March 4, 2008


I’ve never been a cat person. When I was young, a cat bit me on the lip, and soon after I discovered that I’m severely allergic. I was babysitting for a family with a cat and had to go for basketball pictures after. My eyes began to itch and swell and the pictures ultimately had to be postponed because I was frightful to the general public.

Living in Kaabong, getting cat was a necessity to keep our mice population under control. We got Agatha, affectionately called “Kitty Kitty”, when she was still suckling. We fed her with a syringe and she loves us like we’re her parents. I heard cats didn’t come when called and were aloof. Wouldn’t it figure that the first cat I get and had hoped not to become attached to, is incredibly friendly and obedient. She understands “no”, comes when called and always wants to cuddle, which of course pleases me while at the same time sending me into fits of sneezes and swelling.

So yesterday I was very sad when she was no where to be found. It was the third day without sight of her. Occasionally she goes on jaunts and returns fine. Today she suddenly showed up in our veranda, scraggly and dirty. She was acting oddly and staring vacantly- and upon closer inspection- her entire face is swollen horribly. That is when I noticed the wring around her neck. Apparently someone tried to ‘keep her’ themselves or she got caught in a ‘rat trap’ while hunting. I think they used a string or wire- and she was tied so tightly that her neck has a scab all around it, and even hours after the fact, is indented and her head disfigured and horribly swollen.

I was already down for two reasons. First of course is that Jacob is in Kampala. I didn’t realize how closely we communicated, and I’ve had to fight the urge to call every five minutes to tell him odd things I’ve seen or heard or ideas I’ve had. And I’ve been in the process of applying for jobs, which, for some reason, always depresses me. It’s like moving to a new town and having to make new friends, when you had already become well established and in many ways ‘proven yourself’ (I guess it IS moving to a new town and making many new friends…)… Knowing that I’m starting from scratch makes me feel that all of my work and accomplishments are wasted. I simply hate it. It’s total deflation.

So coming into the veranda and seeing poor Kitty staring off, gaunt and in pain, simply made me sad.


Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your sadness! Wish I could hop on over there and cheer you up, but it would be a really long hop! Don't look at getting a new job as losing everything you have already done. It can be a chance for you to use all you have learned and experienced in a new way to help new people!

Robin Williams said...

I've never been a "cat person" myself, even without allergies to boot, but that's really sad to hear about Kitty Kitty. I sincerely hope she gets better.

As far as the job-hunting, I completely feel your pain there. It makes me feel anxious and scared, the same way dreams of showing up naked to school make me feel! But I do have experience in changing jobs, and even changing industries completely, and you must remember that you are never starting from scratch. You've learned so many things, gained useful skills (more useful than you can imagine, I bet!), and accrued life experiences that put you far ahead of the game. Couple all of that with your obscenely creative mind, and you can market yourself for any job you want! I believe that 110%!

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