April 27th, 2012
I brought home a new friend from my extended vacation; I new little kitten I have named Beau. My friend Emma’s cat on her homestead had babies in February and this little guy needed a good home. I’m a sucker for orphaned cats so of course he came home with me. He was originally named Belle until his gender was identifiable; I simply changed Belle to Beau. He will take my Swazi surname… Beau Dube…that translated from French and siSwati means Beautiful Zebra. Not to be confused with BoDube, pronounced the same as Beau Dube, which translated from siSwati means many zebras or multiple members of the Dube family. Thankfully his markings slightly resemble a zebra’s stripes.
He will be a homestead cat eventually, responsible for killing rats and mice, but until he is comfortable he will be my hut mate. He is really snuggly and loves to play. I bring him into the main house for Generations every night and we spend some time outside everyday getting all the other animals and him acquainted. The dogs are the biggest challenge. They are so far extremely afraid of Beau and wont come near him. The chickens find him interesting and the goats and cows could care less.
The family has been way more excited about him then I expected. Swazi generally don’t like cats. They find them scary. However, my four Bobhuti love him. They call him by name and play with him. It has actually broken down the small wall between me and my host brothers. We have been shy with each other but now with Beau as a buffer we are talking much more. If I don’t bring him into the main house in the evening I have to go get him so the family can play with him. Even my Babe told me he is happy to have a cat to help with the mice and is helping me introduce the cat to the dogs. Through working together I have also found out my dogs have names… only took 8 months to learn that. One is named Spring and the other is named in siSwati something that means to jump.
The transition to having a cat on the homestead is going much smother then I anticipated and I hope that it will promote respect for house pets with the children (not something that’s really taught here).
P.S. Its official my pet chicken Henny Penny is actually a Cocky Locky. He is not the top rooster yet but maybe someday, once we kill off all the bigger ones. Fact #1: a rooster will never grow larger then the alpha rooster. Fact #2: roosters crow every half an hour to mark the time – I’ve tested this and its true, they are always right.