Missy The Kitten

One afternoon, I was at Bugis Junction waiting for a friend to knock off from work. At 4pm, Fiona sent a Whatsapp group text to all volunteers: “abandoned kitten at Landmark Hotel”, “need someone to pick it up and send to vet immediately, if not kitty will die”.

I quickly Google-mapped ‘Landmark Hotel’ and noticed it was only two main roads away from where I was. I did not want to "abandon" my friend, but I could not leave the kitten to die either. Obviously, a life (even an animal’s) is worth more than any sort of appointment, and it must have been fated that I was the only one in the kitten’s vicinity; I felt compelled to do something.

Fiona texted me a mobile number and told me to call another volunteer, Francesca, to obtain the kitten’s exact whereabouts. Over the phone, Francesca promptly directed me to Pet Lovers Centre (PLC) at Bugis Junction to look for an employee, Michelle. I was a bit excited yet anxious because it felt like a treasure hunt, except I was hunting for a possibly dying kitten and time was ticking.

No larger than the styrofoam packet

Unfortunately, Michelle had just left for lunch and would only return an hour later. Apparently, she was holding on to a piece of paper with another woman’s contact details. That woman was Karen. So my immediate goal was to ask Karen exactly where the kitten was in Landmark Hotel. Francesca urged me not to wait any longer and just head straight to Landmark Hotel; I left Francesca’s mobile number with PLC so Michelle could return the call after her lunch break.

A droplet of blood at its left eye

Feeling more anxious than frustrated, I ran to the hotel. There, Francesca suggested that I speak with the basement carpark attendant because the kitten was actually well-hidden by the attendant, lest the hotel management had it removed by force. To my surprise, the conceirge, porter and security guards all confirmed that Landmark Hotel’s carpark does not have an attendant. Francesca was equally confused, but told me to scout the basement carpark and “look out for any hidden corners or spaces away from human traffic”.

Exasperated, I circled the basement carpark in midday perspiration, yet to no avail. It was 5.30pm and I decided to wait in the lobby for Francesca’s call, since Michelle would have probably been back from lunch by then. I felt increasingly helpless as the kitten was so near yet so far, and time was certainly not on our side. 

Feeling cold and forlorn
As time pushed past 6pm, Francesca updated that Karen was only 10 minutes away from Landmark Hotel. I got hold of Karen over the phone, then she explained that the kitten was actually found by a Malay couple. The wife, a cleaning lady in Landmark Hotel, asked Karen for help as she did not know how to take care of the kitten. Since Karen did not either, she bought kitten milk formula from PLC at Bugis Junction and sought advice from Michelle, thereafter leaving her contact number with Michelle.

At 6.15pm, I met Karen outside the hotel. She led me into the basement carpark as she tried to recall where the Malay woman hid the kitten. Within 5 minutes, we found it!

It lay motionless in an A4-sized carton, among many other small boxes and wooden planks, under the carpark ramp. It purred quietly on a thin stack of newspapers, gazing at us with glassy green-grey eyes. It was no larger the styrofoam takeaway box placed before it, containing nasi lemak rice and traces of brown rice. Upon closer inspection, we noticed a droplet of blood coming out of its eye. That worried me because it could have been suffering from internal pain or injuries. As many of you may or may not know, cats cannot pass gas and if fed a diet that produces gas inside their stomachs, it could cause their stomachs to swell and in extreme cases, explode from the intense buildup of gas.
Raw patch on its right hind leg

As I was about to carry the carton out, Karen discouraged me from removing the kitten without the cleaning lady’s consent. Previously, through a translator working in a carpet store, the cleaning lady told Karen that she wanted to adopt the kitten since her husband also agreed to it. As Karen spoke to Francesca over the phone, the cleaning lady coincidentally appeared! She did not speak English, so we had to communicate via hand signals. Frustrated, Karen approached the translator at the carpet store to teach the cleaning lady how to care for the kitten.

However, knowing that the kitten had been on a toxic diet, Francesca insisted on sending it for a checkup immediately. Karen fetched the kitten in a taxi to The Animal Doctors, where she was met by Francesca, Fiona and Lisa. They decided to name her Missy. The vet concluded that Missy’s heart and lung conditions were good, except for her distended stomach as she did not have a mother cat to nurse her and teach her how to pass motion properly. The X-ray image showed that her stomach was full of food and poo, so our volunteers had no choice but to leave her overnight as she was feeling unwell. The vet would flush out her stomach so she may hopefully feel better. In addition, Missy was suffering from dehydration; it is a common myth that people think cats do not need to drink much water. They do drink an average of a cup a day when provided.

Missy arriving at the vet with Karen

Missy's stomach was full of food and poo as she did not know how to pass motion properly

Weighing a mere 650g

Vet checking Missy

Her stomach was extremely bloated

Missy, clean and calm at the vet

Missy has a curved spine and fragile bones, a result of high diet deficiency. She must not jump or fall, lest she fractures her spine. She is under 3 months old, has a very sweet nature and will love to have fun once she is given the chance to learn. Sadly, she has been kept in a carton since the Malay couple rescued her as they did not know how to provide proper care. Later, we found out that they returned to Johor Bahru on alternate days and on those days, Missy had nothing to eat and drink!

 As much as they want to love Missy, she is still very young and defenseless, and is in dire need of a healthy regular diet for her proper physical development. 
Playful and bright-eyed kitty

Fortunately, Missy is recently beginning to pass motion regularly on her own. She also eats by herself without having to be forced-fed or given laxatives. 

Finally content in her new and loving home

Missy has been happily rehomed. We would like to thank Francesca for coordinating Missy's rescue, the volunteers for paying her regular visits at The Animal Doctors, and Mr Fu for kindly fostering her. 

Missy says Thank You!

Without help from our volunteers, all this would not have been possible. Without contributions from our donors, many of our rescued animals would not have had a second chance at life. 

Please continue to support our cause because every animal we can help is really one more life saved, regardless of how small or fragile.

Story by Kyna Tan. Photo credits by Kyna and Francesca.