Travelling Light

Vipassana Retreat and Georgetown, Penang, 2013

Mother cat who was flooded out of her home

Mother cat who was flooded out of her home

Day 22: Back from Vipassana retreat

Just after we arrived, it started bucketing down, and a few minutes later, one of the resident cats trotted by with a dark shape dangling from its mouth. It was too small to be a rat … it was a small black kitten! A teenage girl shrieked and lifted up her feet, and the mother cat dropped the kitten on the floor and dashed under a table. One of the restaurant people picked up the kitten by the scruff of its neck and put it in something beside the drinks fridge.

Tom was worried that they might have put the kitten in the bin (life being a bit cheaper here than it as in Australia, especially animal life), so I went and checked, to find three little kittens, eyes still closed, in a cardboard box. Mother cat trotted off to retrieve a fourth from wherever they had been before, a place which had clearly been made unacceptable by the torrential downpour. She settled down to give number four a feed on the floor under a table, so the staff brought the box over, encouraged her to hop in, and then scooped the fourth kitten into the box and carried the whole family back to the place beside the fridge.

Tom took a photo, and found out that the kittens were seven days old. We were torn between looking at unknown kittens in real life, and looking at pictures of Rachael’s cat’s kittens, born during the night before…read more.


Queen and litter

Mother and babies doing well


Day 24: The Unexpected!

So here we were, having a quiet few days of preparing to go to Thailand, when we found ourselves called upon to be midwives-cum-bodyguards…read more.


Day 25: Visiting the newborns

One day old kittens

One day old kittens

Back to Line Clear this morning to check on the kittens, now 24 hours old. They seem to be noticeably bigger already. Mother cat was out, trotting around, and while we were eating breakfast (grand total cost for both of us, including drinks, AUD$2.80) she was tucking in to a chicken wing, so we suspect the restaurant staff are feeding her.

Yesterday afternoon, we went back to Line Clear for dinner, to check on the kittens. Kitten In Distress was still wailing from behind the canvas, but the newborns all looked fine …read more.

It is starting to dawn on Tom that we are really here, and this is really our life, and there is really not going to be a harsh and horrible return to the rat race any time soon.

Tom at Line Clear Restaurant, Penang, Oct 2013

Tom at Line Clear Restaurant, Penang, Oct 2013



Day 26: Tourists in Georgetown

This afternoon, we set off on the tourist walk – down to the jetty, along the waterfront where some of of the oldest buildings are, and down one of the main streets into Little India. It happens to be almost Deepavali (the Hindu family-oriented party day that correlates pretty well to the Western Christmas), so Little India was full of stalls selling lights, paper and plastic flowers, incense, and other …read more.

Day 28: Georgetown, Penang to Hat Yai, Thailand

We were very impressed with the size and scope of the Milo display in the supermarket.They even have a high fibre version (high fibre MILO? who are you kidding?) and a “less sugar” version (seriously? It’s 95% sugar – take that out, and there’s not much left …)

A security guard came and told us we weren’t allowed to take photos, so we couldn’t capture the full glory of the display, unfortunately. We weren’t sure why a Milo display was so sensitive as to be protected from photography, but there you are. Milo is a religious experience in Malaysia …read more.