Limited Shelf Life

Limited shelf life. Someone used this phrase to me today. They weren't talking about food items, or the popularity of X Factor contestants. They were talking about puppies and kittens.

This is how it works here at IAR, Goa: If they can't find a home for a healthy kitten or puppy within an alotted time they are PTS (put to sleep - yes, somebody else used this acronym to me today).

This does not sit well with me at all. In short, I do not agree with it and I have to admit I am struggling a bit, wondering if I am really making any difference at all. I am uncomfortable with donating any money to a charity that ends the lives of healthy living creatures and am torn about what to do with the money I have raised for them.

All Before Midday

Yesterday was pretty eventful, animal-wise, and it all happened before midday.

Whilst walking dogs at the rescue centre I saw wild monkeys for the first time in my life. It was pretty exciting as I'm quite fond of monkeys (understatement). For those of you keen on details, I believe they were Langures.

Then, later on I was roped into de-ticking some puppies. It was the first time I'd done it and, although I'm not usually squeamish, it was pretty damn gross. They had dozens of them in their paws and ears. I eventually had to stop and leave it to another volunteer who was more experienced in doing it. Maybe next time I'll be better, or maybe I'll just see if I can clean a maggot wound. (I watched this happening a couple of days back and it didn't bother me at all. I know, I'm odd.)

As I was about to leave I met a girl who had find a tiny male kitten who had been separated from his mother in the rain (yes, it has been raining here and when I say rain I mean RAIN). He couldn't have been more than 3 days old, his eyes weren't even open yet. I gave her some advice based on my looong week of experience in hand-rearing kitties and told her that if he survives that she should get in touch with me when she leaves in 3 weeks and I'll try to re-home him/arrange for him to be neutered. Sadly, I don't think I'll hear from her.

Finally, I made it home to take care of the kitten and, as I lovingly picked her up out of her sleep-box, she pooed on my feet, and then on the floor. Brilliant.

A pretty eventful morning. Definitely beats office life, even if I did have shitty feet.

So I'm Hand-Rearing a Kitten

Yes, you read it right. I'm hand-rearing a kitten.

At present she's about 2 weeks old, full of meows and is all claws as she tries to suckle at me in vain. I found her abandoned early one morning as I walked to buy breakfast and couldn't find any sign of her mother or any siblings. I can only assume she was left there, unwanted by a human who hadn't had the sense to neuter their 'pet'.

I took her to International Animal Rescue and was told that, if they took her in, they would put her down because they just didn't have the time or capacity to look after her needs. This was encouraged by one volunteer in particular, who assured me that it was the best thing to do and that she didn't stand a chance. Her opinion was that she may not survive the hand-rearing and if she did we probably wouldn't be able to find her a home. She may well be right but I am not in any position to play God with another healthy creature's life. I could not allow her to be euthanised, knowing that I had the time and capacity to care for her needs. This particular volunteer is now ignoring me to the point where she she won't acknowledge my existence or respond to my hello/goodbye, which is rather annoying. I'm getting quite tired of being bullied in my places of work, but I feel that I did the right thing for Squidge and for me.

I'll keep you updated on her progress. She's already starting to pee and poo on her own (usually you have to massage their belly) and she's going from strength to strength. Hopefully when my camera is fixed I'll have some pictures to show you. Until then, any tips from people who have hand-reared animals would be greatly welcomed.