WATCH: Abandoned kitten recovers under watchful eye of CLAW founder’s little dog

They may not be as obvious – where dogs come to investigate, cats scarper – but cats are as much part of the work of Community Led Animal Welfare (CLAW) as dogs.

Just like the dogs, cats benefit from vaccination, tick control and sterilisation – CLAW’s Durban Deep clinic always has plenty of kittens for anyone wanting to adopt.

But cats also get into scrapes, which can lead to severe injuries. And every now and then, a special case comes along.

One such case is Beewee. He doesn’t come from a township, but from a slightly down-at-heel nearby suburb.  A family moved into a recently vacated house there and realised that the previous owners had left a cat behind, so they asked CLAW director Cora Bailey for a humane trap.

In the dark hours of the night, a cat did get trapped, but not the adult they were planning on. This was a kitten, only a few months old – and seriously injured, with terrible damage to his shoulder, sustained before he was trapped.

The injury to his right shoulder could be patched up, but poor little Beewee (named for his black and white colouring) had been disabled as a result – his useless front leg couldn’t be rehabilitated, and will have to be amputated. But he’s already learning to get around on three legs, and will be a happy little chap once he’s recovered from surgery.

Beewee was a totally feral cat when he was trapped. Cora brought him home once he’d been patched up, settled him into the safety and quiet of the bathroom, and set about getting him used to human company. She was helped by an unusual nursemaid – her little dog Truffle.

“The funny thing is, Truffle is never interested in kittens once they’re beyond the tiny kitten stage, so I would never have expected her to take notice of this little boy,” says Cora. “But she sat outside the bathroom door until I let her in. She very, very carefully slunk across to the basket Beewee was in and climbed in, slowly, slowly, pretending she wasn’t even aware of him.”

Beewee in turn pretended that he was not aware of Truffle – but settled gratefully into the warmth of her body. Within an hour she was giving him an all-over wash, and has been his ‘mom’ and companion ever since.

Under her watchful eye and Cora’s caring hand, he’s flourished, and is now completely at home with both of them. While skittish with other humans at first, he allowed me to pick him up and was soon purring happily, cuddled into the crook of my arm – a good omen for successful adoption by his new family.

The people who trapped him have been so concerned about his well-being that he’s going to live with them as soon as he’s healed and well.

A wonderful happy ending for this handsome little cat!

--MS

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