My Pet: Taz the cat has beaten the odds

By Madeleine Caccianiga

Found in the backyard of a Kialla home, two kittens were scooped up into human arms and nursed back to health by the Roberts family.

Beating the odds, the smaller kitten of the two went from strength to strength and was named Taz.

‘‘My brother’s dog found them in his backyard when they were only about two weeks old,’’ Hanna Roberts said.

‘‘He took them in and started bottle feeding them — unfortunately one of the kittens passed away a week later from cat flu.

‘‘The vets didn’t think Taz would make it either, but we’re very lucky that he did.’’

Ms Roberts said she could not let ‘‘the little guy’’ go after cat-sitting for her brother.

‘‘My brother went away overseas, so I looked after him and was bottle feeding him — we created such a bond that I had to have him,’’ she said.

‘‘I came home to Mum and Dad and said I can’t let him go home with anyone else.’’

Deciding to call the kitten Taz after the Tasmanian Devil cartoon character, the kitten fitted right in with his adopted cat brother Sylvester.

‘‘They play constantly and it’s like he has always been part of the family,’’ Ms Roberts said.

Recovering from Cushing’s disease and Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Ms Roberts refers to the duo as her ‘‘care cats’’.

‘‘Sylvester is my care cat because I’ve been sick for quite a few years and he’s always looked after me. During the night if I’m sick or something, he’ll go and wake Mum up to come down and check on me, and now Taz has taken on that role as well,’’ she said.

Living her life as best she can, Ms Roberts said having cats around made her happy.

‘‘Taz is a brilliant cat, he’s just so great, he’s so happy, he’s always running around with his toys and is so playful,’’ she said.

Taking a shine to Ms Roberts’ nephew, Taz is known to play fetch with the child.

‘‘Taz will take over his ball and drop it so that Hunter will throw it for him — they’re such good friends,’’ she said.

Still too small to be microchipped, Ms Roberts said Taz made up for his size with his feet.

‘‘The vet said he could have a bit of the Bengal breed in him, so he could get quite big and his stripes are starting to spot like a Bengal,’’ she said.

Ms Roberts said the family was intrigued to see Taz’s personality grow.

‘‘He’s such a special boy — from a tiny little kitten that could fit in the palm of our hands — I think he was just so happy to have someone take him in that he’s beat the odds,’’ she said.