Cats and dogs in our area are often poorly looked after and scavenge for food where they can find it. Dogs are definitely not welcome on our land but I have a soft spot for cats. Nevertheless, we don't encourage them because my old cat, who came with me from England, doesn't like others and stays indoors most of the time if there are any around. A while back, we took pity on a stray, young white cat and fed her occasionally. She was killed by a car right outside our home one night and buried by a neighbour. Months later, we saw a mother with two kittens at the end of our land. After the mother was badly mauled by a dog, we fed them. That meant, of course, that they would hang around the house and demand food. One kitten disappeared but the mother produced two more litters of three kittens each, only one of which survived from each litter. One night, driving the pickup into the drive, I felt a bump. I'd run over the hind quarters of the mother. We caught her a day or two later and took her to the vet. No bones were broken but she had nerve damage. The vet dealt with her injury and neutered her. She was frightened witless and refused the medication that we were given so we had to leave her to her own devices. Two weeks later, she reappeared from cover and was fine except for a limp. While we were considering how to catch all of them and take them to a temple for the monks to look after, disaster struck again. My wife started up the pick up one morning and heard a cat screaming under the hood. The six month old kitten had climbed into the engine bay and a hind leg was wrapped around a pulley against the engine block. The leg was a mangled mess and the kitten was screaming blue murder. My wife couldn't deal with it and I wasn't much better. A neighbour helped me to lever the leg away from the pulley with a screwdriver. We put iodine on the wounds and had no choice but to let the kitten go before it bit and scratched us. We haven't seen it since. The next morning, my wife managed to entice the mother and remaining kitten into large bird cages with food and took them to a temple. Amazingly, instead of running for the bushes when she released them, they ran straight into the temple building. Yesterday, we found the decayed body of the black kitten and assume that it was attacked by a snake in the neighbouring cassava plantation. Probably, animals don't have the same emotions about the loss of offspring as do humans but I can't help feeling sorry for that dedicated and productive mother cat who now has just one kitten from a total of eight that we know about and no clue as to what happened to at least some of them.