny and Jiggy were pregnant again!
This time Nouny had four, Garfield, Dolly, Brownie and a kitten that died when he was still a few days old. Chiggy had five babies, Dumbo, Mickey II, Cocoa (named after her late sister) Spikey and the lovely Honey! Imagine a house with 8 kittens!! It was crazy!
When relatives would visit and would see what the kitties were doing... they called us crazy, especially when they see my hands and arms all scratches and looking like I have been to battle!!
But I loved these scratches... they were a sign that I had 8 little monsters roaming around!!
Kiri, Bugsy and Bunny came later on that year, they were also Nouny's kittens, but they were born outside the house so they were not as friendly. They were wild, and when I say wild I mean WILD!
Almost a year later Nouny had another litter of four, all girls, Caramel, Vanilla, Mocha and Fudge. Chiggy also had four, Danny, Snoopea, Spotty and Leely! The family of cats that started with Mickey grew to become a family of 39 cats!
Unfortunately, the same person who has poisoned Dabdoob and Vara the first time, was fed up with my cats, and decided that he did not want them in the neighborhood anymore, if I only knew who he was!!! I lost almost all of them! One after the other they would go missing, and none of them were found.
I could not take it anymore, I could not lose the rest of them... I decided to put them up for adoption. But since those cats were not of pure breed (here in Egypt they prefer Siamese or Persian) no one wanted to take them... or what’s left of them…
The cats who were Mau’s went to EMRO cat shelter (a shelter for rescuing and sheltering homeless Egyptian Mau’s) and the rest (Chiggy and one of her daughters) were adopted by a nice lady.
This is a summary of the story of how I became obsessed with cats. It was an experience I will never forget, and it made me learn a lot about the lives of our little fluffy friends. As in human world, there is the good and the bad, there is the good and the bad in feline’s world too. And every single one of them has its own unique character; even their voices are very different. I could tell which cat it is only by hearing its voice.
I don’t have any cats right now, but someday, my house would be open again for all those kitties who need a home, and someone to love them.
I miss you kitties.. and everyday I dream of seeing you again in the next life!