(The Humanitarian Social Network)
This is a post for anyone like me who can’t seem to avoid pets. I try. I know it is a responsibility (who is going to feed it when I go on leave?) and then there are the inevitable re-homing negotiations when I leave for a different country (promise to look after my cat when I go and I will mail you bricks of chocolate from the airport). But, I can’t help it, they find me. Before I know it the skinny flea infested kitten from under the house is happy, fat and sitting on the only chair in the lounge.
I think there may be others out there like me, so I thought it could be fun to swap in-country pet care tips or stories that you may not usually encounter in developed countries with pet stores and vets. Here are two of mine:
1) Don’t want to deal with litters of kittens but there is no vet in the whole country? Put your cat on the pill. Yup, there is a cat pill it is called FeralStat You can order it on the internet and they will send you enough to last one cat about 75 years. My cat in PNG was on it for two years, no kittens. She did get moody if I forgot to feed it to her and then she had a tendency to bite, but nothings perfect.
2) Don’t feed your pet tomato products. In places where there is no pet food a bit of tined fish and rice works. But for a while I could only find tined fish in tomato sauce. The cat loved it but a week in it sort of lost the use of its back legs, which is not so great. Having no vet I consulted google and apparently cats (and to a lesser extent dogs) can’t quickly process the atropine in tomatoes. It blocks up their nerve signals – I poisoned my cat. But not to death, after a week of no tomato sauce and lots of water the cat was back to normal.