Posts Tagged With: cat

Poor Twiga

Today, my brother-from-another-mother Twiga is at the doctor’s office getting his balls removed.  After today Twiga and I will be even more alike since I’m already a eunuch.

Twiga sent me a photo of the fancy health clinic where his procedure will happen:

Twiga in the Health Clinic!

Twiga in the Health Clinic!

He was really surprised at how nice it was because he assumed that all health clinics were like the ones he’d seen in Tanzania:

The clinic where our mom works in Tanzania

The clinic where our mom works in Tanzania

I know he’s probably really scared and I wish I could be there to comfort him since I know exactly what he’s going through.

So Twiga, if you’re reading this: you’re gonna be fine and you won’t notice a thing when it’s over.  This “neutering” business is a simple rite of passage if you’re going to be a pet in America.  Even I’ve had it done and you think I’m pretty cool, right?

Just after I had my balls chopped off

Just after I had my balls chopped off

 

Update May 8, 2013

Twiga made it through his ball-removal procedure just fine, but now he has to wear one of those stupid necklaces for a week.  Poor kitty!

Twiga in his new necklace

Twiga in his new necklace

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Twiga Turns Two

Mwanza is making me a bad brother.  First, mom ships Twiga off to America without letting us have a proper goodbye and then the Internet decides not to work for 3 days so I can’t even wish my big Bro a Happy Birthday.  Bad Mwanza, bad.

Twiga celebrating his birthday in America

Twiga celebrating his birthday in America

You might wonder how we know when Twiga’s birthday is, if he was born in the dirty streets of Mwanza.  Well, like lots of Tanzanians, we just made his birthday up!  Twiga’s passport officially says that he was born March 21, 2011.  I suppose I now have some sympathy for those Chinese gymnasts in the 2008 Olympics, because when you’re from a developing country, it’s hard to figure out when you were born!

Anyhow, we’ve got our Internet back for now, so I’ll share some of the photos with you that Twiga sent me from his birthday.  I feel terrible that I couldn’t be with him since he celebrated my first birthday with me last year, but mom says not to worry because there will be plenty more to celebrate in the future.  Humph, but the future is so far away.

Here’s Twiga with some new birthday toys (I’m sure he was impressed that America has toys just for cats!):

Another birthday toy

Another birthday toy

Servant Colin got Twiga some toys

Servant Colin got Twiga some toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twiga also got to spend plenty of his birthday napping:

All tucked in

All tucked in

Tuckered out after playing with his new toys

Tuckered out after playing with his new toys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twiga tells me that one of his favorite activities is playing pranks on Servant Colin, like hiding under the table and turning the Internet off every now and then.  He says having intermittent Internet makes him feel closer to home.

Playing "Turn of the Internet"

Playing “Turn of the Internet”

And just before he went to bed on his 2nd Birthday (which was actually his first ever birthday celebration AND his first birthday in America), he e-mailed me to say he missed me and that I should hurry up and get there.  I’m on it, Tweegs!

Twiga, surfing the Net

Twiga, surfing the Net

 

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A Love Letter to My Brother-from-Another-Mother

Dear Twiga,

Where do I start?  You are my brother, my best friend, and my partner in crime and now you are gone.  Mom tells me that I’ll see you in just 2 months time, but that is ages in our animal lives.

You came to me in August on Nane Nane Day in Tanzania.  I will forever remember you as my Nane Nane Twiga (and it’s also extra special since eight is mom’s favorite number, clearly we were meant to be).  When you arrived, I was the first to find you and boy were you ugly!  But I loved you anyway.

In the beginning...

In the beginning…

I’ve had your back since the very first day and you’ve had mine as well, that’s why we make such a good team.

And you've got mine

And you’ve got mine

I've got your back

I’ve got your back

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We do everything together, and you’ve taught me how to share.  We’ve shared food:

Sharing is caring

Sharing is caring

Are you going to eat that?

