Ok, for starters, I have a beautiful cat called Jinxy. Please do not question the name…I have no idea what it means, I just find it pretty and yes, it suits my cat. Jinxy is one beautiful pet. I love her jovial nature and she brings a lot of joy in my life. Watching her move around the house, wrestle it out with her many boyfriends who seem to be waiting for her by the door every other day, makes me laugh. I have watched her fight with her boyfriends, I have watched her getting intimate with her 3 boyfriends when she is on heat and I had no choice but, just stare as these cats fight to get a piece of her.
Every other day, as I leave the house, she runs over to the balcony and meows just like a small baby is being left by the mother. As I come back in the evening, guess she smells me from a far and immediately, she meows in a joyful manner as if to say…finally you are back home. You know, I have been lonely all day long. If hungry she will seem to be directing me to her little plates, a gesture to indicate, I need my plates filled with food and so, I obey.
So, why am I writing about my cat? This follows a story that caught my attention courtesy of Citizen TV news at 7pm last Wednesday. Seated, keenly watching news, I saw this story pop up and your guess is as good as mine. The news anchor, Swaleh Mdoe couldn’t stop laughing as he read this news item. Then, finally I see the footage of this little, helpless cat trapped in a jerrycan and struggling for her life.
Listening to the story, I am informed that the cat had been trapped in the 20 litre jerrycan for four days at village in Kiembeni, Mombasa. As if to entice the story, the villagers had refused to release the cat from that painful ordeal, basing their reasoning that the cat was a demon or was “sent.”
And true to their beliefs, Kiembeni residents gave testimonials as to why they wouldn’t save the cat believing that something “bad” will transpire to whoever rescued the cat. Of course, for many, this is not the first time we get to hear of superstitions concerning black cats or even cats in Mombasa. According to many, their worries were justified.
“A cat urinated on my head last year and since then I went bald. No hair has ever grown,” said a resident pointing at a bald patch on his head.
“We have seen a male cat give birth to kittens, that only happens in Mombasa,” Added another one as if to strengthen their justification.
Ok, as one of the people who has lived in Mombasa, this leaves me a troubled woman. For how long will we hold to such superstitions? For me, that was such a small incident, one needed to expand the jerrycan mouth and off the cat will be freed. But for an entire village to keep camping for four days, watching the helpless cat struggle for her/ his life that is beyond my comprehension. On this day and age, how long will we be bound to such kind of thinking? Who will save us out of this slave mentality?
I am left wondering, is this shear ignorance or a really case of lack of knowledge? As I put a full stop to this story, I am grateful to Kenya Society for the Protection and Care of Animals (KSPCA) for saving the little cat. Now, I am waiting to hear more superstitions concerning the release of cat. Mombasa residents, I think it is time to get real!