Raja and I have worked out a deal. She gets the guest room and I get to sleep in past 5:30 on the weekends. My new tiny feline house companion is very dependent so contrary to the advice of some kitty experts, I decided she needs to spend a little more time away from "mommy" so she doesn't develop any complexes. I moved her from my bedroom into the guest bedroom and so far, it seems to be working. Play with her when I'm home, feed her on a regular schedule and she's a little bit less of a mewling mess than usual. The only issue is the litterbox. She appears to hate the way the little pebbles stick between her toes; unfortunately, the selection here in Kampong Cham is nil, so for now, the whole situation requires a lot of patience, tissue paper, and some clenching of teeth when the going gets especially tough. See, isn't she cute?
Raja owes her new posh life to her aunty Judy and aunty Mayumi -- my two first visitors and Raja's rescuers. The three of us were staying in some nice digs at the Foreign Correspondents Club in Phnom Penh and were more than a little curious about incessant chirping coming from the wall in one of the bedrooms. One morning, stepping down the stairs onto the riverside, we discovered the source of the mystery sound -- a tiny disheveled kitten, splayed haphazardly on the stoop. The shopowners on both sides could hear this little cat screaming, so determined was it to find its momma, but it was clear that no one was going to do anything other than maybe throw it into the river, so Judy took pity and ordered some milk at the coffee shop on the corner, and so began our relationship with Raja.
I still wasn't convinced about the sanity of trying to "rescue" such a tiny (irritating?) creature, but I was overruled by my more soft-hearted friends. That night when we came back after a long night (and still meowing her heart out), we gathered her up, gave her a good scrub down in the sink, fed her some more milk, and put her to bed in a drawer with towels for warmth and a hotel menu as pee-protection. Eventually it was agreed that she would have to go back to Kampong Cham and live with me for at least a few months to have any real chance at life, so back she came in a dirty old Angkor beer box lined with the ripped up remains of a box of Gushers and some tissue paper.
Now she's in the guestroom, sleeping soundly, her round little belly taut with tuna, her head snuggled under the 25 cent stuffed keychain I bought to keep her company.
That's all for now folks!