Sunday, April 3, 2011

World, Meet Colonel Mustard

Friday: 07 Janvier 2011

Note to self: don't procrastinate when in West Africa and laundry need to be done. Need to start doing laundry at least once, maybe twice a week - wash as you dirty. That's the key.

This morning - early, early this morning, I heard a blood curdling cry from a cat near by. I thought maybe a male was harassing a female (quite common here, among every species) but then I thought about the kittens that were just born here in my courtyard and started worrying about spiders, scorpions and snakes. So I look at my watch (3:26), switch on my lantern and get out of my tent. I was preparing for the worst because the cries were getting weaker and weaker - but they were still there, faint, but there. I walk towards the sound and I see a tiny kitten crouched by itself - I cautiously approach it (I don't know if it likes people, or it whatever it was crying about is still around) and I checked my surroundings... seemed safe. I picked up a stick and examined it from afar. I notice blood trickling down the right side of it's neck. Oh no. Is it deep? What was it that caused the wound? I get closer and the kitten whimpers. I don't know what to do. I wonder why no one else has come outside to see what all the commotion is about. But no one does. I walk back to my patio area - but the kitten starts crying again. I swear it's going to die. Why is it in my courtyard?! I go back after a few minutes and pet it again (with the stick) and it starts purring. Oh god. I have to take it in. It's sweet. It's little and if I don't, I know it will surely die! So I pick it up and bring it inside - I get some water and try to clean it's wound. I'm scared. I am not sure at all of what I'm doing. I give up cleaning it. I give it water and get my pagne (fabric for making clothes) to wrap it up in. I put it in the corner of my patio just outside of my tent and I get in my tent to go to sleep. I tell myself not to get attached. I say it might just pass through the night. I sit down and it starts crying and going around my tent to find me. Damn. Okay. I get it, wrap it in my pagne again and bring it into my tent. Put it near my feet and let it settle down. I go to sleep. I wake up because I forgot to cover something in my house - don't want a mouse to get in that. Go inside. Come back out and get in my tent and check on the kitten. Shit. It's not there! Then I feel something under my thigh! Oh gosh. Sorry!! I life up - it cries. But settles quickly. I give up trying to keep it in my pagne. I settle. Finally I am able to go to sleep. I wake up in the morning and it's right beside me. It's cold. I cover it up more.

At 8:00 I get up. It wakes up with me and we go inside. I heat up some water because I want to thoroughly clean what I can - with antiseptic and put a bandage on it. He (I think it's a he) seems to understand that I'm not gonna hurt him. He must be hungry - oatmeal? Sure. I make some plain oatmeal and put it down for him. He doesn't seem to like it. At this time I've named him Mustard. That's both male and female, right? And dubbed him Colonel Mustard (like the game clue?) Well - he's been with me - practically all day. Really vocal. Gets pretty annoying sometimes, but cute & friendly. He likes to climb up onto my lap when he wants attention : which is ALWAYS! Only problem. I have no idea what to feed him. I bought rice and chicken from the marché today and he ate the chicken but not really the rice. I tried feeding him my soup I made and he stuck his nose up at it. I asked my neighbors to give me some tô because that's what ALL the animals eat here - but they didn't. I don't know why. So I'm at a loss as to how to feed him.

I have to remind myself not to get attached.
Don't do it.

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