When I first moved into my bungalow, a little kitten also treated the patio and garden as his own.
He would hang out all day and wander off to hunt at night. I quickly decided to keep him outdoors, but provide some love, a bit of food, and snuggles when he wanted. I named him Bong, which in Cambodian Khmer is usually used for older brother or sister or loosely as 'friend'... it's also an entertaining name in English!
One morning, after a storm, he wasn't waiting for me. After a few days, I thought the worst because the odds of animal survival are so low in Cambodia.
There are definitely no shelters or support for cats or dogs. The Khmer don't usually keep pets, unless they are dogs for guarding a property. Unlike in Vietnam where I saw cats for sale to eat and a dog roasting on a spit, it is very rare in Cambodia to eat dog or cat, but it has been known to happen. Makes you re-think getting that stick of market meat for a snack. Since the Khmer don't take care of pets, they often disappear or, if young, don't survive.
Good news: After nearly 2 months, Bong has come back! I wonder what sort of adventure he went on, but he looks pretty healthy and has become more affectionate over the past few days. The idea is that he will be the mouse and rat hunter for this area of bungalows, with the residents taking responsibility for him. This way, he is an outdoor, independent cat, but people will still provide some love and attention.
Restaurant Life at The Joint
The Joint restaurant, where I eat out usually once a week and sometimes fill in for kitchen staff shortage. Pictures: Left: From outside looking in the kitchen is on the left and seating area on the right. Middle: Everyone in the kitchen and not shown is more space around the corner with the dishwashing area. Right: The dining area as it looks from the bar.
When I lived on Otres beach last year, I made great friends with a couple: Dan and Donna. At the time, they didn't have this restaurant, but were in the process of building it. It's basically a shipping container with a living space on the back, half of it on the ground and the other half stilted over a pond. Last year, I saw the building in progress and and their first day moving in. Now, it's pretty damn awesome to see it finished, be able to visit whenever, and eat their incredible food (primarily burgers and Mexican. My favourite!)
Last night they had a staff shortage so I filled in with cleaning and some prep work. 6 hours flew by with steady work, good music, and getting to hang out with my friends as we all cooked and cleaned together. Sure, it was work, and I'm exhausted today, but I also feel lucky to have friends who know that I have their backs if they need me and vice versa.