My little zoo :)

It’s been a while since I last posted, mostly due to quite a bit of travelling I did in September. So I’m back now with a light post about my animals, i.e. two chickens, a rabbit, and a cat 🙂 I’ve already mentioned the chooks when they first appeared and got you an update afterwards, but it’s a different story now! The rainy season has come, it’s cloudy today, so perfect timing to sit down with a cup of tea and tell you a bit about where all these creatures came from and how they get on with each other 🙂 

I’ll start with the cat because he’s been with us for nearly four years now and we can’t imagine life without him. He’s our fat, hairy baby whom we call Monkey (as he runs a bit like a baboon) or Misiek, which means teddy bear in Polish 🙂 We got him in South Africa from an elderly lady who decided to fill her time during retirement by collecting stray cats from streets, nurse them back to health, and give them away for adoption. When we turned up at her house, there were over a dozen kittens wandering around her living room and garden, aged from just a few weeks to a few months. As it usually happens with cats we didn’t pick ours – he picked us. He manipulated us completely as he was the only one not afraid of us – in fact, he came to Tim and started rubbing himself against his leg. Not long after he felt comfortable in our house he stopped being so friendly, cheeky little bugger 😉 But now he is very affectionate again, although he still hates being picked up. He likes being close but never on our laps. Everything is on his terms but he’s a cat after all 😀 We love him very much, and it seems that he loves us back, which he occasionally demonstrates to us (and I don’t mean leading us to his bowl while purring and meowing). When we were leaving South Africa, we had 6 months in other countries  before we got to Rwanda, and there was no way we could take Misiek with us on those travels. Therefore, we left him with our neighbour in Pretoria and planned to get him to Kigali later. It so happened that the couple who lived in the house we were to take over offered to take Misiek and look after him until our arrival. That way he could get used to the house and be comfortable in the new place. It was very sweet of them, although the admin around it was quite a pain, mostly due to South African bureaucracy and lack of organisation, while everything on the Rwandan side was going like clockwork (ha!).  Misiek finally got to Rwanda in March, and we arrived two months later. At first he completely ignored us but I was expecting him to be offended – after all, we left him for quite a long time! However, when he stopped running away from us, I started to brush him. He absolutely loves it, and at one point he suddenly looked at me very intently, considered me for a brief moment, and it seemed that something clicked in his little head as he immediately relaxed and started to purr. Apparently cats have a very good memory, and clearly Misiek remembered that this lady brushing him is the same one that used to feed him generously, so probably best to be friends with her! 😀 At present Misiek owns all beds in our house, as well as sofas in the lounge and on the patio. He likes hunting geckos and cockroaches, whose massacred remains I often find on the dining room floor. I have also found rat carcasses (small, luckily) on my beautiful, expensive, hand-woven rug from South Africa. So everything is fine, he’s earning his keep 😉

The rabbit, however, was already here. The couple who had kindly taken Misiek in before we came had inherited the rabbit from people who left Rwanda for the Philippines and couldn’t take him with them. He’s called Chadwick and I don’t really know where the name came from but one friend suggested it might be after a British football player of that surname who has big teeth 😉 Not sure how big Chadwick’s teeth are though, as I’ve never seen them, so we just call him Bunny or Rabbit 🙂 He’s a garden creature, and usually just nibbles on grass and leaves, but is always happy with some veggie peels as well. He loves bread, which unfortunately is bad for rabbits, so I always need to be careful when I feed crumbs to the chickens and try to keep Chadwick away. He and Misiek completely ignore each other. Seriously, they pass each other by with zero reaction. Apparently Chadwick used to rule the garden but clearly he’s now accepted the fact that he needs to share it with others 🙂 He’s very friendly and likes to be tickled between ears and on the nose 🙂 He tends to disappear for hours and suddenly pop out of bushes, sprinting across the lawn to demand tickles. A few days ago he prostrated himself in front of me and wouldn’t let me pass. I spent 15 minutes tickling him, and then he demanded food and more tickles while he was eating 🙂

And now it’s time to present the chickens. They’re called Betty i Susan. At the beginning Betty seemed to be the smarter one but now it’s Susan who rules the coop, while Betty is a bit more of a lady and doesn’t throw herself on every scrap of food as if she’s not been fed before (Susan has no inhibitions, she’s insatiable). They both have great appetites and particularly love beetroot skins and leaves, and tomatoes. They actually chase each other to steal bits of those from the other’s beak. They got used to the large garden area quite quickly, although it took them two weeks to start laying eggs. Now we get at least one egg a day 🙂 They’re really funny, especially when they’re desparately trying to get on the patio, and are looking for a hole in the fence, and clucking and cooing discontentedly when they can’t find any 🙂 When they see us, they run to us like dogs and do a funny squat to get some tickles 😀 A few days ago there was a big storm and it rained a lot. The chooks didn’t mind it all, and rather seemed to enjoy it. We watched them running around the garden and jumping up to catch mosquitoes and other insects, many of which were flying around 🙂 They walk past the cat and the rabbit and show no reaction whatsoever. Well, only when the rabbit gets some scraps, the chickens sometimes get jealous and peck him on the head! But he just grunts back and doesn’t stop eating so they walk away 🙂 I never thought all those animals could ignore one another but I certainly prefer that to mediations between the poultry, the cat and the rabbit! Below are some photos but I never managed to get all four in one picture as Misiek usually sleeps during the day 😉 Click on the photos to see the captions 🙂

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