So it is with much trying not to, that I have become a “madrina” of a few rascally kittens that I found in the streets of Asuncion. I was heading to work about 2 weeks ago when the bus I was on stopped for a red light at a major intersection near my office. I looked out the window to see the various vendors walking car to car when I noticed a tiny, fuzzy movement near some trees on the sidewalk. I thought, no, that can’t possibly be what I think it is. And then another ball of fuzz joined the first. Not wanting to believe it, I decided to wait until lunch to do some investigating.
I walked back over to find four tiny little kittens hanging out in this cluster of sad trees with a small cup of water and plate of kibble. I asked the vendors if there was any mother cat, there wasn’t, and how long they had been there, the house behind had thrown them out there just the day before. I inhaled deeply, trying to measure my next move, which ultimately was to start crying – but I held back.
I walked to the nearest food store, Supermercado Lambare, and bought some wet kitten food, (no one actually uses it here because it’s Whiskas and about $1 or $2 per pack! A complete rip off considering I can eat a full meal at lunch for only $3 a day…) I then laid out the wet food, which the tiny kittens ate voraciously, and asked the men if they could keep a loose eye on the kittens for me until I went back a few hours later with a car.
Later that day, through this group of volunteers that is based here in Asuncion who help injured, suffering, and homeless or abused animals, Adoptame, helped me to find a vet they work with who would be willing to take in the kittens free of charge. I called the Doctor and she told me to bring them in. I was so relieved and grateful! Menchi, one of my coworkers at WWF, helped me to collect the cats in a cardboard box and we brought them over after work. We dropped them off, in hopes of them being adopted within a few days, but knowing that there was an Adoption Fair the following weekend, (hosted by Adoptame,) where I was sure they would find a home.
After a week or so in captivity I went to retrieve the kittens along with a friend, which proved to be a very difficult task arranging buses and transport from the vet’s office in Lambare (a town just outside Asuncion) to the big shopping mall in Villa Morra where the event was being hosted. One of the little ones had already found a home, which I was grateful to hear, but I worried about the fate of the others. Arriving at the Adoption Fair only increased my anxiety, as there were about 50 other tiny, fuzzy, adorable kittens for adoption.
I arrived back to the fair a few hours later to check in on the kittens, as they were closing, to see that they had not yet been adopted and, panicked, I packed them up in their cardboard box and took them on the bus home – where they have been ever since…And so they stay for now, until I can find them a good home or a vet willing to take them in and display them for adoption. Sigh.