I realized just now that it has been over a week since I've posted here. In fact, I haven't written since turning thirty, though that may or may not be the cause. Actually several factors have contributed, namely finding a new place to live, reading three books straight through, Tien being attacked by dogs, the worst pollution ever (the equivalent of smoking 5 packs a day), our first rain since mid October, and most recently a mysterious (but old) something-or-other (not mine) that will have to be looked at by a doctor.
In these pictures of our handsome Thai cat you can see three of the dog bites (accented in lovely iodine orange) he received from our neighborhood mongrels--one on his shoulders, and one on each flank. On Tuesday night he sneaked out while J was washing dishes. We didn't notice, then all of the sudden we heard dogs barking and a cat screaming. I ran around to the back of the house and chased the dogs off. We cleaned him up as best we could (he was covered in dog saliva and his own urine), and then let him sleep off the shock. The next day we took him to the vet and got him some antibiotics and painkillers. Today he ate some mackerel and took a leak (major progress), and this evening he actually emerged from beneath the couch on the balcony of his own volition. We're not worried about rabies (though we have yet to get him vaccinated), since our neighborhood strays are healthy enough, beyond the normal malnutrition caused by a diet of rice scraps. For the curious, they are typical "pariah dogs," and about half a step from being dingoes (yes, we do have them here in southeast Asia), their full compliment of hunting instincts being evidenced by their tidy lunge to poor Tien's flank.