If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Do Cats Know How to Ask for Help?

Well.... we think Scooter the Cat, actively sought help to get off the streets and to be in a safe home environment again. Read about Scooter’s cry for help below.

I was waiting for a fellow volunteer, Irene to pass me the medication for one of our rescue dog at the shelter when Scooter walked up to me.

What struck me most was how handsome he looked. He would be considered in my books a feline hunk.

Scooter came up to me, sat down right beneath my feet and peered into my eyes with his big expressive blue eyes, almost as if it was reaching out to me. I could imagine Scooter giving me his paw if I gave him a treat.

Intrigued by Scooter’s almost dog-like behaviour, I instinctively bent down to stroke him. That was when I caught a whiff of an unpleasant odour.

Note: Scooter looks like a mixed Burmese cat. After some research on the internet, I found out that Burmese cats are very affectionate and enjoy company, being a people oriented breed who form strong bonds with their owners. Wikipedia also describes Burmese as having dog-like characteristics, often learning to play fetch and tag.

I have always had a very keen sense of smell and upon investigation, I realised that Scooter had a very nasty ear infection and his chest looked wet and slimy. That was when Irene came along. She too was instantaneously attracted to Scooter, proving what a charmer he was. Scooter followed us around and did not want to leave our sight. We fed him some food and water.

Deep down inside, I had a feeling that Scooter was asking for help. However, neither of us had a pet carrier nor could we take Scooter immediately as I had to return to work. I told myself that I will look for Scooter again the next morning. Reluctantly we left Scooter.

Irene who left later than me reported that “a big tear drop” flowed down from Scooters left eye.

I immediately called Lynda to ask if we could let Scooter know that if he needs help, to go back to the same spot that I left him.

The next morning, armed with a pet carrier, we set off looking for Scooter. To our amazement, Scooter was waiting right at the same spot for us, hiding under the car for shade. As I have little experience in handling cats, I was still thinking to myself, how I should carry Scooter. That all proved to be a non-issue as Scooter walked into the pet carrier willing!

Scooter was brought to Mt Pleasant Bedok and attended to by Dr Teo who performed full blood tests for Scooter. He is estimated to be about 5 to 7 years of age. His ear and body were covered in fur mites, which explained his slimy chest as Scooter had scratched till there was open skin. Scooter is also found to be FIV positive. Scooter also has a very bad case of gingivitis and a few of his decayed teeth needs to be extracted. That perhaps explained the big tear drop. His infected ear cum decayed teeth must have caused him much discomfort.

In order to ensure Scooter’s safety during general anaesthesia, his dental surgery will only be done in one month’s time, after we have ensured that he does not have any illness lying dormant.

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. As FIV is mainly passed from cat to cat through fights, Scooter can only be adopted into a family where he is the sole cat in the household. FIV cannot be transmitted to a dog or a human, only from cat to cat. Many cats that are infected with FIV live a fairly normally functioning life. However, as the immunity is severely weakened, this makes an FIV cat susceptible to secondary infections. Hence, Scooter can no longer be a stray and needs a loving and secure home to live in. Please click FIV for more information.
As part of the routine, we requested that the vet scan for microchip. Much to our surprise, Scooter does have a microchip implanted which is extremely rare in cats. Scooter must have once had an owner and perhaps even have been bought from a pet shop? He has also been sterilized. Could Scooter have been lost, or was he abandoned by his owner?

Lynda immediately contacted AVA and SPCA in the hope of tracing Scooter’s owner but unfortunately, the microchip was not registered.

After being boarded at an air conditioned cattery at Ericsson Pet Farm, Scooter is currently fostered by an extremely kind animal lover whose life’s passion is to bring comfort to disadvantaged cats and dogs. However, Scooter needs a forever home.

Just to share that when I was sending Scooter to his foster home, I heard a deep sound, like that of a soft snore. I initially thought Scooter was asleep and snoring but I felt a sort of a vibration when I stroked his head. Only when I did sound research on the internet, did I realise that Scooter was actually purring then. That goes to show my great ignorance about cats. But this also gave me an assurance that Scooter is happy to be taken off the streets and his life has a stray has ended. What a wonderful privilege it is for Scooter to have chosen me and Irene to help him.

Scooter has a very charming, calm and mellow personality A hunky sort of feline with a dog-like personality. His fur mites and ear infection has cleared up. Besides being FIV positive, Scooter’s blood test showed no signs of other ailments.

If you know of anyone who has recently lost a cat who resembles Scooter or you would like to open up your home to Scooter, please contact Irene (Hp: 8298 8129), Jeannie (Hp: 91090 475) or email Lynda at dogstalk@starhub.net.sg

Thank you.

Written by Jeannie Yang

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"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown