The first challenge

Do you know that baby kittens can’t hide their claws? Well, you know now. And though I was tiny, my claws were long and sharp. When my Mom took me in her hands for the first time, she thought that I was a wolverine, because of my claws, fur and strength. That’s why my name is Rosomakha, it means wolverine in Russian.

Mom said that for the first three days I was hungry all the time. I didn’t get any milk from my birth-mom and spend several hours starving, so I was really-really hungry and she had to feed me every 15-20 minutes first, then 20-30 minutes, then 30-45 and so on. For three days she had several snatches of sleep only and was swaying and walking like a zombie. Once she even almost put me in the refrigerator instead of my milk. Almost.

As for the claws, they are my pride and my problem. And they brought my Mom and me our first challenge. A survival challenge, as most in my life. I always liked to stretch and while doing so, I sometimes cover my face in my paws. And having no ability to hide my wonderful claws at that time, I pricked my right eye and in a couple of days it turned into a huge abscess.

You think it is easy – just call a doctor and he or she will open your eye, clean it and give you some drops, that’s it, nothing serious. But remember, we were in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with no vet doctors, no vet medicine, no cat food except whiskas, no vet shops and no special tiny tools that you can use to treat a newborn kitten with.

Well, there were some locals that called themselves vet doctors and Mom managed to find one. He came, looked at me, shook his head and said that I am too small; he has no idea what to do with me. That what my Mom and Step-Dad managed to understand, at least. He spoke Cambodian, and my parents didn’t. To cut the long story short, he didn’t help them to open my eye, but gave me an injection of anti-inflammatory (that appeared to be antibiotic as we figured out later), saying that it is a tiny portion for a tiny creature. And left. My parents had to do it on their own.

By advice of the Russian former vet doctor, leaving in Pnom Penn, they took a paperknife, disinfected it by fire and very carefully opened my eye. Their hands were shaking, they had to try in turns – both of them were afraid to damage my eye. But they managed to do everything right. A small cut for the puss to come out and baby drops to clean my eyes three times a day. Everything seemed fine. And everyone was happy, until the shot the “vet doctor” gave me did his job and stopped my digestion. And here’s the point where the real survival challenge began.

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