Bali travel blog: Saving SnugglePot, the five-week-old kitten
Bali travel blog: The kids become animal rescuers!
We have really enjoyed experiencing Bali’s wildlife since we arrived here five weeks ago. We have had a wonderful time discovering baby geckos around our apartment, giant butterflies and even some noisy toads that like to explore our pool when it rains. (read my other Bali travel blog post about the most dangerous animals in Bali by clicking here).
There are a lot of stray animals in Bali; mostly cats but also a lot of dogs who are let out to roam for food in the day. When we were in Ubud we visited a wonderful cat sanctuary, Villa Kitty, and had a great day playing with the cats and learning about the valuable work that they do for Bali’s feline residents (to see our video of our day at the Villa Kitty cat sanctuary click here). We saw the tiny kittens that had been rescued from the side of the road or from drains; we didn’t expect to be returning two weeks later with our own little one!
Bali travel blog: Finding SnugglePot
Patrick and I were working in the cafe attached to our homestay when we saw the tiniest cat through the glass door, standing by the edge of the road. A woman who had been eating in the cafe was standing next to it, and put it in a large flowerpot nearby to stop it wandering into the path of the motorbikes whizzing past. We went out and asked her if she knew where the Mum cat was.
We all looked up and down the road, in the field behind the paths and asked the locals. Unfortunately stray cats are very ‘normal’ here and no-one was bothered about where the cat had come from and no-one was claiming it. It had super gunky eyes and couldn’t really see where it was going; if we left it where it was, it was heading to be squished. Eventually we figured that we’d have to get it to a vet as it was also bone-thin and dehydrated.
The woman who had put it in the flowerpot left the cafe, leaving us holding this tiny ball of skin and fluff. After several phone calls, mistranslations and fruitless emails to the local animal rescue charity, we were told that a vet could be sent to check over the kitten but that there was no space at the local sanctuary.
Patrick jogged down the road and bought some kitten food from the local pet shop, and we tried to feed the little thing. It wasn’t having any of it, the pet shop had no syringes and Patrick’s search for a syringe at the local doctor ended with him being chased from the property by a furious Rottweiler. Oops. The kitten seemed to be getting more and more sleepy, so we decided there was only one thing for it- a road trip to Villa Kitty!
We popped Cuddles (the girls named him) into a box with Patrick’s t-shirt -when you live with five females you soften up pretty fast 😉 – and called a taxi for the hour-long drive back to Ubud, where we had stayed for the first two weeks of our trip.
Between being popped in the box and getting into the taxi, someone must have snuck this kitten some coffee or a loaded spring or something because it went absolutely nuts in the car. The driver wasn’t too thrilled about his leather seats being scratched up, so I ended up as the kitten scratching post while wrapping him in the t-shirt. Eventually he drifted back off to sleep and when he woke I managed to feed him some water from the cap of my water bottle.
Bali travel blog: Villa Kitty
The team at Villa Kitty are awesome. The vet took him straight through to get him examined and cleaned. We found out he was a boy (Patrick was thrilled; he’s been waiting for that moment his whole adult life) and that he had cat flu and needed to go in a nebuliser to help him breathe. Cuddles wolfed down some of the vet’s kitten food (is it something about my food? The kids never eat what I give them, either) and seemed right as rain by the time we said goodbye. The vet told us he was around five weeks old; too early to be away from his Mum. We are very thankful that we knew about Villa Kitty as I hate to think what would have happened if it hadn’t been there.
Cuddles has now been re-named SnugglePot (they have an alphabet rota at the cat sanctuary and this week is “S”) and is awaiting a new home with a loving family. We would have loved to keep him, but are very happy and thankful that we were able to play a part in helping him. It was also an awesome and educational day for the girls- they got to learn about kitten care, watched the vet inspection and visit their favourite cats at Villa Kitty again!
To see our video of the rescue and trip to Villa Kitty with SnugglePot, click here.