Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I've met nearly everybody on this trip.  I've met the French, English, Spanish, Estonians, and other random Europeans.  I've met people from Taiwan, Macau, South Korea, and so forth.  I've even met stateless people, like the Shans.  But today I'm going to write about one indivdual who isn't even human.  His name is Gershom, and he's a four month old Oriental kitten.

There are thousands of stray "Soi" cats and dogs here in Chiang Mai (Soi is Thai for alley, and strays are called Soi cats).  There aren't many animal shelters, and there aren't many laws regarding pet ownership.  So one day when I was walking out by an abandoned factory, I heard a meow.  I figured it was just another stray, but I called to it anyways.  Much to my surprise the little guy jumped into my arms.  Being the sucker I am, I couldn't put him down and walk off.  So I took him to my apartment.  Besides, it was real obvious that this cat was too little to be on his own.

Anybody who knows me knows I love animals.  My family has taken in numerous cats and dogs over the years.  I myself have rescued a number of strays.  Of the two cats I live with in my apartment in America, one I rescued from among the reeds by an abandoned one-room schoolhouse.  I named him Moses, cause it sounded appropreiate.  He needed a compaion, so I adopted a shelter cat, and to be funny named her Zipporah, the wife of Moses.  In the Bible, Gershom is the son of Moses and Zipporah, so it was only fitting.  And besides, he reminds me a lot of my two cats.

Thai cats are renowned throughout the world.  Everybody knows of the Siamese cat.  An Oriental cat is
like a Siamese, but it comes in more variety of colors.  Orientals are known for being very vocal, affectionate, demanding, and possessive of their owners.

Everyday when I came home, Gershom would yell at me with his loud, droning, "Meeeeeeeeeeeew."  Whenever I'd go to sleep, he was always by my head.  Though because he was young and teething, he'd always wake me up in the middle of the night by biting me non-stop.  He played with everything, and made a real mess of my apartment.

Sadly, I'm not able to take him to America.  My airplane doesn't allow animals under six months, and I don't have the money to pay to put him in quarantine.  So I gave him to my friend Pan, who in turn gave him to one of her workers who is a middle aged woman who lives alone.  Seeing how they both have feisty personalities, I have no doubt they've probably killed each other by now.

One of the possibilities I did find was one of the few animals sanctuaries in Chiang Mai.  It's run by a Western woman.  It seems like a neat place, and the woman there is trying to get laws passed that would protect animals.  I wish her nothing but the best.

While it was sad to see him go, it was fun having him for eleven nights.  I'm glad I was able to take a stray animal and give him a chance to live a better life.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, that is adorable Hami!! I love cats. Couldn't you have just lied and said he was like 7 months?