The joys (and horrors) of having a cat in Abuja

My Eminent feline, Sugar, has been a wonderful blessing to me. She came to me by happenstance, under conditions that led me to initially expect that she wouldn’t stay long. She’d rejected other families before, but she took to me and my friends and has been wonderful fun. She loves to play and wrestle, but she is also quite affectionate and requires at least one daily session of chin scratching and face stretching rubs.

She really likes to tackle my ankles and night and we then play a game where I gently stomp on her (no pressure!) and she rolls around on her back and fights my foot without scratching or biting. She also fetches Nerf darts and loves to jump up and bat them from a window after you shoot and stick them to it, then she brings them back to you for another round.  It’s awesome. I’ve also learned that she figured out how to open the doors in my apartment. They are lever type doors and she jumps up and grabs the handle until it springs open.  Way cool.

She’s also and active hunter. My apartment is pretty clean, no bugs or vermin, but occasional rather large (thumbsized?) cockroaches venture indoors.  The first time she got one, I found it on the bedroom floor in the morning. I was really proud of her but to my chagrin I discovered that it wasn’t completely dead. It tried to wriggle away when I went to pick it up and even though I pointed this out to her, she was convinced her job was done and didn’t care to finish it off.  Later on though, I’ve found two others, fully dead, again presented to me on the carpet near enough to my bed that I fear walking around without first turning on a light and putting sandals on.

Last Friday I got up to find her sitting on the floor near another prize, only this one didn’t seem to have taken any damage at all.  It scurried off when I went to dispose of it and she just watched it. I had to dispatch it myself with a shoe.

But tonight was the horror of horrors. I came home from dinner with the neighbors and saw an odd shaped, oddly colored “thing” on the floor. It was about 2 1/2 inches long and tapered to an end, in a rough triangle that had a very short base. It had some stripes on it and I thought that perhaps she had pulled one of the dangly bits from her toy. (This toy has a bell and a vaguely mammalian shape with feathers and stuff that hangs from a stick; I keep it stuck in the couch cushions and she plays with it all time). I pick it up to inspect and realize that it the terminal end of a lizard’s tail.


So now I have to face the prospect of coming across a tailless lizard carcass, or even worse, having it presented to me in the morning.  I saw my first indoor lizard today, a tiny little thing smaller than this piece of tail that my cat pried from a larger relative. I suppose it only makes sense that there’s a bigger one running around here.  Actually, that doesn’t make any sense at all.

Sugar does like to go out on the balcony but I’m pretty sure I’d notice if she brought something like this in. She got it during the time I was at the neighbor’s for dinner.  I really hope she scared it enough that it finds its way out however it came in; I really don’t relish the thought of disposing of lizard carcass tomorrow morning.

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