Are you going to eat that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve shared a bed:

But, then I really liked it

But, then I really liked it

At first I was skeptical...

At first I was skeptical…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And we’ve shared clothes too:

Rockin' out

Rockin’ out

You were there for me on my First Birthday when mom wasn’t even there.

My Birthday Party

My Birthday Party

You’ve kept me entertained

Adventure Kitty

Adventure Kitty

Climbing kitty

Climbing kitty

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And best of all, you taught me how to love someone other than mom.

 

Bath time

Bath time

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Cuddle time

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everyone here already misses you, including Agatha, Eddie, and the Maasai.  The Maasai is super excited to keep this photo of you two since he misses you so much.

You and Akwi, our Maasai friend

You and Akwi, our Maasai friend

 

Oh, and here’s a warning: America is really, really cold.  You can’t even imagine how cold it is, even more cold than when it rains here in Mwanza.  A tip to beat the cold, hide in the oven, but make sure that servant Colin knows you’re in there!

 

The oven is warm

The oven is warm

I miss you Twiga, more than I can put into words (or into barks or meows either).  I’ll be there just as soon as I can and then we’ll conquer America just like we did Tanzania.

Love,

Your Brother-From-Another-Mother Tito

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Guest Blog: Twiga “Coming to America”

"What games do ya'll play in Africa? Chase the monkey?"  Well, actually, yes, we do.

“What games do ya’ll play in Africa? Chase the monkey?” Well, actually, yes, we do.

Hi, I’m Twiga, the Cat (I’m sure you all remember me) and that’s me on the left.  I look like one cool, average American guy, right?  And you know why?  I just came to America – just like Eddie Murphy in “Coming to America“!

Like Eddie, I’m an African prince (all cats are princes, in case you didn’t know) who left my home to see what this America place is all about.  (On the right is my servant Colin, naturally portrayed by Arsenio Hall).

But you’re probably curious how a little ol’ Tanzanian street cat like me made it all the way to the US.  Well, sit right down and let me tell you my tail.  It all started in one of these:

In the cat carrier in my Tanzanian home

In the cat carrier in my Tanzanian home

STILL in the cat carrier at the Mwanza Airport

STILL in the cat carrier at the Mwanza Airport

Yup, you guessed it, still in the cat carrier at the Dar es Salaam Airport

Yup, you guessed it, STILL in the cat carrier at the Dar es Salaam Airport

My temporary home from Mwanza to Dar es Salaam.  As you can see, I tried to make the best of it:

Cat Nap!

Cat Nap!

The best part was no one made me go through security, so I could have smuggled out all the catnip and street mice I wanted.  If only I’d known!

I was kind of enjoying myself, but in Dar I had to say goodbye to my Sarah (who calls herself my mom now).  She made kind of a big deal about it, but I was pretty cool, because I’m one cool cat, remember?

On my next flight, I had my servant Colin stow me under his seat.

Stowed

Stowed (in a tiny black bag)

By the time we got to the Ethiopian airport, I really needed to get out, so servant Colin let me wander around this phone booth for a few minutes.  I wanted to call and let my dogs in America know I was coming, but servant Colin was having none of it (Plus, he said that the charges from Addis Ababa to America would be exorbitant even though I’m a prince).

Chillin' Addis Ababa Phone Booth Style

Chillin’ Addis Ababa Phone Booth Style

Next we had this really, really, really, long flight to Washington, D.C.  Every 5 hours or so, servant Colin took me to the airplane bathroom so I could keep trying to get in the airplane toilet.  I just don’t see why this is such a bad idea.  I needed a bath, plain and simple.

But finally, after 17 hours on the same plane (that’s 119 cat hours, mind you), we arrived in Washington, D.C.  Servant Colin was a little nervous about Customs, but they didn’t even look at my papers.  The joke’s on them!  There’s no telling what I brought with me!  You’ll be reading about it in the papers soon enough, just you wait and see.  I’m looking good now, because I clean up well, but just months ago, I wasn’t looking nearly so fly.

