Of pet cats, goats, pigeons and parental dilemmas.
Princess has, for the longest time, been asking me if she could have a cat.
My answer has always been, and still is, a resounding NO.
Now I have nothing against animals although I. do. not. do. reptiles.
I begrudgingly think cats are adorable albeit arrogant little divas.
The subject of animals is not a new one in the Mombasa Mommy household. For instance, Little Man, hot on the heels of his siblings, decided one Eid when he was eight that he wanted a goat.
He had looked longingly from our balcony at the neighborhood boys milling around a sad looking little animal.
They poked at the poor thing, force fed him grass they had searched from the early hours of the morning for (I know because they proudly shared the information)
They pushed a bowl of water in front of him and fought with each other about who got to lead him out to ‘pasture’.
We never did get to find out, out of all those boys, who the little goat belonged to.
But I digress.
Little Man, believing it was the coolest thing to have an animal of his own for himself, begged us for a goat of his own.
He had no idea what it entailed looking after a living being.
He didn’t know it involved constant care and vigilance.
Or that it would be an endless exhausting endeavor.
Looking back, we should also have probably let him know what the fate of the goat would eventually be but again I digress.
Our deal was we would get him one if he promised that he would feed, water and watch out for it without neglect when it was his turn to do it.
What we didn’t count on were the volunteers for the job that turned up. The neighborhood kids descended upon our door as soon as they saw the animal being offloaded from the car and offered to help Little Man look after it. And that was that.
They would have taken the goat home had we asked.
Junior had raised, when he was still home, a harem of breathtakingly beautiful fantailed pigeons. The deal with him: the responsibility was all his.
My only job was to see if he was feeding the birds, cleaning their enclave and not a drop or feather was to make its way into my house.
It didn’t stop me being a proud grandmommy when they laid eggs and those eggs hatched into quite shockingly plain looking chicks.
It still brings a tear to my eye whenever I see a pigeon somewhere because before he left, Junior gave up his feathered babies (with a very heavy heart) to those he trusted would take care of them in his absence.
(Junior’s beloved pigeons)
Having a cat in a house full of pigeons wasn’t going to be a very smart idea and I doubt Junior would have looked kindly on his little ones being on the lunch menu.
Although now, even though she is on her way to university, she is still asking if she can have a cat.
Cats are growing on me thanks to all the videos she has been sending me. (okay I admit it- I have also been searching for them on YouTube myself)
Still I can’t put behind the bad blood between me and the felines that started in our former home.
They had used my living room furniture as scratching posts; my doormats as their bathrooms and made dinner time a nightmare.
The worst part was: they weren’t even our cats.
They hadn’t endeared themselves to Junior either, who had just begun raising his pigeons.
As cute and as adorably self assured as they are, cats are…….. what is the word……. a handful.
But I suppose Princess has factored that in already. And she was always ready to do the work.
Given the circumstances maybe it’s time I changed my mind……..but don’t tell Princess yet!