Small steps with Riley

Riley did not eat this morning. She must be still stressed from the major change in her life, taken from the street to a room in our house. She also has not urinated or defecated since yesterday afternoon. I was worried and I consulted the vet but she says to let her be and give her some time.

But the good thing is that Riley is warming up to me. She allows me to carry her and even force-feed her. I was worried so I resorted to force-feeding even though I know that’s not right. But she was willing to eat when being force-fed. I stared by rubbing some gravy onto her mouth and she licked it up, so I gave her Cindy’s pureed food (I call it baby food), and she ate that too, but wasn’t too interested in it.

Riley: I’m not a baby, okay? Didn’t the vet already tell you I’m a 5-6 month-old cat? 

From there, I progressed to her favourite tuna with sea bream. I could even open her mouth to feed her and she ate willingly. But by force-feeding I could not feed much.

I think the mogok lapar is just a protest. The vet says if she was willing to eat when force-fed, it means she is okay. Actually, she was more than willing too. She let me open her mouth. Being only the second day today, I think that’s progress.


You see this stick here? It’s those extendable sticks you use as curtain rails (the length can be altered) and we used this to block the movement of this glass window so that it can remain open for ventilation in the room. There’s the mosquito netting to prevent escape and it is stainless steel. The stick is very tightly and securely fixed, as tightly as we can. And yet, Riley removed it. But after removing this stick, Riley would still have to slide open TWO glass window panels before exposing an escape route. Sliding two heavy glass panels…hmm, not so easy. But to play it safe, we have moved to stick lower down, to touch the sill so that it’s not so easy to remove it now.

Even Minnie and her boys could not remove this stick when they were quarantined upstairs in both rooms for two weeks. Riley removed it! Wow, she’s even smarter (and stronger?) than Minnie. Granted, she wants to escape. She has lived her life as a street kitten/cat and she wants back that life.

If only the world was a safer and more accepting place, then she can live her life as Nature intended her to. But not when there are humans in it. Humans make the world unsafe for animals.

Riley found a new place to hide in.

And Tabs is keeping vigil outside the room. I have a feeling that Tabs won’t mind being friends with Riley and sharing her space with her. But the question is: Will Riley want to stay indoors? I’ve known cats who have lived their lives outdoors and they are absolutely unhappy being indoors.

Let’s see now…Cow, Bunny, Pole, Cleo, Indy and Tiger were all CNRM-cats in our old neighbourhood, but they adjusted to living indoors after we moved here. Joanie (the one rescued with obstructed labour and saved) escaped from our house and refused to be indoors. Wolf, although born in our house, finally ran away from home and was never seen again. Both in our old neighbourhood.

Over here where we now live, Daffodil, Rosie, Ginger, Heidi, Vincent, Mr Zurik, Bosco, Timmy were all initially CNRM-cats until the neighbours complained too much and I had to confine them indoors. But Timmy ran away from home too (he did not like Mr Zurik) and was only sighted once a few months later. Raven came as a kitten and confidently entered Bunny’s Place on her own. She was even smaller than Riley now. Yet, she wanted to be indoors (Raven was adopted by a friend).

So, what does Riley prefer? I don’t know. Will it be safe to let her be a CNRM-cat if she is not happy being indoors? I have neighbours who have announced that (1) they do not like animals roaming freely outside and (2) she simply does not like animals.

But Riley is a small-sized cat. Will she be able to defend herself if there are fights? But being small also has its plus points, she can hide easily.

Daffodil was a very small-sized cat too. The previous feeder in this neighbourhood told me that another neighbour called the council and the council came, caught Daffodil’s mum and all her children. Only Daffodil escaped. This was before we moved in.

In our neighbourhood chat, I’m the lone voice speaking up for the animals. Whenever someone threatens to call the council, I’m the only one appealing to them not to. This has been happening for 11 years now. I’m pleasantly surprised that recently, the one person who actually had called the council before said neutering-and-returning was a “paradigm shift” and that he did not object to it. Hmm…a good sign, I hope? Before this, I had actually told him off before, in the chatgroup for all to read.

Nowadays, I know what to write. My two friends educated me on this. They said, you cannot talk about compassion and kindness because some people actually have none of it. You must talk in their language, about how it benefits them. That was a good lesson for me. Some people only listen when they know there’s something in it for them. WIIFM – What’s in it for me? If they have something to gain, they might listen. If not, they will tell you to go fly a kite.

Three types of food for you, Ms Riley.

Riley: Semua tak mahu!!

I want to go out!!


Since Riley has not used the litter box, I left a basin of soil/dirt for her in the bathroom.

This is taken from the same flowerpot where I scooped her faeces that day. So, hopefully, she will be attracted by her own scent.

Okay, okay…I get the message, Riley.

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