When I first had my kitten and I couldn’t figure out how to make her use a litter box, I emailed a vet in the nearest town asking her what to do. I figured out how to digestive system working that night, but I arranged to have little Unarine brought in for vaccinations. I didn’t have a carrier, so I just put her in a shoebox with a towel and held her in my lap on the bus.
The office was a good walk north of the bus stop, into the whiter, less crowded part of town. The vet and her assistants gushed over the cute little kitten, who at this age could hardly walk because she was just a belly with legs. She would playfully bat the assistant on the nose when she was picked up. They gave her a de-worming pill and some high-nutrient hospital food and sent her back with me.
When I brought her in for her second round of vaccinations, she was a little bigger. There was a light rain as I went to the vet’s office, and by the time I was ready to leave, it was coming down hard. I hunched over Una’s shoebox as I carried her, trying to protect her from the rain, but she kept poking her head out of the cracks. By the time I made it to the mall near the bus stop, the box was destroyed. I wrapped her in the towel and tried to dry her off, with shoppers all around me, and once the rain died down a little, I finished the trek to the bus stop. The bus was full so I had to wait for the next one, which is very typical. At this point I was carrying the cat in my backpack, but she kept wanting to climb out and ride on my shoulder. On the bus ride home, I held her in my lap and she squirmed a little but otherwise stayed on me and not on the other passengers.
When I went on vacation in December, the vet agreed to board the Unarine for me because I didn’t trust anyone in the village to take care of her. In the middle of my trip, she emailed me to say that Unarine was being boarded with a ginger cat of the same age who had been rescued in town, and that I could have him if I wanted, but if not she had a home for him. Having one cat was difficult enough, living with a family that doesn’t like cats and not owning a car, so I emailed her back saying no.
When I got back, I was brought to their kennel to wait for the vet to debrief me. I opened the door and took out Una, and the ginger cat started meowing, not knowing what was going on or where his friend was going. I decided I couldn’t separate them. I took them both home in the collapsible carrier my mother sent me. The ginger one’s name is Andrus, after Andrus Poder from Cart Life, but everyone in the village thinks it’s the Afrikaner name Andries. I’m in the process now of arranging a flight to the USA for them.
I can’t access my photos from then but here are some more recent ones, where they’re grown up.