Monthly Archives: August 2012

It’s My Birthday and I’ll Bark If I Want To…

Yesterday was a game changer for me…I turned the BIG 1.  Aunt Amanda is the most super awesomest Aunt ever and she made me the best birthday cake in the world!

I’m a Big Boy Now


Look how far I’ve come in just one year:


Me and mom now



Me and mom on my 1st day home













If I’ve come this far in only a year, imagine where I’ll be next year at this time!  And thanks to everyone who took the time to wish me Happy Birthday, I love you all 🙂

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Mom is making me learn how to share and I’m not sure how I feel about that.

Twiga wants what I have

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Farley Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

Every day when mom and I are on our walk, I try to pull her down the road where Farley lives since I haven’t seen him in such a long time.

Heading towards Farley…

But every day, mom pulls me past the road and doesn’t allow me to see him.  Now, I know why she has been doing that.  Mom has been keeping a horrible secret from me: Farley doesn’t live here anymore!

The last time I ever saw Farley

The first time I met Farley










It’s like that scene in the last episode of the last season of Sex and the City (Don’t laugh, of course I know my Sex and the City quotes, you realize who my mom is, right?)  You know the scene, the one where Big comes looking for Carrie and she says, “And you can drive up this street all you want…because I don’t live here anymore!”   And now, this has just happened to me. It’s heartbreaking, really!

I don’t live here anymore!

You tell ’em Carrie!












So now I’m at a loss, my first canine friend has left, without so much as a goodbye 😦  I mean what’s next?  Mom’s gonna tell me that Santa and reindeer don’t exist either??

And so does Santa!

Reindeer DO exist!

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Guest Blog: Twiga

Hey all, Twiga here.  That’s right, it’s me, the new cat.  I’ve decided to make the dog let me tell my side of the story, but I don’t know how to use one of these fancy computer machines, so I’m dictating and he’s typing, but trust me, these are MY words.

It’s me, Twiga

Where to begin?  Like many African dogs and cats, I found myself homeless, sick, and hungry.  I wandered around Mwanza searching for a place to make my permanent residence, but the streets here can be harsh for a cat like me.  Eventually, I made my way to Isamilo, where many mzungus live.  I figured mzungus were my best bet for survival since they tend to be more sympathetic to the plight of animals than Tanzanians.

I spent about a week investigating my options in Isamilo.  I researched the trash outside the homes, and watched who went in and out trying to determine which house was most likely to take me in and care for me.

Wednesday was the big day.  I had chosen the pretty pink house with 2 yellow-haired mzungu girls.  During the afternoon, while everyone was away I climbed in through the gutter from the trash alley behind the house.

The back alley from whence I came

The gutter: entrance to my new home












Once inside, all I had to do was wait.  What I hadn’t factored into the equation was this:


But when you’ve arrived at this paradise, any obstacle can be overcome:

The paradise I wandered into, NEVER LEAVING

Turns out, the dog actually alerted the humans to my presence and as I suspected they fell for my cuteness and I was immediately brought inside for some food and a cleaning.  I’m not a fan of getting wet, but I knew there were certain discomforts I’d have to withstand in order to be accepted into the household.

I honestly can’t believe my good luck.  I never expected my plan to go as well as it has.  I mean, these people, they gave me my own room, with a nice bed in it.

My bed

My very own room










They also make me homemade meals every day and give me all the food I could ever want.  It’s like they actually CARE about nutrition!  They make me a mixture of rice, milk, carrots, and little fish.  I won’t be skinny and sick for long on this new diet.  They even give me water from a special container so I don’t have to drink water from a puddle or from the faucet.  These people, they think of everything!

My water comes from here

Every time is meal time now!












Now, about that dog.  He’s actually not so bad.  And I know the humans like me more because I get along with the dog.  He’s not the brightest animal I’ve ever met, but darn it, he’s loyal and protects his family, which is more than I can say for any dog I’ve ever met before in my life.  So, to all you cats and dogs who said I’d never make, LOOK AT ME NOW!

My watchdog

Me and my new bro




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Exciting news from the nyumbani (that means house in swahili, FYI), we’ve added a new member to our family.  It’s a kitty and we’ve named him Twiga.

See this photo of Twiga?

Introducing: Twiga

Well, this is exactly how I found him on Wednesday afternoon.  I went outside after mom got home and I saw this little thing.  Now, I knew it was a kitty since I had kitties back at home in Ithaca, however I hadn’t seen one in a long time.  Plus, this kitty was way different than the kitties I’m used to.  My kitty at home is big and fat and black, not like this kitty who was small and orange and super skinny, in fact they couldn’t be more opposite.

Anyway, I was confused about why this intruder kitty was sitting in MY yard so I started running circles around him and barking to alert mom.  She came out and saw the kitty and picked it up.  Next thing I knew, this intruder was in my house and mom and Aunt Amanda were giving it food.  Apparently they thought this emaciated little thing was cute.

