Feline fiasco: Vet denies selling cat, trying to connect family with missing pet

Afridi family had accused Dr Isma Gheewala of stealing their cat to another family


News Desk July 21, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

The vet who was accused of selling someone else's cat to another family has denied the charges and assured that she is trying to connect the family with their missing pet.

In an email sent to The Express Tribune, the accused doctor, Isma Gheewala, clarified that another family found the cat roaming on the streets and then they took it in. When no one claimed it for some weeks, they found it a suitable home.

The Afridis, the family that owned the Siamese cat Chintu, lost it on May 1 somewhere in DHA Phase VIII. Seema Afridi, a college teacher, turned to the social media and also asked her students to help locate her pet. As word of the missing cat and her picture spread on social media, the Afridis came to know that a family living at Khayaban-e-Bukhari had found the collared cat and handed it over to a vet's clinic, Animal Care Centre, at Badar Commercial.

"When my wife went to the clinic to get Chintu, she was told by the vet, Dr Isma Gheewala, that Chintu had been handed over to a navy officer." The next time Seema went, the doctor misbehaved with her. According to the family, the vet did not share the contact details of Chintu's new owners, making them suspect that she had sold it to the officer. The Afridis approached the Darakshan police station and submitted an application requesting them to take action.



For her part, Dr Gheewala said she did not even know about the family until she read a story on these pages reporting their missing cat. "We received a call from the people who live across the road from us and they said there is a Siamese cat roaming around their house," she wrote in her email. "They had been feeding it for a few days but could not do so any more and asked if we could give the cat a shelter and try to locate the owner."

Her clinic did not have any empty boarding space but they took the cat in for a few weeks 'on humanitarian grounds' and took care of the feline. But no one came forward to claim the cat. "Since we are not in the business of boarding unclaimed animals, we try to find them a decent house," said Dr Gheewala. "One of our clients who is a naval officer wanted to adopt a cat and the same was offered to him and he accepted to take it."

The vet was in surgery when her staff told her that the Siamese cat had been given away. "Since it seemed a good home, nothing more was done," she wrote. Nearly three weeks later, a woman and her daughter showed up at her clinic and started demanding their cat. "We informed the lady that we will try and locate the gentleman who had adopted the cat but it will take a few days as we did not have his contact details," she said.

"The next thing we know is that we receive a call from Rangers officials informing me that a complaint has been filed against me stating that I had gone to the cat's claimants house, stolen the cat and the sold it," said Dr Gheewala. The vet tried getting in touch with the family but could not get a response from them.

The Afridis visited her clinic a week later and that is when Dr Gheewala confronted them about the Rangers issue. "Instead of being apologetic, they were very rude," she said.

Given their behaviour, Dr Gheewala wants the family to apologise but she assured that she will help them anyway to get the contact details of the gentleman who was kind enough to adopt their cat.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 22nd, 2015. 

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