Monday, January 21, 2008

A Look Back in Time

I've been dealing with a sick kitty lately so I've had no interest or energy to blog.

I've also been keeping up with the uprising in Kenya which makes me incredibly sad. Ten years ago in May I went on my dream vacation--a safari to East Africa. Kenya and Tanzania to be exact. Kenya and Tanzania are right next to each other but worlds apart as third world countries go. Kenya was light years ahead of Tanzania with regards to the infrastructure (roads, electricity, etc) and the education of its people. People of both countries though were incredibly warm, inviting and eager to practice their english. My trip came just a few years after the massacre in Rwanda and I remember talking to my Maasai tour guide (Victor) in Tanzania and my Kikuyu guide (Godrey Mathenge) in Kenya. Both assured me that what happened in Rwanda would never happen in either Kenya or Tanzania since each country had over 20 tribes and there was not one tribe that was dominant. It breaks my heart thinking that some of the most philosophical and gentle people I have ever met may be fearing for their lives right now, or perhaps worse.

So, I took out my photos today to look over the incredible wildlife that exists in those countries. In fact, my signature photo is of me in Tanzania holding a baby goat when we visited a maasai village. I'll post a few photos here. Again, I have to apologize for the quality of the photos. My actual photos turned out better than I ever imagined but trying to take a quick photo of a photo never quite cuts it.

My favorite cat, the cheetah.

Cat on a rock. The Great Rift is in the background.


Hyenas are incredibly complex animals. Not just the scavenger that many people think it is. I would hear them from my tent "laughing" during the night.

These Rhinos in the Ngorongoro Crater were so endangered that they were under 24 hour watch with armed guards in the park. Poachers would come from Somolia to kill them just for their horn.

Tick birds hitching a ride

"What are YOU looking at?"

You have to trust me that this is one gorgeous bird! A Lilac-breasted Roller.

A Weaver Bird's nest

I'm ashamed to say I can't remember what type of owl this is. I love that I got this shot. It's wings always remind me of the old Delorian cars and how their doors would open.

I'll leave my little photographic safari with a quote that is hanging on a wall next to a group of some of these photos in my tv room--

"I prayed that all this lovely wildness would not forget me, and the answer was always 'It is not I who will forget, it is for you to make your way back"

The people of Kenya are in my thoughts and prayers


Mary said...

How wonderful to be in Africa. Thanks so much for sharing your photos of the wild. They're wonderful.

Hope your kitty feels better soon.

nina at Nature Remains. said...

I know how hard watching an aging kitty can be.

I hope you and Butterball are hanging in there--spring's just around the corner!

KGMom said...

Sorry about the sick kitty--I read one of your comments on another blog where you said Butterball is looking more like Butter these days.
Oh, I too have Kenya on my mind. I am so grieved that once again ancient tribal divisions rear their heads. It sounds so much like Rwanda too. How ironic that your guides said that would not happen in Kenya.

possumlady said...

Thanks all for the kind words. Butterball is definitely feeling better.

It's so interesting how this all started. I had noticed that Butterball has lost more weight and I couldn't figure it out since I know I would see him at the food bowl. So I started spying on him everytime he went to get something to eat. I found that as soon as he started munching the dry food another cat would come by and bump him out of the way (even though there are 3 bowls of food around the house). Butterball being the sweet easy-going cat that he is would just walk away. So, I started guarding him everytime he walked up to the food bowl. It was crazy! I had to keep pushing back cats to let him eat. Then, while I was watching him eat I realized that he was having a hard time eating. Some times he would pick up a kibble and then spit it out. Other times he would crunch the kibble and also spit it out. It seemed obvious that he was in pain so that is when I took him to the vets. Unfortunately, Butterball does not like wet cat food. My neighbor dropped off some Fancy Feast dry food since the kibble is much smaller and thinner and Butterball has been eating that well but I'd like to get him back on the Science Diet. I feel the Fancy Feast is like junk food but at least it is calories and nutrition getting in.

Unfortunately, I think the next step will be to have his teeth worked on. There may be an infection and the back teeth definitely need to be cleaned. I've put this off for so long because I was afraid of having him put under for the procedure but it looks like I don't have a choice now. My vet already has said that there is a definite danger of putting him under with the combination of his age and respiratory problems. We go back to the vets in a week to see what the next step will be. He is currently on antibiotics and a anti-inflammatory/pain reliever since the vet could tell that once side of his gums were inflamed. He is eating which is great, but not his usual food which is not so great. So, of course, with the combination of the antibiotics and different food his stomach is a bit out of wack as well.

I will keep you all posted.