I don’t understand how anyone can just dump a kitten by the bins, like rubbish, but it happens all the time here. Kittens and puppies. By the bins, in the bins, in a box, in a sealed, plastic bag in the full heat of the sun.
Back in 2008, when we were first talking about leaving the UK, our first idea was to move to France. I was really serious about it, and joined Busuu to start work on improving my school French, but I got cold feet when I read about the way some French people, particularly in the countryside, treat their animals. I remember someone writing on a forum that France has a schizophrenic attitude towards animals. In Paris, little dogs are clipped and groomed, sit on silk cushions, and given the best of everything. In the countryside, dogs are chained and left outside to endure whatever the season happens to throw at them. One poster wrote:
I’ve been trying to catch my neighbour’s cat and get her neutered. Last summer, she had kittens, and he put the kittens in a plastic bag and hung it from the washing line in the sun, in the middle of the day. They cried for hours before they finally died, and the mother cat was desperately trying to reach them.
I don’t remember the exact words, but that’s the gist of the story. I do remember sitting at my computer, feeling sick, and shaking, not able to tear my eyes away from the screen, horrified at how someone could be so sick and depraved as to cause that kind of suffering. The trouble with having a vivid imagination is that I can picture it so clearly – the beautiful, sunny day, the garden with the high wall and trees around its perimeter, the grass … and the cries of the kittens, and the mother cat’s frantic calls to them as she paced below the bag where they were left to suffer and die in agony.
I wasn’t sure that I could do France. If I witnessed something like that in real life, I would commit murder, or lose what little sanity I had – or both.
Mother said the Spanish were different. They didn’t always treat their animals well, but if was through lack of knowledge rather than deliberate cruelty. She’d owned a house in Spain for over 20 years, so I figured she knew what she was talking about.
I’ve called the kitten Oli. He isn’t eating much, and I’m so worried about him. I thought it was because he was just pining for his mother, but now I think he might have been injured. He did a very bloody poo a few hours after I got him home, and that’s why I took him to the vet on Wednesday. I wonder if he was just thrown out of a car, and he’s got internal injuries. I haven’t seen any more blood, so he must he healing, but it would explain why he seems interested in food, but then turns away after he’s sniffed it or taken just a small mouthful.
I weighed him this morning. He only weighs 290g.
I took him back to the vet, and she’s given me some vitamin liquid to give him, which he hates. We both ended up wearing more than actually went in his mouth!
I’m just trying to sit with him and give him lots of cuddles at the moment. I really hope he’s going to make it.
(Photo: Little Oli has had a very rough start in life.)