We live in an apartment block. We moved here from the previous apartment block we lived in, in part because of the big compound that provides a lot of space for Kendi to run around in. There are many families here that have young children, so on any given day, Kendi has maybe 3 other children to play with.
Fai (pronounced fay-i) is her favorite friend I think. Last week, Fai and another little girl, whose name she refused to say, were downstairs when we arrived. Kendi set out to play with them by going over and hugging Fai. At some point, out came the hood cat. It ran across the parking lot and under one of the cars. The 3 little girls seemed to notice it at the same time and took off after it saying, ‘pthii, pthii (Kendi), pussy cat (other little girl), puthiiii (Fai)’. They crouched down near the car so that they could see under it and called out to the cat. It must have been thinking, ‘aint no way I’m going out there’ but they persisted. After a while it got out and ran to the back of the building and they followed it. When they finally found it (I had to go with them to support Kendi down the steps and over the concrete rise), it was just sitting there. They started to touch it and make cooing sounds. After a while, they got bored and left to go do other little girl things.
2 days later, I was standing on my balcony waiting for my friend Njeri to come visit. Because it was a public holiday, all the children were home. As I’m standing there, I see the same cat running across the parking lot again. This time amidst a bit of a ruckus. Jennifer, a 5 year old girl is running after her brother Sidney and another little boy yelling,’ leave the cat alone.’ Sidney, after trying to hit the cat with the football he’s holding and missing, is running and taking aim to try again. I shout out, ‘wewe (hey/you there), do not do that. Let the cat be!’
I am annoyed and irritated and I want to hit my neighbor’s children with a football.
This is not the first time I am hearing about little boys being cruel to animals.
Tawi, my sister, was telling me how her neighbor came upon some boys in the neighborhood playing football. What were they using for the ball? A kitten! A KITTEN! She stopped them and tried to save the kitten. But it was already very close to death. She wasn’t able to rush it to KSPCA in time. After that, she did not bring the issue to the attention of the boys’ parents. Also, she did not kick the boys around like a football- something I would have surely done.
IMPORTANT PUBLIC NOTICE: If you ever come upon Kendi being cruel to an animal, you have my permission to deliver a smart, quick slap to her bottom or face, whichever is most convenient, before bringing her to me.
I really believe that serial killers start off ‘just’ being cruel to animals, and cruelty to animals- even stuffed animals- is something unfortunately that is allowed and ignored in boys. This is the reason, most serial killers are male. This is something I, as a parent, am aware of and will work towards discouraging such cruelty.
I remember my mum scolding my cousin Powell and taking away the toy, ‘you will not punch the bear! You are not allowed to punch the bear! Bears are for hugging’, and wondering what she was going on about. Now I get it- YOU WILL NOT PUNCH THE BEAR!