8 March 2014
First, let me say we arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, safe and sound. It was scary flying Malaysia Airline after the news of their flight to Beijing disappearing this morning, but we did it and we're fine. (And our prayers are with the friends and families of the people on that flight.)
Okay, so, I have a bit of a history rescuing animals - I just can't stand to see a lost cat or dog, or a mistreated animal.
So the plight of Little Baby Orange Kitty, the little guy trapped in a building up the road from our hotel, really bugged me. After packing and getting ready to fly, I wrote a little blurb explaining that there was a cat trapped in a building, we needed to get the phone number of the owner at X address, so that we could call and get them to open the building and let the kitty out. And that the neighbour at the restaurant would take the kitten home.
Then I had the receptionist at our hotel write all that in Thai. (Which is a very pretty language, the letters have all sorts of little curliques and swirls, it really is lovely.) Anyway, once I had the Thai version, I headed up the street to the municipality building - which, of course, turned out to be closed since it was Saturday. So I went to the tourism center, where the nice lady said yes, the municipality offices close on the weekend. I explained the kitten situation, and that I was hoping to find an office that would look up the ownership of the building and give us a phone number. I then explained that we were flying out today, and asked if she could get the information on Monday and try to get the kitten out. She agreed that she'd do this, and gave me her phone number.
I walked down the street, and went back to the restaurant, where the lady who has been feeding Little Baby Orange Kitty works. (Or is a co-owner.) I tried to explain that Tourism Lady will call around to find the owner of the building. Restaurant Lady called over a friend who speaks more English, and I explained again. Through broken English and a lot of charades, it was explained to me that the building's owner is in jail (demonstrated by putting hands together as if in cufflinks, and a short bit of parading around). Oh, well, to me, that changed everything. I told the ladies that if the owner is in jail, then we were free to break the kitten out of this building jail! Lots more miming as I say this in simple English - and of course the ladies were laughing because this really was pretty ridiculous - and they mimed that I'd go to jail if I broke in. I mimed/explained that we were flying it in a few hours, and so the police couldn't catch us.
They assured me that Restaurant Lady would keep feeding LBOKitty, and when he's older/bigger/stronger he'll figure out how to climb up the chain link fencing and climb out. (I hope so.)
But wait, there's more - I head back to our hotel, and run into my Pharmacy Lady, whom I had asked if she knew the owner of the building. She asked if we had found the owner, and I explained about the jailed owner. So Pharmacy Lady (at this point half the neighbourhood is involved!) and her mother have a long discussion in Thai and decide I should call the police and ask them to help get the kitten out of the building. Oy! Restaurant Lady was adamant about not calling the police and getting them involved. But I did try calling them, got some runaround and "call this number instead" and of course the last number never answered.
So - the upshot is that I tried. Hopefully Tourism Lady will follow up on Monday and maybe track down someone who can open the building.
In the mean time, Restaurant Lady and family will keep feeding LBOKitty and eventually we hope he'll climb out. He has a name (Toy-ying? Soy-ying? Something like that) and a family ready to take him home. They go and talk to him, pet him through the fencing, feed him - all he needs is his freedom so he can run around and play.
And that was the best we could do in our short time after meeting him.
Note - these are NOT photos of Little Baby Orange Kitty. They're just photos of ginger tiger kittens from the internet. Because who doesn't love photos of kitties?
And he's named Little Baby Orange Kitty because the young cat a group of us rescued at school was named Little Mr. Orange Kitty (and eventually named Ronnie by the people who adopted him) - so this little one is LBOKitty.
Okay, on to KL tomorrow!