Welcome to our new monthly feature, “A day in the life…” which will share the tale (or should that be tail…) of some of Syros Cats best-loved residents. This month, we’re hearing from Sissy and her kittens…
I didn’t want to be a mum. At not even one year old, I was just a kitten myself, but you know how it is! And now I find myself looking after four babies, in a place where there is barely enough food for myself. The last few weeks have been a real struggle to say the least.
I’ve lived near the beach ever since my own mum told me it was time to leave and fend for myself. There are a few houses nearby but most of them are either empty or not very cat-friendly. On the cliffs there are a few lizards, I’m quite good at catching them and sometimes I get a mouse! I used to make the long walk to a tavern on the beach, if I was desperate, but the local cats who hang out there are aggressive and territorial.
But now that I have kittens, I can’t leave them. I hide them under rocks but there’s a male cat close by who tries to sniff them out. I managed to fight off his latest attack but now my wounds hurt and add to my troubles.
I so want to be a good mum, but I know that means enlisting the help of some cat-friendly humans. So, I fed and cleaned my babies, hid them carefully in a nest I’d made from dried grass and lined with my own fur, so they can smell me even when I’m not there, and set off to track down some sympathising humans…
The first house was empty, locked up and deserted, but there music was coming from next door. I knew I couldn’t survive much longer and neither would my kittens, so I wandered up to the open door and gave my most plaintive miaow. She didn’t hear me at first, so I tried again.
‘There’s a cat here.’
‘I know, I don’t want to encourage them.’
‘But this one is a mommy – she’s hungry, you have to give her something!’
Reluctantly, I’m given a piece of cheese and a slice of ham, which I eat quickly. I try to do my usual ‘thank you’ by rubbing around her legs, but she’s having none of it. I’m very grateful, but this place doesn’t look like a long-term food source.
The next house is totally different: the humans are immediately friendly and I’m given a piece of chicken straight from the fridge and a bowl of cool, fresh water! They are really very friendly, but I have to be sure before I trust them with my kittens. I decide to wait a day and come back for more food.
The next morning, I got back to my new friends’ house and get a lovely surprise – they’ve bought me cat biscuits, cans of meat and put out more water! For the first time since becoming a mum, I don’t feel hungry or anxious. So, I bring them just one kitten, to see how they’ll react. They’re delighted and so am I! By the time my new friends get home later that day, all four babies are sleeping peacefully, and we’ve eaten all the food laid out for us.
Life was good for a couple of weeks: the kittens are growing and moving around well, they play while I rest, and I’m feeling much better about things. But I can feel that my new friend is worried and I begin to worry too. The next day, I realise I might be in trouble again…
My new friends are packing bags. They are going to leave. I’m worried and so is my rescuer, we’ve become fond of each other. My babies play happily, unaware that they might be in for a rough time.
But they’ve helped me up until now so maybe I should trust that they’ll find a solution.
However, I don’t sleep so easily that night…
A huge thank you to the incredible team at Syros Cats for this beautiful story – Join us next month to find out if Sissy’s rescuers help her and her kittens!