My husband and I were walking back to our house after dinner when we met this tiny, skinny kitten, about 2 months old, sitting quietly on an air vent of Banco de Oro building.
We approached her and she doesn’t seem so friendly. She was very timid and a bit scared. I pulled out cat food I always have in my bag and offered some food. Apart from being skinny and dirty, she doesn’t look sick. We waited a bit to let her finish her meal, making sure no by-passer would disturb her dinner or scare her away.
There are tons of stray cats in the streets of Manila (in the entire Philippines for that matter) and if we pick up everyone we come across with, we will have hundreds in a matter of days. As much as we wanted to help every stray cat in the city, we can’t take them all. What we did is to join an animal welfare organization, supported and participated in their various projects such as adoption events, education, spay/ neuter programs. That way, we can still help even if we can’t actually take the cats in. We then just moved to a more pet friendly condo where Nishi and Patrick were no longer a secret and can live their lives normally and comfortably.
So going back to the tabby by the bank – we thought she doesn’t exactly need our immediate help. Having 2 cats in a 65sqm condo feels already crowded, so I thought we can’t bring her anymore. But as we spend more time watching her finish her meal, I thought that place wasn’t safe for a kitten. The building is in a very busy road. Sooner or later, she will starve and will be desperate, she will cross the street and will get run over. Run over cats are very common sight on the roads of Metro Manila. I can’t remember a day of driving without seeing one – which of course, always upsets me. We were thinking to relocate her at some park in the area, but it isn’t really a permanent solution. Besides, if anyone sees us, they might think we are dumping the cat. It is not illegal but I do not want to show a bad example to anyone. I hate people dumping animals with passion! So guess how it ended up?
We took the little brown tabby with us and had her checked by a vet. We said we will make sure she’s free from any disease before we bring her home and then work on just getting her adopted. We isolated her in a make-shift cage for a few days to be certain she doesn’t have any dormant communicable disease before we let Nishi and Patrick socialize with her. Nishi wasn’t very happy about it, I tell you. But she can’t do anything :P.
We fell in love with this brown tabby and named her Sylvia. My husband said she looked like a “Sylvia” to him. She has grown to be a very sweet, affectionate girl. She’s also a born hunter – by far the best hunter among all my cats. But careful, she’s very tricky. She’s a professional escape artist. It’s not that she’s not happy, but she just loves adventure. She has beaten every cat proofing system my husband built to keep them within our balcony and away from our neighbors. Eventually I found a fool proof way that kept her inside.