Friday, 2 February 2018


Just to introduce Gizmo, the latest member of the pride.

I was having a quiet beer on the porch with my friend Luke the other week, when we heard a sudden bout of mewing. Went to investigate and found a terrified six-week-old kitten looking extremely lost. Possibly thrown over the wall, which is a thing that happens here in Kigali. Sometimes people toss puppies and kittens into the gardens of soft-hearted muzungus then turn up to collect either the pet or payment a few days later. No one's come knocking for this little one, though. Perhaps he got lost and somehow scaled the barbed-wire walls around the compound...

Anyway, I took him in and looked after him. He cried solidly for three nights, separated too early. Then he heard some feral kittens outside and decided they were family. I let him go to investigate. He followed them down a storm drain, where they promptly abandoned him and he sat crying for two hours in the middle of a raging thunderstorm. 

Eventually, a very wet, cold kitten crawled back into my garden. I went to collect him. He cowered against a drainpipe trying to be invisible. I picked him up, dried him off and fed him.

We haven't spoken of that night since, but all crying stopped, replaced with purrs.

He spent a couple of days at Dr. Arum's with poop problems, earning him the nickname Little Pooper - poop everywhere.

It's taken a couple of weeks, but he's finally made friends with my other three, Howl, Sophie and Sen (who were thrown away in a bag in the street - what's with people?). The girls aren't convinced, but Howl is the perfect babysitter. Gizmo attempts to ride him around the room like a gimp, and Howl batters him into submission. They seem to enjoy it.

It's bloody expensive to keep cats in Kigali, feeding them especially, but it's too late now. Someone did offer to take Little Pooper off my hands, but I've grown rather attached, and last time I gave away a kitten it ended very badly, so I think he's a keeper.

But please, people - stop throwing away animals.

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