It was the beginning of February 2014 when it happened, I was 1 month old. I’ve just recovered from our first challenge. But Mom still had to give me special oil every day for me to be able to poop.
One morning I woke up from a terrible pain. My gums were burning so much that I could not think about anything else. I ran to Mom and climbed up to her bosom, so she could hold me. And she did. She gently cuddled me for some time and pain went away. But the moment she put me on my feet, it came back again and this time it was even more fierce.
I cried and tried to make it go away. I put a paw in my mouth and then the other one, hoping to scratch the pain away.
Well, I’ve scared Mom all right that day. She thought something stuck in my throat and was doing everything to help me: she tried to look inside my mouth, but saw nothing; she tried use a cotton swab, but it was too big for me; gave me some water, some milk, that awful special oil, but all in vain. I was crying and sticking my paws in my mouth.
There were no vet doctors that we knew of in Siam Reap at that time and no human clinic that would x-ray me. And by the end of the day, when my Step-Dad came back from work, Mom was already half-mad. There was no other choice for us; we had to go to the hospital. Step-Dad went to the bus station and bought a ticket for us for the night bus. Eight hours to Phnom Penh, most of which I was sleeping on my Moms bosom under the furry jacket.
I was warm and pain was gone, and Mom was really confused. No paws in the mouth, no crying; I was calm and happy, and she didn’t know what to think.
We had a sleeping bus, so there were tiny cabins for two people. And the lady, who was sleeping right next to us didn’t mind having such a company, even, as we learned later, animals were prohibited in the bus, including tiny kittens like me. But I was too small and quiet. No one else noticed me.
When we arrived to the capital of Cambodia, we were shocked by two things: the amount of garbage on the streets and traffic. Even though Mom is used to Asia, she has been living in Thailand for over 10 years, before moving to Cambodia to find me, she told me later that she did not expected that at all. The garbage was everywhere, except the main street we passed. Siam Reap is having his fame as one of the cleanest cities in Cambodia not for nothing, as we know now. Comparing to Phnom Penh it is clean as glass.
And Phnom Penh’s traffic was insane. People say that traffic in Thailand is crazy, but those people need to come to Cambodia to see the difference. And I guess, our family needs to visit Vietnam and India that are leaders in having impossible situations on the streets. Maybe we will. One day.
Tacking on the streets of Phnom Penh, we finally arrived to the best vet clinic in Cambodia, where a nice French lady met us. She checked me, put me in her pocket and went to x-ray me. She found nothing and offered Mom to leave me in the clinic for several hours so she could watch me. Mom agreed, but left me only for 40 minutes to have some coffee. She could not stay away from me longer, she was too worried. She has never left me alone before that day.
As you might have already guessed, I was just fine, while we were in the hospital. So the doctor had nothing to say and we took the same way back. But this time it was not a big bus, but a very uncomfortable minibus. Unconformable for full-sized humans, of course. I had my box and my Mom, and could play and look around. But most of all I liked sitting and watching Mom. I could spend many minutes just looking into her eyes, and when she would turn away, I would touch her by my paw gently to remind her that I am there for her.
I can’t say why, but the moment we came back home and Mom put me on the floor, the pain came back and I’ve started crying again. And Mom started crying with me too. She stroke me and took me in her arms, trying to calm me down. Then she touched my chin, and found out that it was a bit puffed. She called a doctor right away and the lady-doctor confirmed Mom’s guess that it might be that I am teething. And it causes me so much pain, because of the inflammation.
We bought an ointment for kids for such cases and it helped (one more confirmation that I am a human!). After a week I forgot about burning gums, they were terribly itching now. And only one thing could distract me from it…Toys? Nope. Forget about toys. Humans are the bets toys and chewing devices ever! So I was chewing Mom and Step-Dad all the time.
That was my first trip. And Mom was surprised at how easily I’ve tolerated the bus, the road, being outside. She didn’t know that time and I’m not sure she knows now, but I was born a traveler. And our succeeding trips proved it. I guess life has many more adventures for me, hidden in its sleeve. Be ready, Mom! Always.