And They Called It Kitty Love

20 May

I just wanted to take this time to talk about someone who has been an integral part of my mental health at site and that’s my kitten Helen, or Helena to the Rwandans.

In case you don’t remember, I inherited Helen from a PCV in my region who finished her service in November 2011. When I got her she was still a kitten which drove me crazy at first. She was fond of randomly jumping on my back which was painful and infuriating.

Since then she’s mellowed quite a bit and now brings me a considerable amount of happiness. Whenever I’m sitting she’s usually in my lap and when she comes to sleep with me it, always on/by my legs and if I move she has to make sure she scoots up next to me. Usually she spends the night hunting and then comes in around 5 am for a snooze. Unless it’s raining, then she usually spends the night with me. When I toss and turn she gets impatient and goes elsewhere to sleep.

The one thing that’s taken getting used to is the way she expresses her love for me. That’s by bringing rats in my room and eating them, usually under the far corner of my bed, right where my head is. It used to stress and gross me out but now it’s just par for the course. The other morning she came in with a rat as I was waking up and followed me into the bathroom and living room with it before she settled down to eat it. Whenever I get home from a trip away I always have to do a hunt for any ‘left-overs’ she may have left behind.

When I’ve been gone too long she likes to express her affection by biting my feet. It doesn’t hurt that bad but it’s pretty annoying and I’ve taken to giving her a good whack when she does it.

Plenty of people in my village have expressed an interest in inheriting Helena after I return to America. However she’s spoiled, and has ‘umuco mubi’ (bad manners) as I’ve told them. So I found another volunteer for Helen to go live with. It will be the first time she’s lived outside Cyangugu.

I hope that Helen can become somewhat of a Peace Corps tradition passing from one pcv to another, and getting plenty of love in the meantime.

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2 Responses to “And They Called It Kitty Love”

  1. Kelly May 20, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    I love this! I’m sure you will miss her but I’m also so glad she will be a good friend to another PVC! Love ya!

  2. Margarette Grant - aka MAG May 20, 2013 at 9:29 pm #

    Amazing that your time in Rawanda is almost over. I’ve really appreciated your posts and hope you can continue writing as you return to the USA.
    Thanks!

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