When I first arrived here to Jeddah I could not believe how many wild/stray cats were here. As you walk around the streets there are was cats and kittens everywhere. In skip bins, in abandon cars, in building sites, on the edges of roads. Anywhere there is rubbish. Some of them look so emaciated with sores, bite marks, limbs missing, broken legs, mange, and covered in dust and dirt. They remind me of the cartoon Top Cat where the cats go out looking for food around the neighbourhood, accept the cats looked rather good in the cartoon.
On our compound we had many stray wild cats and kittens as well. They would come to the door meowing for food, some people with kind hearts, felt sorry for them and started feeding them. Before long they were inundated with more cats to feed. We haven’t fed any of the cats because we don’t want them to rely on us. Especially if we go away on holidays, it is a big imposition to get others to look after them. Also some of them had mange and would carry diseases. Residents who owned domestic cats were advised to put collars on their cats, so people would know they belong to someone.
We did have one cat who use to come everyday and sleep on the patio shade cloth, we named Pugsly, he had a bitten off ear. He never meowed for food and he looked pretty shabby but he liked the comfort of the shade cloth, it was like a hammock for him to sleep in. One day he didn’t come. After a few days of him not coming I noticed that there didn’t seem to be many cats around. I commented to my husband about it, he said “yes you are right there isn’t”. A few days later one of the residents complained of a foul smell coming from one of the far corners of the compound. So we guessed the cats must have been caught and clonked on the head. So poor old Pugsly must have gone to Cat Corner.
Recently we had another stray cat come to visit. He would sit on the mat at the front of the door in the morning to catch a few rays, then he would go across to the house opposite and sit on their mat. He looked particularly sick, dirty and skinny. If you disturbed him or went up to him he meowed. I have never heard such a LOUD and long MEEEEOOOOOOOW. Guess what we called him “Meow” We haven’t seen him in over two weeks. I suspect he might have died or gone to Cat Corner. We have noticed that most of the stray wild cats have disappeared outside of the compound. It was becoming over run with kittens, so I suspect they were removed.
In the last few days a rather skittish, jumpy healthy looking stray has been coming around for water. He would wait for the hose to run then take a drink. We call him Twitchy because he is very twitchy and keeps his eyes peeled while drinking water. He keeps checking to make sure nothing is near him. Not unlike a deer being stalked by a lion. I have been taking out fresh water in a pot plant tray for him to drink. He laps it up heartily as if he hasn’t had a drink in days. He looks like he gets fed as he is not skinny. He won’t let you go near him. He runs away. Today I made the mistake of giving him a little bit of grated cheese after we had breakfast. I put it on the ground then went inside. He waited until I was out of range then came up and ate it. My husband left for work, so I went and cleared away the dishes in the kitchen. It was then I heard a Meow. I went to the front door only to find this fluffy domestic cat at the door and another black and white one. Who say’s cats aren’t smart. Twitchy must have told them, “Hey come to this house, you can get a feed here.”