After months of mourning Gutsy, Kendi’s kitten that we only had the pleasure of knowing for 2 weeks, we (read I- Martin, my husband, for some reason is busy with other things) decided to get another kitten.
Toya, my cousin, ‘adopted’ a cat that was pregnant and subsequently gave birth in her house at college. She suddenly had too many cats, when she had only intended to ‘adopt’ one. So, she posted on the cousin’s group (which coincidentally is titled ‘Total Chaos’ by the way- this should give you an idea of how my family operates. I strongly believe we invite drama into our lives. But I digress) that she was hanging out with kittens and put up a picture of 2 of them lying in her lap. We all started oohing and aahing and Aunty Bulu and I said quickly that we would like to adopt one each, if she was willing to give them up. She made a few affirmative noises (she’s a teenager, so she doesn’t really speak very clearly) and off I was with a kitten to my name.
‘So, how will I get the kitten?’ I called and asked her.
‘I’ll ask Eko (her brother) to come pick me up from school and we can deliver it as far as Par Kwe (my parents’ house, which is right next to their parents’ house).’ She replied in her round-a-bout teenage way.
‘OK, cool, I can’t wait’ and I hang up.
On the fateful day, my little sister Mich was coming to meet me for a surprise birthday party (mine) and brought the kitten along in a box.
‘He’s name is Princess Snowball’ she begun.
‘No’ I responded.
I was thrilled, he was finally mine and Kendi would get to have a pet again. We put him in the car, set out some milk and food, cracked the windows, and went on with our day.
We would check on him every few minutes just to make sure that he was fine. The last time we went to check, we couldn’t find him anywhere. We looked and looked (well Mich, Martin and Eko looked, I cried- I was fed up with losing kittens, I mean is it something about me? Am I a kitten loser? A bad kitten mother?) and couldn’t find him anywhere.
‘He couldn’t have jumped out, he’s too little Kitt, we’ll find him’ Mich, my aspiring-vet-always-trying-to-make-me-feel-better-sister offered in way of consolation.
‘Then where is he?’ I shot back, ‘I am DONE with kittens!’
‘I’m so sorry Kitt’ another cousin said, I was too busy feeling sorry for myself to see who it was. Maybe Fiona. Maybe Wam. They hate cats, but they love me, so they were sad as well.
So, that was the end of that, we went home and I crawled into a ball and pretended I was a cat.
The following morning, Martin is getting ready to leave and he opens the car door and there he is. The kitten. Just sitting on the floor near the driver’s seat.
‘Kitt, come, come. The cat!’ he called
‘What?’ I screamed and took off running to the car with Kendi and Wam close behind.
Sure enough, there he was- he had moved under the seat now.
‘Grab him honey’ I told my husband (I should have said ‘throw him out the door babe’ because he does the exact opposite of things I ask him. He’s lovely but he’s peculiar)
‘No it’s fine babe. Relax. We’ll just wait for Wam to come down with the box then we can take him into the house.’
Before I could retort, the cat had run back to the front passenger seat and up into the space behind the glove compartment where he had been for the last 24 hours. It took us till the following morning to get him out!
We went to the garage outside our house where the matatus (public transport vehicles) park loudly each night. The mechanic opened up the car. We got the cat out (not without a fair share of biting, scratching and screaming- on my part) and into a box. He flew out of the box and run up into the space between the steering wheel and the engine. We went home.
At this point I was ready to give him back to Toya. I even suggested to Martin, ‘we call Toya, she puts the kitten’s mother on the phone? Maybe she can convince him to come out and that we love him.’
He looked at me like he had married a mental patient!
We named the kitten ‘Ninja!’