Fiji-Bayne – King of the Karoo

5th Mar, 2019

Written by Caron Baynes, founder of Grace Animal Sanctuary

Professional photography by Keith Lotz Photography

It seems I might be the only person who’d be willing to take 48 hours off for a 440-kilometre return road trip into Tankwa Karoo, cutting my holiday short and losing two 4x4 tyres... for the sake of an abandoned kitten.

Over the festive season, hubby and I left at 8am for Tankwa on a family road trip. At midday, we reached the Tankwa padstal. While stretching our legs, I overheard the owners debating the future of a kitten they’d discovered abandoned on a farm, amongst the pickings of whatever it was that had been left by previous owners. 

I asked how far away the farm was; Karoo people have no sense of distance or time. It reaches 46 degrees by lunchtime, so I understand their disdain for time. “Ten minutes,” they said, so I yelled: “FETCH IT NOW!”

And they duly did, returning with a blue-eyed, emaciated and dehydrated little kitten, complete with dislocated shoulder. I quickly popped the shoulder back into place, fed him some pilchards and fresh water, and bundled him back into our bakkie. We headed back to Cape Town and dropped him off at Raise ‘n Rescue.

Lovingly fostered by Raise ‘n Rescue, this tiny darling finally got the all-clear on the dreaded diseases tests. But that’s not where the story ends, because this little kitten had a bright future ahead.

Watch the video of when Fiji was first rescued

Angie Fialkov, Fiji’s new owner, shares…

Rewind... I awoke, remembering this beige cat walking down my kitchen passage, rather proud, purring. It was dark, but his eyes were piercingly blue... Ag, dreams. I do have three cats!

Two days later, while I was scrolling through Facebook posts, Caron Burger of Grace Animal Sanctuary had posted a microscopic version of you.

As usual, Caron being Caron decided to go to Tankwa Karoo... with her “animals in need” radar transmitters! And there you were, at her feet, alone, hours away from death, but you had called and Caron had answered.

Caron ferried you back to Cape Town, where you weighed in at just 530 grams and were severely anaemic. You did have the will to power through, though, and Raise ‘n Rescue came to your aid.

Fast forward…

Today, you weigh 1.2 kilograms, have a healthy, happy heart, are always ready for a cuddle, and love to play with your three siblings. You are home, sweet Fiji-Bayne, and you’re so very loved indeed.

You are magic and you make our life complete! Love, mom, India, Frankie and Maui.

Note: Fiji has been named Fiji-Bayne (Bayne is Caron Burger’s maiden name); he’ll carry his rescuer with him for life .