Tata the Babysitter

It was a scorcher of a day in March and it was cleaning day!

Today we had to tackle the immense mountain of things that had accumulated in the warehouse; old wooden chairs, old artwork, kitchen things that were of no more use and the list goes on. After hauling everything out, cleaning, sweeping, organize, throwing, and hauling everything back in again it was break time for my husband. My husband is someone who cant stay still even if he has been working all day so… why not turn on all the vehicles in the workshop and make sure everything is running smoothly. Game viewers humming nicely, farm buckie and quad running like normal now it was time for the Tata Truck… the Tata let out an almighty “BBBBBRRRMMM BBBelch BBRRMM.” As the Tata was rumbling on we heard a faint “meeooww” and then another and another… mmm it seems like the Tata has been babysitting a family of new born African Wild Cats. Curled up on some dry grass in the bed of the Tata were the cutest 7 kittens you have ever seen. We looked around for mom, if a mother Wild Cat abandons her young that this tender age they will not survive. Luckily mommy cat was there and had just gotten the fright of her life with the roaring Tata, it must have been 10 years since it was last turned on who knows who many kittens she has had in the safety and privacy of the back of the Tata Truck.

As soon as we realized what was going on we turned off the Tata and gave mom and kittens their space to calm down. Towards evening we came back to check on them, mom had been busy, she had moved 6 out of 7 kittens, presumably to a quitter less busy place. We waited to see her came back for her 7th kitten, we wanted to wish her off well as she is an habitual scavenger around the our kitchens backdoor. She never came. We hoped that maybe with the cover of night she would return for her little one, but we have found her still curled up in the dry grass by herself in the morning. My goodness did this little kitten have some lungs on her! She was trying best to attract attention; she must have been starving and thirsty and in need to a cuddle.

I picked her up carefully and held her close, trying to get her warm and see if she would calm down. She managed to calm down for a little while only to remember again just how hungry she was. There was no way my husband was letting me bring this little ball of fluff home so I gave her to our ranger and warden. During the night she was bottled feed milk and given a warm blanky to cuddle up in. The next morning we looked one more time for signs that Sevens mom had been by to look for her, but there were none. Unfortunately, since we are located in a nature reserve, we are not allowed to keep wild animals at the lodge, even if it is for rehabilitation. So, Seven was taken to a rehabilitation center in town where she was bottle fed milk until she was stronger enough to fend for herself and then released again into the reserve to roam free and strong in the wild.