Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

The Cat is King in Kuwait

The Kuwait Times printed an article in the Friday Times called The Cat is King in Kuwait, a really fluff piece about how the cats in Kuwait own the streets.

In contrast – and I wish I could print out even a portion of this article, but it is not online, and I no longer have the paper – on Thursday, Ben Garcia wrote a truly heart wrenching editorial/opinion piece about how the children living in his building were chasing, catching, stomping, throwing, swinging and torturing cats. Ironically, two cats they killed, either by stomping or drowning, ended up in the building water supply. One of the maids told her employer that the water tasted funny, and the employer told her the water in Kuwait always tastes funny. (I’m sorry, but that part really made me laugh.)

Mr. Garcia’s article was gut wrenching. He found it an irony that the tortured cats ended up spreading their dead bacteria with the entire building, where the children lived. But the fact that these children think it is OK to stomp on cats makes me almost physically ill.

In the Christian religion, Jesus said we are to protect the little ones. He is thought to be referring to children, but as humans, we are to be stewards of all creation. Doesn’t that means caring for all things, great and small? It means protecting our environment. It also means respecting all life, and giving respect to all humans, no matter what walk of life they are in. If there is any justification for a belief in re-incarnation, it is to learn from another point of view the lessons we fail to learn in this life.

Like wouldn’t we be kinder to the Bangladeshi street worker if we knew he might be our grandfather who beat his servants, or imposed himself on the maid?

I don’t think it meant we are to be all vegetarian, as he gave us animals for meat, but I believe we are to be wise and thoughtful in the use of all he gives us, so abundantly, in our daily lives. I am willing to bet that the Qur’an says something similar. (Can anyone help me out, here?)

So cats are abundant in Kuwait, but King? King of the garbage bin, king of skin diseases, queen of the swollen belly looking for a safe quiet place to give birth? These poor cats have a tough enough life without anyone giving them additional pain or harassment.

And what if these small creatures are angels in disguise, and we hard-heartedly allow them to starve, to wander, to be beaten and abused? Can’t we sin as easily by neglecting to do anything as by actively choosing to harm?

How can parents tolerate that kind of behavior in their children, allowing them to torment these creatures? What kind of lessons are the children learning?

I think finding a dead cat in the drinking water supply would be pretty horrifying – and I can’t help but think it is fitting for people who would allow their children to torture small creatures.

Bravo, Ben Garcia, first for speaking up and shaming those children, and second for writing it up for the Kuwait Times. It isn’t easy to read, but it is right to bring it to our attention.

September 2, 2007 Posted by | Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Living Conditions | 12 Comments

Bee Sting

How often do you even see bees in Kuwait? I hardly ever see a bee, but as I was exercising in the pool, last week, I felt a sudden sting on my left hand, and the bee – or was it a wasp? – was still there.

I brushed him off violently and left him to drown as I exited the pool. I have had bee stings before so why I worry about anaphalactic shock, I don’t know, but I do. If it was going to strike, I didn’t want it to hit me in the swimmimg pool, so I quickly came home and put a paste of baking soda and water over the sting, and then later a good coating of Benedryl cream, an antihistamine. By the end of the day, you couldn’t even see where I had been stung. I thought everything was OK.

But a few days later, am itchy bump formed. Back to the Benedryl, and yeh, I scratched it a little. Today, over a week later, it is still red and a little swollen and I find myself scratching at it absently. It itches.

Adventure Man tells me it is healing and it will go away. I try not to be a hypochondriac – I hardly ever get sick and I rarely have to see a doctor – but why would a bee sting come back to haunt me over a week later?

September 2, 2007 Posted by | ExPat Life, Health Issues, Kuwait | 8 Comments