This is all true; the events did happen and the life story is still being played out.
Sylvia, that’s the name we gave her, gave birth to five adorable kittens on 9-Feb-2020. She wandered into our home and into our lives, some two months earlier. We could tell she was pregnant and was looking for a nest to deliver her kittens. She had a collar so we tried our best to locate her owner. We asked in a few of our neighbourhood Whatsapp groups but no-one claimed her. My son remarked that she looked like Sylvester the cartoon cat, so we called her Sylvia.
And on an early afternoon of 9-Feb-2020, Sylvia, the young first-time mother, clumsily gave birth to her five kittens in the litter box. She couldn’t bite and eat the placenta which was covered with the litter material so the kittens were all stuck together still joined to the placenta. We had to rush them to the vet to separate them. The vet offered to help find adopters when the kittens are bigger. And so the five kittens stayed with Sylvia in our home; a pure white, a chocolate-coloured , a tortoiseshell, a grey-and-white and a calico. We didn’t give them names as we did not want to get too attached to them knowing that they will be given up for adoption.
On 16-Mar, I took the Pure White for an adopter. The next day, the mum Sylvia, became very distressed when she realised the kitten was missing. So late at night, she relocated the whole litter elsewhere . It was so sad. All the kittens were relocated and I couldn’t find them. Sylvia still came to see me for her own meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner…alone.
Over the next few days, Sylvia may have realised her mistake and looked so forlorn that I had to console her. A neighbour, Dr Chan Kah Yein, told me that cats are telepathic and can understand what we are saying. So I ended up talking routinely to Sylvia and urged her to bring back the kittens. She looked so sad and so was I. Perhaps, for some reason, Sylvia could not retrieve the kittens.
Then on 23-Mar-2020, a big burly ginger-coloured Tom Cat came to the house and seeing that Sylvia was cosy with him, I guess he must be her mate. I fed him as well and urged him to help Sylvia to find the kittens.
Then on the blessed morning of 24-Mar-2020, I saw the whole family back in my house with the adorable kittens all looking so happy to be back. But there is a twist to this fairy tale.
My neighbour told me that her son saw the Tom cat leading the four kittens along the road back to the house late at night. The Tom cat led the way and the four kittens followed him back. What a sight that must have been! What a pity that I didn’t get to see it.
The four kittens stayed with Sylvia contentedly until in early April, the vet called to remind me that the adopters were waiting for the kittens. She planned to come to my house to pick up Sylvia (to be spayed) and the four kittens on 15-April-2020. On the night of 14-April-2020, I was talking to my neighbour and told her that the vet was coming in the morning to take Sylvia and the kittens. Sylvia must have overheard the conversation, because the next morning the Grey-and-White and Calico were missing and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I guess Sylvia must have relocated them and couldn’t move the other two in time, as they were now bigger. By the time I caged Sylvia and the Tortoiseshell, the Chocolate one fled and I couldn’t find it even with my neighbour’s help. The vet came and took Sylvia and Tortoiseshell away at about 11.00am. But in the evening, the Chocolate one came back for food and I managed to cage it as well. The vet picked it up later that evening.
The two other kittens remained missing since the night of 14-April-2020. I brought Sylvia home after her surgery on the 17-April-2020. She looked very sad and I asked her to go and find the kittens. The Tom cat came and I coaxed them both to go and bring back the kittens. Early next morning, I was awakened by Sylvia’s loud meowing and when I went out to check, I saw that Sylvia had brought back the two kittens. Amazing! And even though Sylvia just had a surgery to spay her, she still breastfed the two kittens lovingly.
My wife and I took that as an omen and we decided to keep the two kittens. I suggested Whisky for the male Grey-and White and my wife named the female Calico as Brandy. I decided to call the big burly Tom cat, Vodka. So now we have Sylvia, the bartender, with Vodka, Whisky and Brandy.
Whisky and Brandy are now more than 10 months old and they are even bigger than their mother, Sylvia. But inexplicably, Sylvia left home about 4 months ago. Why? Perhaps it got too painful when the kittens still want to suckle. Or is it a territorial thing…..where the mother gives way to her grown-up kittens? In any case, after she was away for about 2 months, Sylvia suddenly turned up one day at mealtime. But she had a different demeanour and hissed and scratched at Whisky and Brandy when they tried to cuddle up to her. Vodka too suffered her mean demeanour. I fed her and as soon as she finished eating, she slinked away. And this has become her strange behaviour. She will turn up at mealtimes now and then, and each time she will disappear after eating. And she remained mean to Whisky, Brandy and Vodka. So strange, so sad. But she looked well fed and healthy, and still wore her pink collar. So some kind soul must be taking care of her…thank you, whoever you are.
To be continued…. The return of Sylvia
On 1-Jan-2021, Sylvia suddenly returned and kept quietly by herself at the patio next to the fish pond. She abandoned her kittens for almost a year and now they do not welcome her.
But today, 27-Nov-2022, two years on, Sylvia has reconciled with Brandy not completely with Whisky. Sylvia and Brandy will groom each other but Sylvia will smack Whisky he gets too close to her. Initially Whisky will just let Sylvia hiss, smack and scratch him but lately he has begun to retaliate.
Both Sylvia and Brandy are spayed but not Whisky. Maybe that’s why Whisky is a roamer and gets into fights, as the neighbourhood Romeo. I am considering getting him neutered. But he has not returned home for the last 4 days.