'Falling' Dangerously in Love

Last Christmas, a three-month old kitten fell from a 22nd floor apartment of a residential building, landing on the drying rack a couple of storeys below. It is said that 'a cat has nine lives', but a little kitten falling from such a high level has to be awfully lucky to be able to survive.

And luckily indeed, this kitten was rescued by the SPCA's inspectors and sent to our Wanchai centre for medical examination. It turned out that his left front foot was fractured and he also suffered from collapsed lungs, a life-threatening condition that causes sudden chest pain and shortness of breath. He needed to be hospitalised for observation and receive urgent treatment.

The next day, his owner visited him at the SPCA. Just when the small animal thought he would be going home soon, the owner, reckoning that the medical expenses would be too high, decided to surrender him.

So the little kitten was now on his own. But ever the optimist, he kept his head up and maintained his daily routine, eating and sleeping as usual and enjoying life without worries just like other kittens.

Some time later, he was handed over to our veterinary nurse Winky, who was to foster him at home, helping him recover before he started looking for a new home. Winky also gave him a name 'Kwai Ding Ball'

Working at a vet clinic, Winky has already seen different kinds of cats and she cherishes every animal under her care. With Kwai Ding Ball, her heart was captured before she knew it. She said, 'Kwai Ding Ball stayed chilled while he was recuperating from his injuries at my home. He is such an attention seeker and loves to be petted. He is also very playful. Before he goes to the bathroom, he purrs to let me know.'

The fact that the kitten was abandoned by his previous owner was heartbreaking for Winky. She said, 'Kwai Ding Ball is so cute and his hair is so soft. Why did his owner abandon him?'

Kwai Ding Ball was taken good care of by Winky, who patiently gave him medicine every day and wrapped his injured leg with colourful bandages to make him look fashionable. Over time, she became the one who knew him best.

She said, 'Kwai Ding Ball is such a jealous cat but he also forgets things easily. I can get him to forgive me simply by giving him his favourite treats. He is very friendly, outgoing and bold. I really adore him.'

Winky had fostered Kwai Ding Ball for only a little more than a month, but the two were already inseparable. She worried about his future like a mother would her son.

'Kwai Ding Ball is a Scottish Fold, a breed more susceptible to kidney and heart disease. They are also prone to arthritis, which can result in reduced range of mobility. If he got adopted by another person, I would have been worried if the new owner would be committed to taking care of him for the rest of his life.'

Not wanting Kwai Ding Ball to go through the pain of being abandoned again, Winky decided to adopt him and give him a forever home.

After officially joining the family, Kwai Ding Ball and Winky's three other cats Fu Bill, Ah Sau and Ah King formed a squad of cat power at home. 'They always fight and chase each other. Sometimes Kwai Ding Ball leads the group to break into the bathroom and do their business together,' Winky said with a big laugh.

Food is definitely on top of Kwai Ding Ball's hierarchy of needs. He has gone so far as to steal vegetables from the kitchen. According to Winky's testimony as a 'crime witness', Kwai Ding Ball once ran around the house holding some vegetables in his mouth like a rabbit, trying not to get caught.

Sometimes Kwai Ding Ball is like a Velcro - she sticks to Winky and follows her everywhere she goes. She said, 'every night when I go to the bathroom, he follows me and waits until I am done. Then I bring him back to my bedroom and we sleep together. He also wakes me up before my alarm goes off. He follows me around as long as I am in the house.'

Kwai Ding Ball has brought much joy to Winky's family and she remembers every funny moment with him. 'If he ever suffers from arthritis, I hope it will not progress to an unbearable level. As long as he is healthy, eats well, sleeps well, plays well, I will be happy.'

Although Kwai Ding Ball's 'flying cat accident' led her to Winky, the love of his life, cat owners should install cat nets at home to prevent such accidents because next time a cat falls, it may not be as lucky as Kwai Ding Ball.