Saturday, July 11, 2009

Them darn cats

While some friends are on vacation I have agreed to pop by every now and then to check on their cat. I'm not taking care of the cat, someone else is coming by everyday to feed the cat. No, my job is to play with the cat, to make sure it gets some petting and playtime every couple of days. Yep, I have play-dates with a cat.

Given that cats are known for keeping their own schedule I figured I would pop by the house and watch as a cat ignored me for an hour. But it looks like my friends knew what they were talking about, within minutes of me entering the house the cat came running down the stairs and jumped on my lap for petting. After that it happily stalked a ribbon I dragged around before settling back in my lap for more petting. Bizarre. Guess the poor thing was starved for attention after all. Maybe it helps that I'm mildly allergic to cats -- cats always know when people are allergic to them so go straight for them. A high school/college buddy of mine was really allergic to cats and it was just amazing how if there was a cat around we would know because it was usually attached to him. He was a cat magnet.

It is unfortunate but in Qatar there are so many stray cats. They are everywhere. I know so many people who have taken stray cats into their homes, and others who also capture them for spaying/neutering then releasing them back outside, but there are still stray cats everywhere. I think in my compound there are now six strays. Sometimes people adopt them (in the three years I've been here at least 11 strays have been rescued from my compound and put in homes), but within a few months more strays will have wandered in to replace them. It looks like 4-6 is the standard number of stray cats my compound can support.

I have some other theories about cats but I will save those for later. In the meantime I guess I will head to my friend's place and pet a cat for a while (she was a stray too).


Karen C said...

Glenn, That is so sweet of you to help care for your friends cat.
You are 100% right about cats loving people who are allergic to them. My 2 cats hate my daughter, who you met and she is like me a cat lover, but a friend of mine who is also allergic is the only person my cats will insist on sitting on. They hiss and spit at everyone else who comes to visit me.
I fell in love with 2 cats while in Doha who hung around my daughters building, 1 was the mama cat and the other was her baby. They both have been fixed by a group effort. Mama cat kept all other strays away.
My daughter and her good friend are both doing the walk across Spain in Oct. I am hoping to get my knees in shape so I can join the girls.
I have been keeping tabs on your blog but due to health reasons I never had any strength to reply. But all is good again.
Well blue eyes(smile) I better get busy as my daughter will be here soon and I have tons left to be done.
Keep cool!

Qatar Foodie said...

hope you had a nice time petting the cat ;-) you blog is pretty good to read... keep it up

Glen McKay said...

Hi Karen, sorry to hear you've been ill but I'm glad you're doing better - well enough to hike around Spain! Sounds like a great trip. Say hi to Laurie for me.

And thanks for the hello Qatar Foodie.

Bin Shaibalahmar said...

I was brought up in Qatar in the 1950's and still have an old cine film of a cat we kinda owned - the cat of course had kittens. So I guess the stray cats of today might be related to her.

Glen McKay said...

Some are probably related to cats that have been in Doha for generations, but I know that some of them are simply abandoned pets. Why someone would abandon their cat I don't know, maybe they were British and because of the strict quarantines rules couldn't bring it with them.