The cat was up and down the stairs again, so halfway through the night I let her in to sleep with me, and we all had peace. Traveller’s trots still lingered, so I continued to revise my plans. In fact I did very little else that day, except hear this story from Shiv, illustrating the Nepalese dislike of cats:
Some time ago, I think about 20 years, when the little three-wheeled Tuc Tucs were still legal for taxis, he had been the passenger in one, heading uphill, out in the countryside. At night. A cat dashed across the road in front of them, and the driver came to a quick halt, then turned off the engine. Nothing happened for the best part of 20 minutes, until another car came the other way, past them down the hill. Immediately, the driver started up again and continued. In other words, don’t cross the path of a cat! You’d think, with all the dirt and the rodents that cats would be welcome, but the fact is that you don’t see a lot about.
Oh, here she is:
Yowling indoors when she was free to go out suggested that she wasn’t on heat, and when I picked her up it was clear that there were kittens somewhere – she was full of milk! The next day, all her calling simply stopped, something that became a talking point at breakfast. Hemraj explained that yes, she had kittens, but nobody had known where. It was now known that they had got shut in a cupboard, and she was trying to get back to them. The kittens had been found that morning, and the family was reunited. Remarkable that the babies had survived! She did not “belong” to the guesthouse, and was, at best, tolerated. The idea of trying to ensure that she gets sterilised when the time was right therefore took root.