[OK, that sounded better in my head.]
One year ago today, I drove in to work because the police had instituted a ban on motorcyclists plying main thoroughfares, and there was a distinct possibility that there would be…trouble. The trouble didn’t materialize, fortunately. The pehn-pehn drivers (pehn-pehn is what Liberians call motorcycles, from the sound of the horn) were relatively well behaved and did not riot.
Anyway, I get there, and walk up to the main access point on Benson Street and hear a loud meow. I look down, and this scrawny little kitten is sitting there. I bend down to pet him, and he comes right up to me. I kneel down and he tries to get on my lap, purring all the time. I hesitate a little, heave a sigh, and scoop him up, taking him back to the car. Now, just a week or two earlier, the guards had found a tiny kitten on our housing compound. Its eyes were barely open, and I could tell it was in bad shape. The guards had put it in a box just outside our front door so I saw it as we were bustling out the door for mass. The kids saw it when we returned. I had a talk with them about how the kitten was sick, and probably wouldn’t survive, but that we would do what we could. I was right, and the kitten died a day or so later. Many tears ensued.
Anyway, back to this kitten at the embassy. I’m driving back and he, being a curious little thing, is crawling around, almost gets under the pedals, decides that’s not a good idea, then works his way up to my shoulders, then to the small of my back.
I finally made it home (without an accident) and rush in. Ikinji saw me come in, but didn’t see the kitten right away. I put the kitten in an upstairs bathroom (to keep him from Lavash, our other cat) and had a few words with my wife. “Is it a health cat?” “Yes, seems so.” A little later, Ikinji said he had seen the kitten, “It’s a child cat!” Ikinji and Benson have been good friends ever since. Even though the family is away, Benson will often hang out on Ikinji’s bed.
After one year, that scrawny little cat with SkippyJon ears has grown into a handsome cat, as you can see at the top. He’s settled down a little bit, although he still tries to steal food, especially long bean and bok choi. I’ve been able to put food in the cat dishes without him jumping on the counter to get it, though. At least most nights. Lavash has gotten used to him, too, and will usually play around with him, sometimes even starting games of tag.
Anyway, here’s to many more years of two-cat chaos!