After

After

Before

Before

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And just like that, I became an American citizen and a hero too – like George Washington or Shaquille O’Neal or the American flag!

My first impression of the US was this place called Starbucks.  It must be a new thing because I’ve never heard of it.

Still in that darn tiny black carrier

Still in that darn tiny black carrier

My first experience walking around the US was this family airport bathroom.  Naturally, I tried to climb in the toilet again (one wants to be clean to make a good first impression), but servant Colin advised me not to.  Not cool, servant boy.  Not cool.

Stare-down with servant Colin

Stare-down with servant Colin

And after one more short flight, I arrived at my new temporary home – Charlotte, North Carolina.  Though maybe now, it’s a bit more North Catolina!

Now that I’m an American, I’m going to take up some new hobbies.  First of all – I want to call this Miss Cleo lady – she seems really smart.  I need to start eating a lot more fast food and I’ll have to ramp up my gun collection pretty fast.

Of course, some things never change:

Charlotte

Charlotte

Mwanza

Mwanza

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, I’m sure someone will be interested in this Kenyan birth certificate I have for some guy named Obama.

Screen Shot 2013-03-15 at 6.20.14 PM

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my emigration tail.  Now I must begin my endless pursuit of the American dream – starting right here:

IMG_0864

 

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I Am Thankful For…Twiga

Mom says that this is the time of year where we have to say to everyone the things we’re thankful for.  There’s a ton of super obvious things I could give thanks for, like my mom and nice weather and yummy food, but instead I’ll give thanks for something most dogs never would: a kitty cat.  And I’m not just thankful for any old kitty cat, I’m thankful for Twiga.

My Bro Twiga

Now Twiga, he just gets me.  Even though we’re different species, we have a special way of communicating, which I won’t reveal here because then mom would know all our secrets.  What I will share with you is how Twiga bathes me in the evenings.  This is one of my favorite times of the day, I feel like I’m at the spa!

Twiga gives me my nightly bath

I know y’all might judge me, but you know what?  I don’t care!  I love my little kitty brother and here’s a video that we made together to prove it: http://youtu.be/OjHgIE4vmf4.

Enjoy!  And Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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Africa is Home

Yup, Africa is my home, which is probably why I haven’t been posting much lately.  You see, once you get into a routine and make a place your home, it all just seems so normal and ordinary.  It’s interesting how one dog’s “extraordinary” is another’s “ordinary”, isn’t it?

Africa is Home

So what is ordinary for me, you ask?  Well, every morning I wake up on my TanFoam mattress after a (usually) good night’s sleep.  What might disturb my sleep: only the occasional power outages that kill our fan.  And the fan, well it kills two birds with one stone: it cools us off in the sticky African heat and it provides white noise to drown out the howling dogs, mosques, roosters, loud music, and other varied nighttime noises.

Oh yeah, I also disembowel stuffed animals on the bed, too

Most days my mom leaves me early in the morning to go to work and I get sad.  Mondays are especially bad since I’ve just gotten used to having mom around over the weekend and then poof, come Monday she’s gone again.  But at least I’ve got Agatha, my house girl, and Twiga, my kitty, to keep me company during the day.

Bros for life

When mom finally gets home from work, the exciting part of my day begins!  We always go on a walk around our neighborhood of Isamilo.  On every single one of these walks I’m haggled by passersby about what kind of animal I am or if I’m available for the taking.  Luckily I’ve gotten used to being the weirdo here in Mwanza so these comments just roll off my back as I trot along.

Keep on keeping on

When we get home from our afternoon walk, it’s usually almost sunset and since we’re nearly on the equator, the sun rises and sets more or less at the same time every single day.  The sun sets fast in Africa so if you’re not quick you’ll miss the beautiful sight!

