After the first night’s sleep in my new apartment back in early December I woke up to see a mouse run across my bedroom floor and under my dresser. I wasn’t planning to get a pet here, even though the plight of dogs here is just about enough to make you want to quit your job, open up a dog-shelter, and round them all up. But no. No pets! That was my mantra. I had a hard enough time saying goodbye to my pups coming here.
But then a mouse ran across my bedroom floor and right then and there I made up my mind to get a cat. I figure if I adopt and keep a cat three years, it’ll survive probably at least two years longer than it would have on the street. And when I go I expect some new missionary will need a solution to the critter problem.
Well in Sierra Leone you don’t just go down to the local shelter and pick one out. There are no shelters (see the dog comment above). What you do is you just put the word out. “Tell the guys at your house. They’ll bring you one in no time.” That’s what Olivia said. And by guys she meant my driver, my watchmen, my landlord, the property manager. And they seemed to all promise they’d bring me a cat. But then week two in the house came and went and still no cat. Christmas, New Years, Epiphany came and went. Still no cat. And this was becoming a more and more regular occurrence…
(I was watching The Crown on Netflix during that video. Have I mentioned yet that I get Netflix here...because Jesus loves me?)
Finally one of the ladies at the conference office said she has a kitten for me. It took a full week for her to finally catch it. But I showed up last Wednesday to the rumor that Louisa had brought a cat for me. Then I found out that the kitten was in a bag tied downstairs with the security guard Martha. So I took him home…figuring I’d see when I met him which of the two names I had in mind (Tex or Boo Radley) fit his personality. He was so scared and so shy that I landed on Boo Radley.
So I went back to work, then to the American ambassador’s house for a meet and greet (super cool!). And as we were pulling into the gate, my driver exclaimed, “Is that your cat?” I didn’t see anything and was thoroughly confused because how could my cat who was locked in the bathroom get through three doors and a gate? Finally I saw the kitten he was talking about and sure enough it looked a lot like my cat.
Well turns out my night watchman, Francis, (who is the sweetest and I adore him) found me a kitten. I’d only made it a point to ask him about it a few days before and I shoulda known that sweet Francis would be the one to heed my request and bring me a kitten. This one is younger than Boo Radley. Tiny tiny baby kitty. And I was resolved to send him back home with Francis. But then that kitten purred so loudly in my ear and Francis looked so disappointed. And Boo was so afraid. And this new one really fits the name Tex. He’s a go-getter, scrappy and outgoing. I just didn’t have the heart to let him go. I figure, if I have two cat names, I’m supposed to have two cats.
So…on Wednesday I went from no cats to two cats. And you know what, I haven’t seen a mouse since.