Stories from Afar & Up Close

Found and Lost

One of the things I love about Beirut is the insane amount of street cats, especially in and around AUB (American University of Beirut). The open garbage-collecting system ensures a never-ending supply of food, so they roam around the streets of Hamra just like the rest of us. There is also a happy bunch of cats living down at the Corniche, lying on the beach in the sun all day and coming up to the road every once in a while to find something to eat. There is a big red-head with half an ear missing that sits in the middle of the sidewalk and moves for no-one, and there used to be a tiny one that would climb up the side of my leg to get some attention. I resisted the urge to take that home because it seemed to be doing quite well on its own, however cute it was. Not so with the little one we found Saturday night in Qoreitem. Crawling around underneath a parked car, it kept turning in circles and then falling over, rolling around helplessly on its back. It was so tiny it could comfortably lie on the DVD-cover I took it home on.


After a rigorous bath we discovered it could not straighten its neck, and the little bit of water it managed to take in with its head wobbling into the bowl did nothing to strengthen the kitten. The only way to make her stop meowing in pain was to hold her with two hands, pressing her head to one side. Yesterday the people of Animals Lebanon and the vet decided there was nothing that could be done to save her, and she was put to sleep.


(Here she is still alive. I named her Unlucky.) Animals Lebanon is working hard to rescue cats and other animals in need in Lebanon, and to spay/neuter those who are living on the street to control the population of wild cats. If you live in Lebanon and have space in your home, please consider adopting one of the more than 50 cats they rescued that are currently waiting in their shelter (all clean and vaccinated). I mean, I adopted this one last year, but one of these can be all yours!