August 30, 2016

cats i inherit with the house

with the lovely house [photos to come] i get three cats.  the momma kitty who is black and i want to keep for protection [because of the locals superstition] and two of her first litter cats.  

my friends were determined to have momma kitty spayed before they left to decrease the cat population in Moshi and had missed the first 'window of opportunity' before she was pregnant again.  so in the weeks before they left the kittens had to be taken away [rehomed] so the momma would stop nursing.  without going into a lot of detail about cat anatomy of which i am no expert let's say this was a challenge. 

momma kitty was starting to teach them life skills [like hunting at night] and they were put into the garage so they wouldn't run away but the window was left open so the momma could come and go as she wanted [window being too high for the kittens] then momma took the kittens one by one, we assume, through the window one night and hid them somewhere in the hedges.  proving, perhaps that cats are smarter than humans.  now my friend has to coax the momma to bring her kitties back and then has the new owners swoop by to pick up the kittens.  with the kittens gone momma will stop nursing and be prepared for her surgery, proving humans are at least as smart as momma cats.

i happened to stop by for some reason a few days after the kittens were gone and momma kitty was just screaming for her kittens.  poor thing had no idea they had gone someplace safe and was a bit uncomfortable as she was still producing milk.  now, we were down to the last few days before their departure from tanzania.  my friend was determined to get momma kitty to the vet [which is a 30 - 40 minute drive] where the surgery can be done.  since they need to keep her for at least a week, i need to go with her to the vet so i know where to pick her up.  

'cat carrier' 
my friend has planned this meticulously and her husband [somewhat conveniently is working or out of town] so i take off the afternoon and head to the house.  the first plan is to put the cat into this 'cat carrier' which, yes, is a cardboard box with airholes cut in.  i'm skeptical but all those years experience with guide dog puppies makes me feel confident.  

so, in goes momma cat - for about 2 seconds during which i try unsuccessfully to hold the top shut while my friend tries to secure with tape.  holy shit, i had know idea how sharp cat claws are and let's just say my blood still stains the spot of this adventure.

alternative or 'african' cat carrier
now, cat out of box [literally], we have to coax her back but i look around for an alternative 'carrier' and find a large plastic clothes hamper with a top and plenty of vision/circulation for the cat/monster.  so again, i hold down the top while my friend gets momma kitty into the new 'carrier'.  again, the monster cat is way stronger than me and jumps out before we can get the top sealed with the crappy stuff that passes for tape in africa.  i'm not saying i let her escape exactly, but i had some really deep bleeding cuts on my hand already, so you know...

we both take a deep breath because this cat is wicked smart and knows she does not want to go into this african cat carrier, no matter how deluxe it is [we put a nice, comfy towel in the bottom].  fortunately, my friend is like a cat whisperer or something [witch probably] and for the third time she has the cat in her hands. 

monster cat goes into the african cat carrier which used to be a clothes hamper but this time i suggest my friend use her 'powers' to hold her in and i'll do the driving.  so we arrive 40 minutes later at this vet/animal sanctuary/farm place with the cat and no further bloodshed.  we are greeted by a bizarre group of handicapped animals and there is no surprise or curious look from the vet staff when we present momma monster cat to them in a clothes hamper.  they just take a down payment and somehow we suggest they drop the monster kitty back at the house after the week recovery period AND THEY AGREE.  ha ha - good luck, right?

white kitty
the vet does, as promised, return momma kitty to me after a week and removed whatever demon monster possessed her when she left.  i suspect he used tranquilizers [or witchcraft] as she was calm and relaxed when she returned.  also, he had real duck tape to seal her into her 'carrier'.  anyways, he comes in for the balance due on account and poke [vaccinate] the other cats. in true african style he stays for an hour to talk about politics and stuff and have a cup of tea before he goes.

long post i know, so thanks for hanging in there.  this is the defining moment when i start to be invested in africa instead of just being a visitor.

stripe kitty

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