Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Wicked Witch

Exactly eight weeks ago, the population of Honour Village increased by three.  If you missed it, you can read about the blessed event here

Since that time, Joyful has been a faithful and devoted mother, protective of her children, keeping them out of harm's (and everyone's) way.  A few days after they were born, she declared that she'd had enough of being on public display by moving her family to a secret location. 

We discovered the kittens two days later in a box in the stock room, sharing space with a large toy truck.  It was the same day we took delivery of 126 Christmas boxes donated by school children in Australia, which we piled into (you guessed it) that same room.  This flurry of activity set poor Joyful into a panic, and fearing for the safety of her loved ones, she whisked them away once again. 

That night, they were discovered nestled among the housemother's belongings, upstairs in House One.  Although we tried to return the kittens to their original space in the library, Joyful promptly expressed her disapproval by carrying her precious bundles upstairs where she'd decided they'd be safe.  Defeated, we accepted that mother knew best, and the kittens were allowed to remain in quietude, out of sight and out of reach of 47 curious children. 

Long before Joyful found herself in a family way, the decision had been made that she would 'go under the knife' so as not to (over)populate the province of Siem Reap with her progeny.  For one reason and another, Joyful beat out the surgeon, producing her fine family of three, and so, ten days ago, the assignment went to me (the wicked witch) to do the unthinkable - separate the kittens from mother to dry up her mammaries in preparation for the big operation. 

Much to everyone's chagrin, I locked the kittens away in a bathroom, the only place onsite inaccessible both to inquisitive children and lactating mother, yet brimming with daylight and reasonable air flow.  For the first few days, Joyful paced back and forth between the bathroom door and her food bowl, not certain what had transpired.  Meanwhile, in a country where breastfeeding is 'the way it's done', the Khmer staff and the children absolutely could not comprehend why I would treat the Laws of Nature with contempt and take matters into my own hands.  It wasn't until after some explanation (and translation), that everyone seemed to accept what was happening.  Either that, or they were too polite to offend the crazy old barang lady. 

For nearly two weeks now, I've been left to my own devices, and have taken on the role as primary caregiver to three delightful balls of fur.

Although they've been named O.B. Thankful, O.B. Gentle, and O.B. Kind,
I'm not sure which name was assigned to which kitten.
This is the largest of the three kittens, the only male.
He demands my attention as soon as I enter the room
by taking a flying leap for my shins and climbing up my leg.

This is one of the females, the daintiest of the three,
whose favourite pastime is climbing up my chest and onto my shoulder,
then onto my back, where it's impossible to grasp her or get her down.

This is the middle sized kitten, also female, a bit of a tomboy
who quickly learned the flying leap technique from her big brother.
Trying to walk around the room to change their food and litter
has become a circus act with two kittens clinging to my pantleg

I put up some celophane dangling from a string
which has provided them with hours of entertainment and exercise
This picture was taken last week, and if you compare it to
the ones above, you can see how they've grown in just one week

Toy # 2 - Not sure whether to eat it or kill it.

I finally figured out a way to keep the kittens out of my hair
while I'm trying to feed them and clean their litter.
Putting them on the toilet seat gives me a few minutes to work,
until they get the nerve to jump down.

After a few initial days of confusion, Joyful finally settled into the contented life of an empty-nester, blessedly relieved of all responsibilities for her offspring. 
Ahhhhhhh...... Free at last!!

Dear Joyful, bask in your bliss and enjoy your leisure and while you can.  Unbeknownst to you, the wicked witch is up to no good again.  You have a date with the veterinarian this Friday.

1 comment:

  1. cute kittens boy you sure have a mean streak haha just kidding we are working up to a winter storm so do not be too anxious to get home Lens drs visit was really good yesterday
    Love Louise