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Travel Image One of the things that we miss while we have been traveling is to be able to have a proper home and therefore, being able to have some Junna waiting expectantlyanimal company around. During the years though, we have managed to have one or two "friends" around, even if it is only for a short time. When we arrived in China, one of the Hong Kong chefs was just leaving and we inherited a gold fish bowl with the classic two goldfish in it. When we left China, we had a dozen fish in a large aquarium, with imported filters and the works! Needless to say, the person who took over from me then inherited the lot! In Bali there was a parrot called Seiko, who we bought to keep Marg company while I was away in China, as well as another kitten called Kiri that we rescued on one of our walks down near the beach! All through our travels we have tended to rescue various birds and animals in distress, some successfully, like a puppy rescued and a home found for in Goa, and some like the Kingfisher fledgling in Mumbai without any luck. But we try and sometimes wish that we could do more. Trouble with us, is that we have always had a fairly soft heart when it comes to the animal world, as this was no different in the case in Goa when we came across a small bundle outside the main gates on evening. The guards had been feeding the pup and it looked quite docile, so Marg and I decided to take it in and look after it for a while. So, Junna came along and ended up staying! She quickly realized that with a whole hotel to run around in and many staff to dot on her, she was in seventh heaven! She is shown at left waiting as always patiently for dinner!
Junna used to take us for a walk down the beach every evening at half past five, in which she became quite well known to the local fishermen and folks. They used to get quite a shock standing knee deep in the water fishing to suddenly feel a very wet nose against their legs having a quite sniff and hello! Also, while trying to be friends with every dog around, there were some that quite terrified her, and she did not object to being picked up and carried past the particular obstruction present! Nevertheless, with so much freedom around and so many hotel "friends" it was quite difficult to train her in any serious way. I suppose that we also spoilt her bad! But, she was a blessing to us and while we were in Goa, she was very much a part of our family! Not long after Junna, a small kitten turned up, who we called Kiri, after our famous New Zealand soprano! As you can see from the photo, the two of them got on quite well, although Junna did not always know her own strength in the rough and tumbles played out!

As with most of our life though, the time came to find good homes for both of them. Junna, we wanted to leave in her native Goa, and as she was a chaser of anything that moved, we realized that she would not fit into the New Zealand farm scene, where dogs who molest sheep are not welcome! A hard decision, and a painful one, but finally a loving home with two ladies who also now dot on her and once again, spoil her badly! Kiri found a good home, where she is free to roam, with a family close to our hotel there. This would be a large part of our decision to now find a home, maybe in Sri Lanka, where we can settle down for a bit. 18 years and more on the road is quite long enough and the thought of having a dog or other pets of our own and not having to find new owners on a relocation is getting stronger for us!

While Marg was away in Scotland taking care of her Mum, I started feeding one of the pregnant cats around the place here in Chennai. Just a stray, but looking decidedly thin, so a few bits of food here and there. There are now four cats that turn up each day, morning and afternoon, and two lots of kittens have been produced and have had homes found for! Our efforts at getting the cats operated on is not turning out very fruitfully yet, so who knows how many litters are still to come! Actually, we have now been quite successful and all the cats have been "fixed!" At first the cats made themselves quite at home, with one upstairs in the loft and the other decamped on the front door step but after the kittens were big enough, they were quickly moved outside, with the move being instigated by the mothers, so who knows when we get to see them again, although we fear that one lot has been lost in the monsoon! It is now after the monsoon and a third cat has decided that she wasn't an outdoor cat after all, but actually and indoor one! After decamping under the kitchen sinks, a litter of three kittens was produced just after the New Year and the results appear here! Marg has decided that two shall stay with us, and the third one has been found a home for, the Mother has now been operated on to stop more litters and the three of them are quite at home with us. The fourth cat ended up with a litter of four cats, but after the kittens were old enough, she was also operated on and the five of them went to the Blue Cross, which guarantees to find homes for them and does not put any animals down! One problem solved and now all the cats that make their home with us are operated on, well fed and kitten free. Yanni, the female kitten and Yanni the male ginger tom that we kept, have been with us since January 2003, with the ups and downs associated with it, but which Marg mostly looks after. They have also been operated on and will not produce litters or go out looking themselves and are quite a joy to have here. Yanni is the more quiet one, happy to play on her own, while Chayya needs attention and someone to play with, when he feels like it. He is now getting into some bad habits like waking me at 6 am to have a feed, which is being met with a door shut in his face and "wait until 7-00 am when the alarm goes off" response! At night he can be sleeping soundly, but the moment I turn off the lights and come to bed, he is wide awake and "must have" four small pieces of dried fish, which he scoffs greedily, then happily settles down straight away and is content again! Must admit they are good company for Marg as I am away for so many hours in the day, I am not much of the same!
Junna as a pup relaxing for once!
I had better check this out!
Marg with Junna in 2000
Myself with Junna when she was young
The mother cat with a couple of the kittens that were a regular occurrence until we managed to get them all "fixed"
Junna looking resigned to the fact and Kiri being quite comfortable bunched together
Kiri blending in well to her stuffed toy while she was still quite small
Seiko had a lot of patience with the young kids of Bali and did not mind the attention
A very pregnant cat getting comfortable!
The three kittens from January, with the ginger being the Tom
A true fascination for Chayya is the sink!
Yanni in September 2002 - always the quiet one!
Yanni and Chayya in July 2003 - quite the garden cats!
Chayya apparently having his nails done with Marg!
Seiko, the cantankerous parrot, that was meant to keep Marg company while I was away
Seiko ended up being a parrot with better relations with us males and was always not so well behaved with Marg
Marg's cat Ming relaxing on the bench, one of three cats that we had in our house in Brisbane
Lexi, a small kitten that turned up under the house in Brisbane and then made itself right at home