Noora was so sad. A beautiful cat and mother of my kittens, one who taught me how to care for her kittens.
I told a friend I was looking for two kittens to keep me company, little did I know that one evening he just turned up with a hessian bag a tipped the contents on to my sitting room floor. I saw a flash of movement I shouted at him what have you brought here. He said you wanted kittens so now you have got them. I asked him but one of them is so big, yeah it is their mother.
I had started to prepare to have kittens and bought a bed and blanket and some food bowls that was all. I had nothing for them to eat. I asked what do they eat or what do you feed them on. Friend went and got some food they were used to eating and put it in the bowls they had. One big problem no toilet or litter tray for them, what can I use. You have excuse my alarm in all of this because it is not easy to find things in Egypt to buy for pets especially in Aswan. I went out in the morning and bought a bowl for them and to this day the kittens still use it. My friend brought a bag of sand and they took to the bowl immediately no training or encouraging needed.
I will focus on Noora, as you can see she was a beautiful cat and dedicated mother. I spent a lot of time watching her how she looked after the kittens and her disciplining of them, yes, she was a strict disciplinarian. I was laughed at for calling her Noora as it is a woman’s name meaning light. To me Noora was light and her whiteness reflected this.
Noora taught the kittens how to clean themselves and she would not allow them to take any milk until they were clean enough. Noora would sit upright in front of the kitten (I found this unbelievable) and speak gently to them in cat language. The kittens would dash off and paws and legs flying everywhere in the attempt to get clean enough as they wanted to have their milk and oh Noora would send them back if they were not clean enough.
Another astounding act was when Jemima became sick, vomited after eating too much liver she was a greedy little thing at times. Jemima padded up to her Mom and cried and Noora sat again in front of her gently speaking to her and comforting Jemima I watched amazed as I cleaned the mess up.
Noora did not know how to play and I used to play with the kittens I kept them busy playing in between their feeds and naps. Noora used to get angry with the kittens for playing and I as observed her she was afraid to do the things the kittens just took for granted. In the photo above it took Noora weeks to actually go in through the paper bag like the kittens. The kittens were cheeky and they jumped on her to frighten her as she crept through the bag.
I learned how to discipline the kittens from watching her too, if they were naughty or were doing something she did not want. Noora would tap them gently on the nose. I mean tap not smack. I also used to do this with them and it worked and still to this day it works. In fact I just have to hold my hand up in front of their face and it is enough. The other was she would pummel them with her back feet well common sense tells you this is not an option.
Unfortunately life was not always so calm with Noora she was extremely sensitive and I loved that about her she could sense bad people before they passed our apartment or if someone was lurking near our windows she would scream at them to alert me.
Eventually Noora came on heat or into season and I was no way prepared for this at all and I have very low tolerance for noise. Noora started to scream and shout in between feeds which were getting less as the kittens weened. It was unbearable I told my friend she needs to see a vet, well, let us say I got very little help. Someone “medical” came with an injection for her they had no idea how to administer the injection to a cat and when I checked the serum they had injected it was a contraceptive for women. I was furious this was not for a cat, I specifically asked for something for a cat. I used to massage her with a little lavender oil and this helped a little. It calmed her down for a short while but she had started to fight with the kittens, well they were female. I had to push Noora off the kittens with a broom she was so vicious and they were screaming. Jemima used to take her mother on, silly kitten. Tabitha refused to fight her Mom and this brought about Tabitha’s gymnastic skills as her mother pursued to fight. Tabitha would jump at the window and push-off somersaulting over Noora and sped off to hide.
(Tabitha practicing leaping and somersaulting )
The hardest decision I had to make and I cried for days about it before going through with what I thought was right. Noora missed her outdoor life being cooped up in an eleventh floor apartment was hard on her. Noora was on heat again and her constant screaming was unbearable for me and I received no support or help from anyone. I would have had her neutered but Egyptians do not like to do this, I got no co-operation with this only hit a social brick wall (I had the kittens neutered and this is another heartbreaking story) if I had found somewhere at the time this may have finished the problem.
Under the circumstances, I decide it was best if Noora went back to her owners, you know there is no way I would have given anyone a cat like this, but they did. I got someone to help me take her back to the original owner and I am sure the person who went with me was no help in conveying how I felt and my reasons for returning the cat. When I arrived at the owner’s house I could not speak as I held back the tears. After all I was doing this for Noora’s good to be able to be free and live the life she was used to. Noora missed her old family they were good to her. The “friend” who brought me the cats reprimanded me for taking her back, and not only that how could I ask someone to carry the cat for me in the street in a bag as it was humiliating for the person. They were horrid and did not care how hard it was for me and how long I spent crying over the decision to take her back. They gave me no support after all according to them animals are nothing.
I do have friends who love their cats and they came forward after this incident to help me.
I still miss this beautiful soul and I am sure her kittens remember her too. Painful to write about this. I opened her up to playing, love and being cared for in a different way. I groomed her everyday and Noora looked forward to this. On the whole I still feel I did the right thing as she was a fighter and enjoyed it. Noora became more difficult with her kittens too she prevented them from eating and would not allow Tabitha to take any milk. This was confusing and distressing for the kittens and me. I started to free feed them I had found one shop which sold dry cat food which was heaven-sent for me because I could leave it down all day without it going off.
I wish had received Noora when she was still a kitten and then I would have made sure her life was different. So many memories of Noora bubbling up inside me about her ways. Miss her saying Hello Noora every morning when I woke up.
(Noora when I first received her)
(How Noora changed after being groomed every day and good food to eat)
Life can be so difficult when you think you have no one to turn to for help or understand you. Perhaps I should have kept her and had Noora spayed at the same time as the kittens but that would have been a couple of months and then that was another very bad experience for all of us again. Would it guarantee to stop the fighting? The kittens play fight and fight even now but nothing like their mother she was brutal.
I am grateful to have her kittens and love them so much. I loved her so much too.