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One late night, I was about to climb onto our motorbike in a parking area when I heard this screechy ‘meow, meow’. I turned around and this scruffy little kitten came running up to us. I knelt down and this little thing climbed on to my lap and started purring. I looked around and no one was caring for him, he was a skinny, dirty thing and I knew I couldn't leave him there.
So quite happily he sat on my lap as we drove home, no fear or wonder as he went on his first motorbike ride.
I woke the next morning to the same screeching and instantly thought ‘oh no there's a cat in the kitchen! I can't take on a cat, I already have two dogs!’. But there he was and as lovable as he had been the night before, we knew he would fit in quite happily. We fed him and he grew into quite a beauty, every night snuggling his nose into my ear, his favorite sleeping position, where his snores would help me sleep.
It was around Tet near year time and I came home to the sight of a very big, tabby boy sitting on our wall. I went into my home to a very strange acting Jack. It was that instant I thought, wow Jack isn't a he but a she! And in heat! It was very early for her to be in heat as I did some checking but thought maybe she was older than I first thought. My basic knowledge of cats back then didn't think to check. I locked her in the house and rang the local vet but he was in his home town for the new year and wouldn't be back for a while. No worries I thought, I'll lock her in the house until we can get her spayed when the vet returns.
The next night she escaped from a ridiculously high tiny hole in a grated window. We didn't see her for two days. When she finally came home, we were extremely relieved locked her in a safe room until she could get checked out. But too late. Our little Jack was pregnant.
9 weeks later she gave birth to 5 babies in my suitcase. We sat with her and helped her through as after the third she was so tired. But she had five very healthy babies. She was the best mama, only leaving to go out to the toilet or give us cuddles. The five babies grew. Then after two weeks Jack didn't come home.
After a few hours we got worried and searched and searched. We even look her babies to the front yard hoping she would hear their hungry cries. But nothing. Someone nearby mentioned cat catchers but I naively thought nothing of it. A week we searched day and night for her. There was no trace. With five hungry two week babies we had no support and had to learn how to raise them ourselves. We made the safest milk concoction of baby's milk, cow milk, egg yolk and a little oil in the smallest baby bottles we could find. Every few hours we would take turns and feed them. Miraculously they all survived and turned into five playful young kittens.
Because we missed jack so much and had devoted so much to the kittens we couldn't bare to give them away. We became so attached and decided we would keep them all. Everyone thought we were mad then!
After a month or so, a little ginger kitten, filthy and skinny started hanging out by our house. We brought him in and the other kittens just accepted him as one of the family. By this time we had lost one kitten, Teppi, to a motorbike accident as we lived on a main road. Totally
devastated, we kept them inside and only let them in the garden area until we could find a better house off a main road.
Not long into our new house, in the middle of the night we heard crying from the front garage. A little tabby kitten with a curled up tail and abscess under its leg was hiding under a motorbike. Rocky became another member of the crew, and the stories continue. Next was Indie we found disabled and scared to death trapped in a bar toilet. And the rescues continued, people started calling me and we seemed to be naturally drawn to finding helpless kittens in need.
So this all started with Jack. We learned everything from her, from rescuing a kitten, to understanding sterilization, to rearing babies and the hardest part acknowledging cat theft for the cat meat trade. We know this is what happened to her and it breaks our heart. So we want to educate others. We want to teach people cats aren't dirty but a loving part of the family. We want to educate everyday care and awareness.
For her we named the first cat café in Central Vietnam, Jack’s Cat Café.
Jack's Cat Cafe reviews
This place is amazing and I am so happy there is an organisation in hoi an looking out for kitties! They are all looked after so well and it’s a beautiful safe sanctuary for the cats to live... more »
This courtyard cafe offers you a chance to mingle with some cute rescue kitties, as well as a couple of resident pooches. The volunteers are friendly and caring about animal welfare in Vietnam... more »
Its a nice idea and a nice place with nice staff! The location is a bit out of town. Its 100k entry with a "free" drink... AKA.. a 100k drink. Its basically a cafe with a few cats.. you dont see half of them and are not bothered if you stroke them... Again, great idea! And i wish them all the best .... but if you are expecting loads loads of cats all over you. You will not find it here.
Easily the best cat Cafe I have been to in the world. Large amounts of space for the cats and staff are amazing. Definitely give this place a visit if you are ever in the area. The food is really good as well and it's all vegan.
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