Saved by a whisker: Kitten scooped from river
IT'S difficult not to become absorbed in Bamm Bamm's deep blue eyes, so why would such an endearing kitten be abandoned with such apparent disdain?
The diminutive domestic short-hair has been in the care of animal foster volunteer Ros Lowry for the past two weeks, having been rescued out of Pioneer River by a local fisherman. It was believed the kitten had been thrown into the river's depths and left to die.
Ms Lowry said Bamm Bamm was incredibly distressed in the aftermath of his threatening ordeal; exhausted, fearful and desperate for comfort.
As one of 57 temporary carers for Pound Rescue Mackay, Ms Lowry said Bamm Bamm was one of more than 50 cats she had fostered over approximately the last three years while searching for long-term homes for the helpless strays.
Despite her commendable efforts, she said the issue of homeless felines was widespread in the region.
She implored prospective adoptive owners to be vigilant in diminishing the volume of abandoned litters, and said a lack of initiative in desexing free-of-purchase kittens was only increasing the problem.
"Mackay has a problem; people are always looking for free kittens, but people who get free kittens don't desex their animals," she said.
"Mackay needs to step up... and people need to desex their animals."
Robin Morgan assists volunteer animal carers by transporting the new pets to prospective owners.
She acknowledged pounds, fosters and refuges in the region did a fantastic job in trying to find homes for the plethora of abandoned animals, however, she said the sheer quantity of strays made the process exceedingly difficult.
"There's a lot of people all over Mackay that are trying their best to save animals, but sometimes it doesn't work out because there's just too many," Ms Morgan said.
"Mackay is fortunate that there's a lot of rescue groups down south that rescue dogs and cats, (but)... it's never going to stop until people get the mentality that you have to have a desexed cat.
"That message goes down like a lead balloon most of the time."
Their active involvement with Pound Rescue Inc. speaks to the prevalence of the issue, with the charity organisation's inception stemming from a desire to save 'death row' animals.
Pound Rescue Inc. co-founder Deborah Moodie said the manner in which animals were dispatched before coming into their care was consistent with how Bamm Bamm was found.
"It's on a weekly basis, it's a never ending strain," Ms Moodie said.
"Most of them aren't chipped, most of them aren't desexed - people just don't seem to care."
In spite of his tumultuous introduction to domestic life, Bamm Bamm's charisma has seen him find affection in fellow foster kitten Pebbles.
While she appreciates the magnitude of the commitment, Ms Lowry hopes that the inseparable pair remain that way upon their hopeful imminent adoption.
"I would love to have them adopted together. I think a lot of people are so blown away by his blue eyes because they're not going to change now," Ms Lowry said. "He's just beautiful... him and Pebbles, the moment you touch them they purr and they bonded as soon as they got together."
Bamm Bamm and his fellow kittens will soon be on display at River Street Twilight Markets for prospective carers and volunteers to the Pound Rescue cause.