I’m sure you know by now that I was rescued from a horrible local pet shop. If not, take a look at my earlier columns and also my rescue story, featured on this site.

Muscat stray in pet shopPet shops here in Oman are appalling. No other word for it. Cats, dogs and other furries cramped into small wire-floored cages with sparse food and water, no toys, no bedding, filthy surroundings and dirty litter trays. I remember my early life there… in fact, a whole year, in one of those awful places, where I got sick and went blind. I was being left to die. Some had a worse fate if they got sick – being put out onto the streets in the fierce heat to either starve, be run over or be attacked by humans or other animals.

I was lucky, many are not.

rescued kittenBut pet shops aren’t the only dreadful thing here. There is no animal welfare legislation here, because the government simply doesn’t care and the majority of the population have little regard for animals in general. Not all, but most! The stray cats and dogs are left to breed unchecked and then in an effort to ‘control’ the population, one official body goes out to shoot dogs (cruelly and often unsuccessfully) and poison or shoot the cats. Mum has also witnessed, through social media or directly, shocking cases of cats being dragged along tarmac roads, stoned or physically abused.

And then, there are the abandoned pets. Oman is a country with a ‘churn’ of expats – a rather high ‘churn’ at that. Many people adopt or buy pets (from those awful stores) and then when they need to leave, they either dump their pets at a local vets in a box or simply abandon them to their fate outside. Many of these abandoned cats are not local cats (Arabian Mau’s) but long-haired ‘breeds’, which are prized above the beautiful sleek local cats. The locals see the Arabian Maus as ‘bin cats’ or ‘street cats’ and do not have much regard for them. Yet in other countries, they are highly prized and the long-haired ones are the ‘street’ cats.  This is a very sad situation in itself.

Anyway, I digress! Repatriating us furry family members is not difficult with the right help from a local vets, but yes, it is a little costly. But these so-called ‘families’ decide we are not worth it and move on without a care. Us fluffies can’t survive outside – it’s too hot, we’re not hunters and fighters and we invariably end up in a desperate state – assuming we survive at all.

muscat stray catsThere are no shelters, no charities (not permitted) and no TNR (Trap-Neuter-Release). Nothing of the home country my mum comes from. It depresses, saddens and angers her. So, she decided to team up with an already formed small volunteer group called Omani Paws. The group relies solely on donations from local communities and operates extensively to provide TNR for cats and dogs, medical care for sick and injured stray animals and help for abandoned or abused animals. They also foster and rehome where possible, always advocating ‘adopt, don’t shop’.

Muscat stray dogsHowever, individual funding from group members and donations from the friendly humans can only go so far. So mum set up a ‘Go Fund Me’ campaign to raise much-needed funds. The popular crowdfunding approach has helped many in the past and the group are now in urgent need of funds in order to continue helping my fur-relations in Muscat. They also have mounting vets’ bills and the number of animals seems to be increasing, so they now really need help; to settle our outstanding bills and continue providing much needed care.

Perhaps you can help – every bit makes a difference to mum – and to cats like me and all my fur-pals out there in the world. If you can’t help, maybe you can share the link so others can.

abandoned catOne day, I hope the situation here will be different, but for now, me and mum will keep doing our thing to raise awareness and funds to make a difference those without a voice, who are so desperate for our helping paws and hands.

You can make a donation to Moet & Emily’s Go Fund Me campaign at: www.gofundme.com/OmanRescue

You can follow Moet on Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat: @MoetBlindCat

And on Facebook: www.facebook.com/MoetBlindCat

 

She also has a website: www.moetblindcat.com

 

 

Five Good Reasons for Having Your Cat Neutered

  • Reduces fighting, injury and noise
  • Reduces spraying and smelling
  • Much less likely to wander and get lost
  • Safer from diseases like feline AIDS, mammary tumours and feline leukaemia
  • Reduces the number of unwanted kittens