Many who know me will be surprised at that title. After all, I have never been much of a cat person before. It’s not that I didn’t like cats; it’s just that I preferred dogs, which also tended to be less likely to cause me a case of sniffles and itching. So how did this happen?
The thing is, my house has had a problem with mice. Especially at night I would sometimes see them scurrying around, quickly running to hide when I turned on the light in my kitchen. They pooped everywhere, and they got into my food. I’m sure everyone thinks their mice are particularly awful, and maybe I am deluding myself, too – but they would not only get into my dry goods, like the lentils or split peas I had brought back from Garoua, but also nibble at raw onions and devour whole piment peppers.
Enter Couscous. He had belonged to a Volunteer in Garoua until she ended her service and went back to America in May. The Volunteer that inherited her house also inherited the cat with it. Couscous, however, is pretty needy for a cat. He will follow his human everywhere around the house and cries to get attention. So the new Volunteer announced at June’s regional meeting that things just weren’t working out between them, and that Couscous needed a new home.
Couscous came fixed and with flea medication, along with the promise that, yes, he does know how to hunt. He is also miraculously white and big for a Cameroonian cat (which is to say normal sized for an American cat). I said I would take him the next time I was in Garoua after National Girls Forum.
He cried in his crate the whole time I was packing the rest of my things, but amazingly enough was mostly quiet once we were on the road. The crying resumed as soon as we were at my house, until I could get the wires holding the crate closed untwisted. By that evening I was sure that yes, I was a little bit allergic to him, but fortunately the symptoms seem too have mostly subsided by now. That night, he vomited on my dirty laundry pile. I think he’s starting to learn that he is not allowed in my bedroom, but he still likes to cry when I am in there without him.
I am also well on my way to becoming a woman who talks to her cat more than any one human person (See: Loneliness and Alone Time at Post).
It was all worth it, though, when I saw him kill and eat a mouse the morning after coming to his new home.