This week’s header might sound funny and look likes an attempt at giving our tongue some tongue-twisting practice from a columnist with a delusion of creativity. But this is very serious business.
It is at the level of seriousness of a national budget speech. Little wonder the two happened at around the same time. Kicking a cat is apparently a huge deal and something that could lose you jobs and sponsorship.
A not-so-famous French soccer player, Kurt Zouma kicked a cat in England. In Africa kicking cats is almost a continental pastime and you can never see a headline like ‘Man kicks cat’. Now cats are a big deal across the oceans and they are not mere little creatures to throw stones at when they are perched on your wall and making funny noises at night.
These feline creatures have advocates all over the place looking out for their rights. Animal rights group were out in full battle gear and demanded Zouma be burnt at the stake. The brother who filmed the whole saga was also suspended by his team. At this rate they must be gunning for the aunts and the sisters for laughing at the video. They are probably looking at the mother for not admonishing the son or worse birthing a son who kicks cats. Their only saving grace would be if they are not employed overseas.
I didn’t actually know cats were a great deal until I became friends with a lady who was on a Peace Corp mission on our shores here. Now most of us know that having a friend who is white is a big deal around here.
In conversations you don’t refer to them as just ‘my friend’ but ‘my white friend’. The cherry on top was having to say ‘my white lady friend’. The envy levels had turned my friends’ faces a very dark shade of green. My white lady friend had an assortment of cats and her place seemed like a Cat Summit with cats from all over the world. If a woman has a cat, that is cute. If a woman has more than three cats, that’s a warning sign. Every cat past two is an increasingly rapid flashing light that you should watch with great seriousness.
The term “Crazy Crazy Cat Lady” kept popping into my mind. One day I playfully smacked one of the cats across the face for a little cat misdemeanour. I was accused of all sorts of things and called all sorts of names including being labelled a snake with a smile. I was declared persona non grata faster than Professor Thomas Good. Most people don’t know that some nations used to worship cats as Gods and the way cats behave you can clearly see some of these cats have not forgotten this. You can see it in their pompous walk and their haughtiness as they snooze on the best spots on the couch. If Zouma had actually killed that cat, I am sure World War IV would have erupted.
But wait! Aren’t cats supposed to have nine lives? So what is all that fuss about? Everyone knows if you have owned a cat and it gets run over by a car and dies in GC one day you will see the same cat crossing the road somewhere in Dibete enjoying its second life. To tell you the truth, here in Africa this incident is actually a storm in a teaspoon.
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