A Lucky Black Cat

On Aug 26, I left home for a morning function at BCCK. My route took me past the large traffic lights where Jalan Foochow No 1 and Jalan Rengas emptied into Jalan Tun Razak. Perhaps it wasn’t a coincidence that I ended up being the first in line at the lights to turn right, because I saw this:

Do you see it too?

I didn’t know how it got there, an island of grass between busy lanes. I drove by as slowly as I could when the lights went green. The cat was stressed and panting. I could not stop so I posted the photo on Facebook, hoping someone else will get there while I was stuck at work.

By the time my morning work was done, I haven’t gotten any respond, so I went back.  It was still there, but no longer on the grass. It was on the road, pressed against the curb. I didn’t have an opportunity to stop, so I made another huge round and found a place I can leave my car.

Picture this: A person wearing a bright turquoise shirt strolling up a busy main road, carrying a bundle of cloth. I thought I’d give the cat something stable but soft to lie on in case it was injured. As I approached, I saw a black lump on the other side of the ‘island’. I thought it was a black plastic bag. Until it stuck out a leg and tried hauling itself onto the road. Now picture me breaking into a run.

After I scooped it up, I checked around the ‘island’ to be sure it was the only cat there. It was little more than a kitten, and I couldn’t believe it hauled itself around the island in the 10-15 minutes I took to double back. If I was a bit slower, I might only find a flat furry pancake on the road.

I hurried us both back to the car, cranked up the a/c and tried to give it water. It was badly dehydrated and had heatstroke, and won’t take the water. I wet its little tongue and rushed it to my vet.

Half-dead little cat on the way to the vet

I was exchanging messages with Joanna all the while, as she responded to my SOS around the same time I went back. I asked her to meet me at the vet. She arrived while I was still in the waiting room.

Dr Davies treated the female kitten, which I’ve named Taffy, and told me he’ll be holding on to it a few days for observation. Over the next few days, Joanna and I took turns dropping by. Taffy recovered from the dehydration and heatstroke, but had coordination problems which made Dr Davies suspect that she was hit by a vehicle and suffered some nerve damage. Taffy was on her feet and meowing, but she kept walking in circles.

photo 4 (1)
Round and round we go…

And she kinda loses her shit a bit when I first pick her up…

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…but calms down after some reassuring strokes.

After about three days, Dr Davies told me that Taffy is ready to leave. The circling problem needs more time to heal on its own. Here’s the part of the rescue process that I hate the most – finding a foster parent or adopter. I wasn’t comfortable about offering Taffy up for adoption because she’s not completely healthy, so I posted looking for a foster parent. A friend with admin access to SSPCA’s Facebook page shared it, and almost immediately, there was a response for adoption.

To cut the long story short, a couple with a soft spot for cats was interested in adopting. Interestingly enough, the main draw is because Taffy is a black cat.

Taffy’s “adopt me!” photos

I had no idea who I was handing slightly-damaged Taffy over to so I had Nicholas come down to the vet’s to meet us. As it turned out, he is an experienced cat person with quite a number of cats at home. He and his wife thought that Taffy would make a great addition to their feline family… bonk on the head or not. So Taffy got some supplements and a box and went home with Nicholas.

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Kitty in a box

I just checked in with Nicolas on Taffy and he said that she’s doing well and is being naughty. If a kitten has the energy to be naughty, it usually means she’s fine. They have renamed her Pepe. As for me, I’m just relieved that this story ended well.

The bill for Taffy/Pepe’s hospitalisation and treatment came in at nearly RM300. Thanks to many generous donations, it only cost me RM10 in money and a few days in time. Totally worth it.

Taffy/Pepe and her new daddy Nicholas


Author: Georgette Tan

writer . poet . introvert . NSFW hand letterer . equatorial eclectic

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