Quickly setting…

The vibrant African sunset

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it, a play-by-play of my daily life here in Tanzania.  Not so extraordinary when you’ve lived it for more than 9 months.  I bet you don’t think your daily life is very interesting either, but I’d beg to differ.  I’ve been in Africa for so long that I can’t even remember America.  Mom says it’s cold there and that there’s a thing called snow, but I don’t recall any such thing.  America and its snow sound exciting and adventurous, but then again, everyone says the same about living in Africa.  So I guess it’s just change that makes life interesting, huh?

I reckon I’ll need a new snowsuit when I get back

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Reason #3 I’m Becoming Tanzanian

I have a pet monkey.  Yup, you read that right, a PET MONKEY.  Now, mind you, this was not my idea.  It was my crazy mom and Aunt Amanda who decided that this was a good idea, but you know, I’m going to try and embrace it as the man of the household.

Mom and Flimpong

Aunt Amanda and Flimpong

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, here’s the story: Mom’s friend Missy is moving back to Canada and she needed a home for her monkey, named Flimpong, and her dog, named Bob.  Being awesome friends, mom and Aunt Amanda volunteered to care for Missy’s animals until they could find a more permanent home since our house has such an amazing yard and also because my mom loves animals.

Of course, no one alerted me regarding this decision so I was caught completely off-guard when these new animals arrived.  If I had known I would have at least put on a shirt or something.  Anyway, first I met Bob, who is your regular-old Tanzanian dog.

Hey there Bob, My name is Tito

Next it was time to meet Flimpong, the monkey.  More specifically, Flimpong is a Vervet Monkey, which I discovered after doing some research about my new housemate.  Flimpong is also a boy, like me, but he is two years old, which makes him older than me, although if you take life-expectancy into account, I believe I’m definitely more mature than this Flimpong character.

Family Meeting

I haven’t had much experience with monkeys before, so I wasn’t quite sure how to behave.  I mean, I’ve always been very well-liked by other dogs and kitties too, but monkeys are a whole new story.  So, I just treated Flimpong like a dog, but I’m not sure this sat well with him.  Apparently, monkeys like to slap other animals (and people too) so Flimpong ran around trying to slap me and also poor Twiga, who had no idea what to make of this whole situation.  Needless to say, Twiga was not impressed.

Twiga is NOT a fan

So here’s what I’ve learned: monkeys CAN be fun, but they are also terrible in new social situations.  I mean, who slaps a cute kitty like Twiga?  But, Flimpong is capable of playing like a dog.  For example, Bob, Flimpong, and I played a game of tag for at least 30 minutes, which was excellent exercise for me (God knows I need it)!

TAG! I’m it

Flim (I’ll call him that for short) likes to climb, as you can imagine monkeys do, but he also has to be connected to a rope so he doesn’t run away.  This results in a lot of interesting situations where Flim just gets all tied up in knots.  Now, at first I thought that monkeys would be smart, like humans and that Flim could simply untangle himself, but no!  He definitely needs assistance.

The second day he was here, Flim climbed all the way to the top of a tree in our yard and got himself stuck up there.  Aunt Amanda tried and tried to figure out how to get him down, but she just couldn’t do it.  So, we had to call in the Maasai for help.  The Maasai are warriors and they kill lions and such, so they’re really quite fearless and this was showcased when our Maasai came to the rescue of poor Flim.  The Maasai climbed a rickety ladder and then jumped onto some tiny, flimsy branches in order to free Flim from his tangled mess!

Agatha and the Maasai saving Flim

While Flim doesn’t quite have the intelligence of a human, he certainly does show some of their strange characteristics from time to time.  For example, he sits like a human man watching football and also likes to eat banana bread!

Banana bread time

Flim’s man pose

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, there you have it.  I’m even more Tanzanian than I was last week just by virtue of obtaining a pet monkey.  I mean how many of my American canine friends can say the same, right?

 

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Sharing?

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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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:

Tito

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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