Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Qattari Cat Goes Wild

It was like the ninth circle in Hell. We had been told this was the best clinic in town, so when we thought the Qatteri Cat was having a problem, we made an appointment, and braved the Doha drive-time traffic to get there, only to discover that there were like 25 people milling around the waiting room, most holding animals loose in their arms, and a feeling of desperation in the air.

The customer service was shocking. I watched one man, big guy, football-player type, sway and his knees nearly buckle as the curt woman behind the desk said in her loud voice “Oh! Your cat didn’t make it! Your’s was the little grey cat, right?” He was devastated. I was horrified that the news could be delivered so callously, and so loudly.

Many of the people without appointments had kittens bought at the Souq al Waqif. You know I love the Souk al Waqif, but if you buy an animal there, you are buying an animal who already has strikes against it, and people who breed them just for sale, with no regard for ethical treatment of another living creature. You are buying trouble, and big veterinarian bills. It’s gotten so bad for me, I can’t even walk through the bird/animal area anymore. I can’t bear to see the way the animals are treated.

We got to see the vet over an hour later. He was nice, very professional, very knowledgeable, and I cannot imagine what it is like having to run a veterinary service under these hellish conditions.

One of his handlers walked in, looked at me coldly and said “Is this your cat?” I said yes, and she continued on “this is the worst cat I have ever handled. He is EVIL! He is VICIOUS! He is the cat from hell. Is he like this at home?”

Imagine saying something like that to a customer!

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. The Qatteri Cat had a rough beginning in life. I met his first owners, and the women in the family didn’t like him. When he came to live with us, he loved – and trusted – AdventureMan from the beginning, but it took me a long while to win his trust. He was skinny and always watching my feet and hands; he would flinch if I moved too quickly. He had been mistreated.

He has bitten me twice, in his seven years living with us, both times when other cats were around and he was scared. When he is scared, or when he is in pain, all his natural instincts kick in. I give him a short time-out in a confined environment (the bathroom!), and everything is fine. He’s a cat. No, he is not vicious at home. He is a SWEET cat!

He has never misbehaved at a vet clinic, never. At the clinic in Kuwait, he couldn’t wait to get out of the cage; the female Italian vet told him what a handsome big boy he was and he was putty in her hands. I have to admit it, I felt a twinge of jealousy. He had eyes only for her!

The Qattari Cat is a cat who wants to co-operate. It doesn’t matter how good the vet is, if the staff is unprofessional, discourteous to the point of rudeness, and ignorant about handling animals, we won’t go back. We won’t risk him being handled cruelly. I cannot imagine why they keep this woman on their staff.

But I couldn’t resist taking a flash photo of QC to illustrate this post, with demonic, gleaming eyes, LLOOOLLLL!

January 28, 2010 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Character, Civility, Communication, Customer Service, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Kuwait, Leadership, Living Conditions, Pets, Qatar, Qatteri Cat, Rants


  1. We will have a cat in Kuwait, as both my younger son and I like cats. Do you have any suggestions where to get one in Kuwait?
    Your cat looks VERY handsome.

    Comment by Polar Panda | January 29, 2010 | Reply

    • Absolutely – K’s Path, Animal Welfare League – they re-home abandoned pets, and rescue abused animals off the streets, out of backyards – it is an organization with a lot of heart. They always need families who will adopt, and families who will volunteer, too. It’s a great way to meet people – with hearts, like you have. There are also lots of churches in Kuwait. 🙂

      Comment by intlxpatr | January 29, 2010 | Reply

      • Thank you! You made my day! We never had any pets, so no experience here in Canada neither. Do I need to get a license, see a vet and get shots for the little one? Yes, we found a lot churches on the Internet.

        Comment by Polar Panda | January 30, 2010

  2. What a horrible person that handler was and totally unprofessional!! I can imagine how miffed you must have felt.

    Comment by Jewaira | January 29, 2010 | Reply

  3. When you adopt your cat from the Animal Welfare League, the cats have their shots and you make a ‘donation’ to cover their shots and, I believe, their neutering. No license required, keep your pet indoors, always, Kuwait is dangerous for animals outside. They get stolen, or worse.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 30, 2010 | Reply

  4. Jewaira, miffed, a little, but mostly horrified wondering what happened?

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 30, 2010 | Reply

  5. It’s been three years since I lived there, but we used a vet near DESS (doha english speaking school) near Landmark Mall. The vet who owned the clinic then was Kiwi and I had only good experiences. If you need the address, I’m sure I could try and find the telephone number for you??

    Comment by Donna | January 30, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks, Donna, I’d be glad to print it here for anyone who is looking for veterinary service in Doha. I remember there was a vet near DESS who sewed up my friend’s cat several times when he had been in cat fights, a really good guy, but I thought he was Palestinian.

      Comment by intlxpatr | January 30, 2010 | Reply

  6. See I told you cats were evil! 😀 Just kidding. Sometimes mistreated animals take a long time to regain their trust in humans and I dont blame them. 😉

    Comment by Mathai | January 31, 2010 | Reply

  7. I cannot imagine what might have triggered his response.

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 31, 2010 | Reply

  8. […] painting was inspired by this witty post about the Qatteri […]

    Pingback by The demon cat « Aafke, Horses, and Art | February 3, 2010 | Reply

  9. Right on for the Qatteri Cat!!!
    I had such a funny vision whith this post that I had to paint it.
    Look at my blog for my painting of the supercool and beautiful and demonic Qatteri Cat!

    Comment by Aafke | February 3, 2010 | Reply

  10. LLOOOLL, Aafke, your painting is fabulous. It really looks like the Qatteri Cat, all fuzzy and round looking, and LOL at the shadow!

    Comment by intlxpatr | February 3, 2010 | Reply

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