A recent conversation with my eldest.
Liz: Daddy, do you like my high heels?
Me: No. They’ll give you a bad back.
Liz: But Daddy, I’m growing up.
Me: You’re barely out of the womb.
This brings us to The Cat.
Faithful Reader knows enough about this playboy animal. He has a history here in our Ugandan home.
The (troubled) Cat, in fact, made himself so scarce for so long that he had his spot usurped some time ago when Liz found some little kittens in the flower pots outside and proceeded to raise them (and name and keep them) herself.
So taking the place of The Cat (his name is Candy) is Mr. Bubbles and Mrs. Princess. Not to confuse you, but they’re both female. The Cat is, of course, not.
You know where this is going. Yes, Mrs. Princess, who in cat years is barely a teen, got you-know-what by you-know-who. Video was sent to Canada before our return. Liz was ready.
Yes, when we arrived back to Africa the other day, we found a couple of new kittens, just a few weeks old. And Liz immediately took them on as her project.
(You’ll recall she and I have a little bet going — it involves underwear — that she can’t train any of these cats to come and sit and shake a paw. She brought various paraphilia with her from Canada for this task, and, despite Dad’s raised eyebrow, is still working hard on it.)
There’s more. We returned to our African home this week to find Mr. Bubbles pregnant too. Very pregnant.
Which brings us to The Dog. The Dog and Mr. Bubbles have always had a strange relationship.
The Dog, Zack, is now a full-grown, long-haired German Shepherd, the sort of dog who is as big as a house and paid handsomely to tear the pants off anyone stepping near where they shouldn’t.
But, from the beginning with Mr. Bubbles the deal has went like this: Mr. Bubbles has always said, “I’ll tease you by coming right up to you and sitting right in front of your big nose and looking at your long furry mug and you, butch, won’t do a thing.”
In time, the two, apparently, have become friends.
So last night, Mr. Bubbles gave birth to four kittens.
The kids, up and away with Mom for their first day of school just after sunrise today, haven’t heard this newsflash yet.
And where did Mr. Bubbles choose her maternal sanctuary? In an empty cardboard box — we have a few around here these days from unpacking — two feet from where Zack sleeps every night.
And who’s also the father of these four kittens?
Which brings us to other playboy fathers who happen to hang around universities in Africa.
I wrote about this recently, a column for Uganda’s national daily, the New Vision, that starts like this:
… You’ve worked hard for this your whole life, this, your university career, your education and future, your dreams of a better life. Then it happened. You made a mistake. Now you’re pregnant. You’re pregnant while at a religious university.
You know what happens next. You get thrown out. Everything will be gone. Your hard-earned tuition and your honour and your hope for tomorrow too, all lost. So you …
More on this next time.