Friday, December 5, 2014

The Baby Cat, Elephants, and A Cat-Child

5 December 2014

December already!  Where did the year go???  Oh, yeah, SE Asia, South Korea, Japan, more SE Asia.

We've walked past a few temples in our neighborhood, and I finally took some photos.  The Hindu temple with the elephant frieze is across the street from our hotel, and is the location of the fireworks we saw during Deepavali.  I really like the way the elephants turn at the corners to fit the space better - so creative, so much more interesting than blank space!  

In the yard in the back, surrounded by fence, there's a sort of pyramid that we often see at Hindu temples, a triangular structure made of statues of the various gods and goddesses.  The whole thing is topped with a huge golden crown-like roof - just beautiful!  From our room, we can see only the gold part sticking up.  But the temple is on a bit of a hill, so when we walked farther up the hill we could see over the fence and see the whole thing.

Then down beyond the market, on a side street, we found another Hindu temple.  The pyramid thing is right above the front entrance, forming a hierarchy of the gods and goddesses.  I can easily recognize Ganesh, the elephant-headed god - but I don't really know any of the others or what they look like.  It was pretty dramatic to look up at it, though.

Across the street from that is a lovely Buddhist temple, all red and gold, with dragons on the roofs and statues and incense.  Less ornamentation than the Hindu temples, but brighter colors everywhere so just as eye-catching!

And then there's the little kitty, my buddy.  Each morning, after I eat my brekkie, the dining room lady, Anna, asks if I want baby cat.  (Kitten and kitty don't seem to be words here - he's referred to as baby cat.)  Anna brings out baby cat, I give him his morning bottle, and he falls asleep on me.  This is our ritual.  I read while he sleeps, and people come over and ask about him.  One man was surprised the hotel "allowed" this - I explained that the kitten was rescued by the hotel staff and they're raising him.  A young family came over, I ended up with the little boy leaning on me and petting the kitten while his mother explained they aren't allowed to have pets because the child has allergies.  (The family is from Iran, and it was very interesting to talk with this young woman and hear her views about her country.  She's not happy with how women are treated there, and I can totally understand that!  We also talked about how individual people want peace, and to just live their lives - but that governments, who are supposed to represent the people, are always fighting and creating wars and killing those same people they're supposed to represent.  Similar conversation to the one I had the previous week with a young Palestinian couple from Jerusalem.)

So little kitty, Comel (which is how Chamell is spelled in Malaysian), was probably about 3 weeks old or so when he was rescued.  I did a little research, and kittens open their eyes and start walking around at about 2 weeks old - he was doing all that when he was found, so we're guessing he was between 2 and 3 weeks old.  By 4 weeks, kitten ears are fairly upright; since he looked more like Yoda last week, well, that meant he was younger than 4 weeks or so.  But his ears are getting more vertical every day, he's filling out, and his fur is soft and fuzzy.

And today he decided he's a big boy cat and he wrestled with my hand, pouncing on fingers and flipping himself over on my palm and jumping around.  Barely.  He was very funny to play with.  And then, having fought so hard for all of five minutes, he was exhausted and promptly fell asleep, purring away.

Oh I'm going to miss my little buddy when we leave!

I found a strange mural a bit down the main street, high up on a building.  NO idea what this is about, but I think it was created by one of the muralists whose work we saw in Georgetown, it just has a similar style.  I'm not sure if this is a child celebrating a special holiday with the cat mask on, or a modern interpretation of lion dancing, or maybe this is just a cat-child.  But it's a beautiful mural, if a little disturbing in its surreal way.  And it fit in with being a foster mom to the baby cat.

We'll see what excitement we can get into this weekend. 

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