Hotel Guests Say Patriot Is the Cat's Meow

As missile alerts become almost routine in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, soldiers and civilians alike have ascribed almost human qualities to the supposedly evil Scuds that soar over from Iraq and to the "beloved" Patriots that go up to destroy them.

The Patriots, in particular, have become a close friend to some, an object of worship to others.

A cardboard-like, rose-colored, hollow cylinder that was once part of a launched Patriot sits on a pedestal in the lobby of the Dhahran International Hotel. On the cylinder, someone has written "We Love You All."

A few feet away, outside the main entrance, lives a dirty white kitten adopted by journalists, cared for by armed guards and named "Patriot" by one of the groups.

"She's become a little bit of a symbol of what we have all come to see as the hero of this area," said London-based ABC radio correspondent Linda Albin, who first spotted the stray.

Albin said the kitten serves another symbolic purpose as well. "A cat has nine lives," she said. "At least we hope."Shop When Iraq Drops

Britain's ground troops are getting a little spending cash, in American greenbacks, so they'll be able to buy snacks and cigarettes, or maybe souvenirs, when the war is over -- and they, presumably, are in Kuwait or Iraq.

Lt. Col. Tom O'Donnell, finance commander for British troops participating in Operation Desert Storm, said $5 million was being distributed to the men. Their allowances depend on their rank.

O'Donnell isn't planning on having the money spent in Saudi Arabia. "We felt we would not be able to use Iraqi money, and there is doubt over the viability of the Kuwaiti dinar," he said. The money is being stored at the front in ammunition boxes.Perchance to Save Lives

U.S. Army psychiatrist William McDaniel wants U.S. troops in the field to get at least four uninterrupted hours of sleep each night. "That's just barely enough," he said.

"Sleep deprivation denies you of your ability to sort out our surroundings," McDaniel said in a recent interview. "The more tired you are, the less energy you have to think things through." He said sleep deprivation leads to errors of judgement that are particularly critical during combat.

McDaniel conceded that it can be very difficult to get to sleep as the time for combat approaches, but he said troops must seek to move their thoughts away from combat to other subjects.

"If you spend a lot of time thinking tomorrow may be your last day, you're going to have trouble sleeping," McDaniel said.Quote from the Edge

"This is about as close as you can get to the border without paying taxes in the other country" -- Capt. Clint Esarey, a public affairs officer who accompanied a night patrol of the 82nd Airborne's 2nd Brigade to within three miles of the Kuwaiti-Saudi border.