Plus - Letter to the editor

From Giritale to Canada: Rupee’s adventure

By Naomi Sanderson, Calgary, Canada

We found her when we were on holiday in Giritale. She came out of a pile of garbage on the roadside, running as quickly as her little legs could carry her. She was in distress and was crying out loudly. As she stared at us she sat on my husband Menno's foot and with that her fate was sealed!

There was no way that we could leave this tiny, pathetic little creature all by herself on the side of a busy road. We cancelled our walk and carried her back to the hotel. She was so small that she fitted into the palm of my hand.

We asked the hotel if she belonged to anyone. They said that her mother was hit by a car and killed and that she was an orphan. We tried to give her to one of the workers but there were no takers. She was in a pretty rough shape at the time - filthy, hungry, flea-infested and her eyes were covered in goop.

I took her to the hotel room, rinsed her eyes and gave her some food. I set her in a box but this free spirit refused to be contained. Instead she crawled out and planted herself firmly on top of my backpack so that we wouldn't sneak away without her.

For the next two weeks of our holiday, Rupee travelled with us. Although we never announced at the hotels that we had a kitten with us, for fear that they would turn us away, our fears may have been unfounded because nobody ever complained when I sneaked off with food or when they could hear her meows through the door. She grew healthier. I rinsed her eyes, picked the fleas off with my tweezers, gave her regular meals and most of all - LOVE. She slept cuddled up besides Menno and myself every night. As soon as we sat down at the end of the day she would crawl on our laps, heads and chests.

When we got to Colombo we immediately started working towards getting the necessary permits to take Rupee back to Canada. We were told there should be no problem to put her on the flight with us. But two hours before we were to leave for the airport the airline called and said that she was too young to fly and a permit could not be obtained.

I was besides myself with distress. It was then that I called a committee member of The Animal Welfare and Protection Association - Mrs Manel Jayasekera - and her daughter Madri. They readily agreed to take Rupee and care for her until she was fit to travel.

Manel had to take her twice to the quarantine office and finally got the certificate to send her. Her food of soup and water was frozen and prepared for the flight. She was in transit in Hong Kong and had almost a 24-hour journey before she arrived safely in Canada.

What Manel and Madri did to help us is the nicest thing that anyone has ever done and we will be friends for life because of Rupee.

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