Information you need to know before reading this post:
I'm allergic to cats. Not as badly as my siblings, but enough that it gives me watery eyes and the sniffles.
I'm not a cat person, but kittens are up there in terms of things that make me yell "Squeeeee!"
I have a rat problem.
On Tuesday morning the cutest most cuddly grey kitten appeared on my front door step. Where she came from I can't be sure, but there she was. Before I had time to think, one of my students ran up and said, "Pusi a'hai?" (Who's cat is that?) to which I responded "pusi a'aku" (My cat). This was said as a joke, but it didn't translate as such. Soon all of the kids were excited because Mandy had adopted a cat. They kept telling me how good it was and how it would help the rat problem that I've faced since January. Except I know nothing about training animals and this kitten is about the size of the rat that I ran into in my house a few weeks ago. Somehow I don't think she would win if there was a duel. But I know nothing about cat-rat fighting, so who knows.
The kitten hung out all day. It sat with my students as I taught them English. They voted on a name: Astrid (though when they say it, it sounds a bit like: &!# turd). Astrid was so well-behaved that I thought at certain moments that she was actually trying to learn what I was teaching. I already had a meeting scheduled after school so I let the kids stay with the cat and figured that they would return her to me later or maybe she would just be at my door step again this morning.
I got home last night and there was no cat. Oh well. Maybe it wasn't mine to begin with.
But then this morning rolled around and I heard the fence open and 20 or so kids come parading up to my door. I opened the door slowly to find twenty smiling faces and two very frightened kittens, neither of which was Astrid.
I asked them who owned these cats and they responded with "ko koe!" (you!) ::gulp::
I found out that Astrid had followed a little boy in Class 1 home. Soni (the little boy) felt bad so he brought me one of his cats and then his neighbor heard and brought over one of his. Cats, cats, cats. One of my coworkers asked for one so I happily gave them an all white one, keeping a little black and white one.
I think I may have made the wrong choice. This cat is sassy, has already #1ed and #2ed on my floor and likes to scratch me when I pick her up. My students saw this and one of them approached me mid-afternoon and told me:
"Mandy, Masi is going to look for a new cat for you. You need a polite cat."
Ha. What a sweetie. But maybe I'm meant to keep Penelope (Penny, for short). Maybe she and I are secretly kindred/sassy spirits and I have something to learn here. I'm hoping that I can get her to drink her milk and gain some weight and then teach her to patrol the outskirts of my fale (house) while I sleep. I'm also hoping that my watery eyes/runny nose can be fixed by my allergy meds until she is big enough to leave the house. It would keep me rat free and happy. Somehow I don't think it's going to be that easy though.
Anyhoo... here she is... Penelope the Pusi.