(Published in The Cayman Reporter, July 10, 2017)
Cat-astrophy was avoided for one cat, thanks to volunteer organisation Feline Friends.
The feral cat was spotted by a member of the public with a water bottle wedged firmly over its head, preventing it from eating or drinking.
The quick-thinking feral cat feeder contacted animal charity Feline Friends who quickly responded by putting out a trap in a bid to save the kitty’s life.
“We went out three nights in a row,” said Heather, a volunteer with Feline Friends. “Eventually we managed to catch the cat by placing some extremely smelly food into the trap. At this point, the poor cat had had the bottle on its head for at least three nights, so it was extremely hungry and dehydrated.”
Once the feline was caught, Heather took her home for the night. She said she attempted to remove the bottle herself through the bars of the trap, but it was wedged on too tightly.
“The head was pushed right into the bottle,” Heather said, “so, I ended up having to carefully cut the bottle off with a pair of scissors.”
Once the bottle was removed, Heather was able to give the cat some much needed food and water. As soon as daylight broke she rushed the cat down to Island Veterinary Services. Once there, staff sedated the cat, spayed it and gave fluids via an IV drip.
“She was obviously quite traumatised and she was also extremely dehydrated,” Heather explained. “It was also discovered that she was lactating, so she also had babies in the bush.”
Heather explained that the cat, who was estimated to be around 1 year old, is part of a feral colony of about 15 cats along Crewe Road, George Town.
“Obviously these cats are feral and cannot be tamed,” Heather explained. “As soon as the cat was well enough we took her back to where she was found and hopefully she returned to her babies.”
Heather added that she hopes the plight of the cat – which narrowly avoided a slow and painful death – deters people from littering.
“I’ve never seen a cat with a bottle covering its entire face, but we regularly rescue cats with plastic items caught around their necks.”