30 September 2009 Anala

Anala has to be a Ghanaian cat. I have encouraged his independence no matter how it goes against my American animal protectionist nature. When I leave Sandema, Anala will stay here and must know how to live like the other cats here. The first few nights I had him were terrifying, for me, he stayed out all night returning home with the dawn to eat breakfast. I was sure he was going to get lost, or that something would gobble him up or that a snake would bite him. He was fine. He has stayed out every night since. Whether it rains or its too cold(for Ghana) or the hamattan is blowing he manages to stay dry and I assume warm during the night.

I have encouraged him to hunt by feeding him only enough to make him come home. I like lizards just fine, when they are outside, but when they are in the house it’s Anala’s job to hunt them. He also keeps down the frogs and mice. I give him water but he rarely drinks it. I see him at the borehole sometime getting water from the puddles.

Anala can find shelter at night and hunt for food therefor I think I have trained him to survive when I leave, but I think he will miss other small things. During the day he sleeps on one of my chairs. All my friends here walk into my hall and say “AH! Anala is on the chair!”  If I am sitting he will jump on my lap or even come when I pat my lap. I have been told “We don’t train our cats like that here.” I buy the school boys (small dried fish) to feed him. One of my girls said “Madam Vicky’s cat lives good oh!”.  I think he will also miss me talking to him. Tenni says “Cat’s don’t understand English.” but mine always have.

When I go outside and he isn’t sleeping Nala likes to come out and play. He seems a bit confused about the other animals. He thinks the fowl are for watching and the goats for chasing. (lucky for him because I think my landlord would send Anala away if he ever killed one of the fowl.) The other day I was outside and Nala had a cat fit. He ran across the yard, up the summer hut pole and onto the thatch roof. I heard him thrash around there then down the pole he came with a lizard in his mouth.

Right now Anala is curled up on my lap taking all the space for my computer causing me to twist around and type on the arm of the chair. I guess some things are not American or Ghanaian but just cat!

-vc

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