Penang, Malaysia — This pet-loving child vowed to continue feeding wild strays near his home after one wildcat scratched his face to the limits.
Achik Lieya, the mother of nine-year-old Adam, said her son was always fascinated by cats and started to feed strays near his home in the town of Nibong Tebal in the Malaysian state of Penang when he was old enough to notice their poor condition.
“The incident happened when Adam was about to feed a wild cat,” said the 36-year-old mother.
When he got too close to one wild stray and tried to pick it up, the cat reacted by leaping on the child and sinking its claws into his face, biting and scratching him before running off.
“Adam didn’t think the cat would attack him and certainly had no idea it would scratch his face.”
The only reason he touched the cat as it was being aggressive with others.
“Adam’s intention was just to feed the cat initially but it was bothering his own pet cats, so he tried to move the wildcat in order to feed the others,” said Lieya.
When she heard him crying, she said she immediately ran outside and was horrified to the extent of his injuries.
“I burst into tears when I saw his face. I thank God his eyes were not damaged and that he is expected to make a full recovery,” she said.
Despite the shocking experience, the nine-year-old, who is one of five siblings and still has bandages on his face, continues to go outside to feed the strays.
“There are three domestic cats that he feeds but there are a lot of wildcats around, and he is still feeding those as well despite what happened.”
This incident brings into focus the need to know more about the behavior of cats, whether domesticated or wild so that one can take care of them at the same time not getting hurt oneself.
Stray cats and wild cats differ while interacting with humans. If one has this knowledge, one is able to decide what, if any, intervention could be in the best interest of each cat.
Pet and stray cats are used to interacting with humans. On the contrary, wild cats are not socialized to humans.
Feral cat fears humans and lives independently. Such cats can never be domesticated. However, their kittens can get used to humans and can be adopted.
“Cats outdoors are vulnerable to contagious diseases, parasite infestations, starvation, dehydration, freezing, heatstroke, attacks by dogs and other predators, and being hit by vehicles. Cruel people often poison, shoot, burn, drown, or otherwise torture and kill cats,” says Peta, the animal rights organization about abandoned, left or lost cats.
(Edited by Shirish Vishnu Shinde and Vaibhav Vishwanath Pawar.)
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