Kitty gets to eat while I have to watch

This new kitty was not only hungry, but also very dirty so after he was done eating, Aunt Amanda took him into the shower for his first ever bath.  I’m sure he liked it just about as much as I do…

Twiga after his bath

Next up, mom and Aunt Amanda decided “intruder kitty” needed a name.  The kitty was so skinny and had long spindly legs, which reminded mom of a giraffe so they decided to name him Twiga, which is swahili for giraffe.  Twiga is actually a very cool name because there’s so many variations that can be used as nicknames, such as Twigs, Twiggles, and Mr. T to name a few.

Look at those spindly giraffe legs!

This cat, now known as Twiga, is ALWAYS hungry.  He walks around and cries and cries until he gets food.

Twiga, crying AGAIN

Twiga isn’t special like me, so he has to eat local food and not fancy American food.  Mom or Aunt Amanda or Agatha make him a mixture of milk, rice, carrots, and tiny fish called daga.  I find this mixture delicious, but mom says that I can’t have any because Twiga needs all the food he can get.

Agatha, Jonas, and Twiga

Every day, it seems that Twiga is getting a little healthier.  He’s even had 2 visits from the Tanzanian Veterinarian already to get vaccinations, plus de-worming and an antibiotic.

So, it seems that this kitty is around for the long haul.  Now, I wasn’t so sure about how I felt about Twiga when he first showed up, trespassing in my yard.


But as the days go by this little kitty is growing on me.  It would be nice to have another non-human around the house!  Plus, Twiga is just so darn friendly that I can’t help but fall in love with the little guy.

But I can be affectionate too

This little kitty sure is affectionate












What do you think?  Should I let this little kitty into my heart forever?

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Happy Nane Nane!

Yesterday was a holiday in Tanzania called “Nane Nane”.  First, a quick lesson in swahili.  Nane Nane is pronounced “Nah-Nay Nah-Nay” and it means “eight eight”.  Nane Nane is always held on August 8th (the 8th day of the 8th month, thus the name Nane Nane).  This day is meant to celebrate the farmers of Tanzania and their contribution to the Tanzanian economy.  There are festivals and fairs around the country, and also, more importantly, mom had the day off work.

Last year, mom and Aunt Amanda went to the Nane Nane festival, but they thought it would be too overwhelming for me, what with all the people, so instead, to celebrate Nane Nane, mom, Aunt Amanda, mom’s friend Sue, and I decided to take a nice long hike around Mwanza.  We met up with Sue around 5 in the afternoon and set off on our hike.

Off we go!

Most days mom and I do the same loop around Isamilo for our run, so our Nane Nane hike was super exciting for me because I got to see so many new neighborhoods, people, and animals.  For example, I got to see my most favorite animal: the cow!

Baby cow, woohoo!

There were tons of children who were excited to see me all along the hike.  Each one screamed, “doggie” or “mbwa” and ran after us to see how beautiful I was.  Sometimes, Sue would tell them I was a cat just to confuse them, which I thought was really funny since most people are already confused about me anyway.

We hiked up a big hill, followed by an entourage of children.  Once at the top, we had a fabulous view of Lake Victoria.  So of course, we decided to pose for some photos with the children.  Mom also let them touch me since most of the children are afraid of dogs and aren’t used to seeing a dog as clean as me.  Plus, I’ve got the most beautiful fur in the world!

Getting petted by all the children

Top of the hill, with a bunch of children












Side note:  Mom better bathe me when we get home because that’s a lot of dirty hands touching me!

Once we got over the top of the hill, it was time to make our way back down into the neighborhood of Bwiru.  But not before we got to see some of the magnificent rocks for which Mwanza is known.  Now I understand why Mwanza is known as Rock City!

Rock City, Represent!

By the end of our hike, it was starting to get dark so we were treated to some gorgeous views of the famous African sunset.

Nane Nane, until next year…


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Sundays Rule, Mondays Drool

And here’s why:

Yesterday, mom, Aunt Amanda, and I walked up the hill to Isamilo Lodge for brunch.  I love when I get to spend the whole day with mom!  At brunch, mom and Aunt Amanda gave me their hotdogs and boy were they yummy 🙂

Hotdogs at Isamilo Lodge

After brunch, mom and Aunt Amanda decided to read books in the sun outside.  I tried that for a while, but I’m a really slow reader and I have fur so I can’t stay in the sun for as long as mom and Aunt Amanda.  So, I decided to lay on the cool kitchen floor where I could still keep an eye on my women.

Mmmmmm, Sundays

Guess what I’m doing today?  NOTHING.  That’s right, nothing.  And the nothing I do on Mondays is not at all the same as the nothing I do on Sundays.  Why?  Because mom’s not here doing nothing with me.  When mom’s at work it’s so boring.  I sit alone in my bed:

Waiting for mom to come home

or I sit alone on mom’s bed:

It’s just me and my blog 😦

or I play with my frog toy alone on the couch:

Playing with my frog toy, alone

What do all these activities have in common?  I’M ALONE.  And I don’t like it.  Next Sunday can’t come soon enough!


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