Monday, 5 December 2016

Christmas Kitties

Sophie & Howl

Well, there we go then.

Rehomed big girl kitty and big boy kitty with a friend. She grew up with cats but sadly lost them all during the genocide. Now she has kids of her own, and they were all super excited to get kittens. Hoping to go and visit soon to see how they're doing.

I was utterly distraught when I placed them in the box and said goodbye - holding back a flood of tears. Returned to the house to find the other two playing and purring as though nothing had happened!

Oh, the callousness of cats.

Decided I probably can't cope with that experience again, so named the remaining ones Sophie Cat and Howl Cat, and planning to keep them. Howl is the tiniest boy - the runt - who practically lived in my bra when he first arrived, because he couldn't control his body temperature. He's now growing fast and shrugs me off when I interrupt playtime for cuddles.

A few hours before they were separated, they had a last kitten fest on my lap.

Still, it does make proofreading a little easier with fewer cats.

Part of my reason for keeping two is that I got my visa renewed! I'm now - fingers crossed - here until January 2019. Very excited about that. If I hadn't got the renewal, I'd have had to leave next month. But I did, so I don't. I can comfortably take care of kittens.

I've also just started working for the country's largest agricultural and pharmaceutical company. I walked into one of their shops the other day and saw these.

First time I'd seen proper animal carry cases here. They've also relaxed the quarantine process for the UK. So long as your pet is microchipped and has its vaccinations (including rabies), you can travel. It's a long way off, but it's nice to know it's an option.

Ironically, now that I have cats, I also have a mouse problem.

At one point I had several, but now I think it's just the one. I really don't mind rodents, but it poos almost as much as the cats, and it's so noisy at night. Real squeak-box. The cats couldn't care less so, after one particularly sleepless night, I went out to explore options.

I can't use poison because of the cats, the only snap trap on sale was broken, and the only other option is a glue trap. The longer I stared at these, the more my stomach turned. Glue traps are truly awful. It says to just put the trap down, then in the morning throw it away - presumably with the live animals stuck to it, starving to death and ripping their own fur off in fear.

If my cats can't kill it, neither can I.

A picture from a local market led to some rather inventive attempts to build a humane trap.

Market Example

My Attempt

I have to admit, the one above was really tough. I had to eat the entire tube of Pringles in order to make it. Unfortunately, neither of these have worked so far.

I went to Nakumatt and bought absolutely everything the internet assured me would drive it away: black pepper, peppermint oil, strong chili and cloves. I doused the house in it, but only succeeded in giving myself a runny nose. Mouse wasn't fazed in the least.

Dad's sending me out some properly made humane traps. I still have beautiful daydreams of the back of a rat's arse sailing over the garden wall...

Life is good at the moment, but so busy. I have guests staying for the first time in forever. My lovely friend Tracey and her husband Francis are over from Kenya. They run an excellent tour company called Overland Travel Adventures. They brought a group to Rwanda, then took another group around Akagera, now they're off to Uganda in the morning for a third run. It's been such a pleasure to have them here. Lots of laughter and plenty of good food.

Tempura (Deep Fried) Ice-cream

I'll update on less cat-related goings on soon. Just been a lot of work rolling in lately. Nice to be busy. I don't ever remember being this well off at Christmas before.

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