So those of you who know us know how much we love our cat and how much we miss him this year. In a sense, it’s nice to be in Java, where cats live all over the place (dogs are considered unclean by Muslims, so they are a very rare sight). On the other hand, it can be sad because we can’t pet or play with the cats that we see, and they also are often not in the greatest shape.
At the guard post outside of our apartment tower, there is a cat who has apparently made it his terrority. It’s a good spot because the guards will often throw him a bone or two after they are done eating, and because he can watch everyone coming and going. We are always eager when we pull up in a taxi to see if he is out and about. We have named him Tika Splotch, which combines the Indonesian words for "three foot" and a description of the coloring of his face. When we first met him, he had a lame leg, but he got better quickly.
Anyway, Tika has again become a Tika–his left front leg is hurt, so he’s been hopping around sadly and looking extra pathetic and skinny. We are very worried about him because he can’t hunt when his leg is hurt, and his normally manly howl has turned rather pathetic-sounding. So, yesterday, after seeing him howl at us, we bought him a tuna sandwich from the convenience store downstairs. He scarfed the whole thing down, even the bread, like he hadn’t eaten in days. (Of course he could be completely playing us.)
We felt so good about ourselves for feeding him yesterday that we decided he could have another treat. This resulted in a ten minute head scratching session in the canned and potted meat section of the convenience store this morning. We finally found one can of tuna packed in water, and took half of it down for him this morning. As soon as he saw us walk out the door, he was up, meowing, and hopping around us. We think we’ve created a monster. He was very appreciative of his tuna snack, and he’s obviously very hungry still, but we are a bit worried that he has come to associate us so quickly with food. We’re going to have to fight the urge to keep feeding him now because he might stop hunting if he thinks we are a dependable food source. Also, the grant is already feeding two of us, and we can’t afford a third who only likes tuna. Sigh.
Jeff & Joe January 24, 2005
Voltron is SO going to kill you if you bring Tripod Mooch back with you. (Anyway, imagine how hard it must be to get a cat through immigration — or customs, or whatever.) But I think your instincts are right. Any cat that eats bread must be starving.
Dear Tom and July, I am going to watch Super Bowl XXXIX, are you?
(Joe and Uncle Eli did a long-distance high five for the Eagles after they beat the Falcons.)
Suzanna January 24, 2005
I knew it! This blog is just peppered with cat references: cute kittens here mangy strays there some without all their tails and of course Indonesian cats are smaller than American chickens. It was only a matter of time (Jeff will confirm that I called it weeks ago) before T & J got themselves a foreign kitty. Does the US quarantine pets arriving from abroad? Do you know a reliable Jakarta veterinarian to have Tika neutered? Are you prepared to give him a flea bath? I am sure this is all Julie’s fault. Tom, why didn’t you throw her in the volcano when you had the chance? (Oh yeah – forgot she’s not eligible for volcano sacrifice) And how are you going to explain to Voltron that HE had to stay with an evil foster-mother because you couldn’t take him abroad, but you COULD find it in your hearts to adopt a raggedy-ass guttersnipe who gave you the big-eyes? Please send a picture.
Julie and Tom January 24, 2005
Aw geez. There’s no way that we’re going to bring Tripod Mooch back to the US. First off, we’d have to find a way to get him to Malaysia first, and they give Indonesian humans such a hard time in Malaysia that we’re sure that they won’t be able to handle a cat. Second off, he’d probably lose his mind if he had to sit in a cat carrier for 27 hours. He’d scratch our eyes out for sure. Third off, we have no idea how old Tika is, but he’s probably too old to take a neutering. Plus he has a girlfriend, we think, and she would be upset.
We will post pictures soon enough. But to be honest, it’s a little embarrassing when the guards watch us fawning over this little mangy cat. We’ll have to do it surrepitiously. And it’s sometimes hard to find him if it’s raining, like it is doing a lot these days.
Julie and Tom January 24, 2005
We are going to try our very best to be able to watch the Super Bowl, but because we’re on the other side of the world, it will start at 6 in the morning! We’re not sure we’ll be able to do it, but we will try. Needless to say, we are very happy that the Eagles finally were able to make it.
Julie and Tom