Cat-rearing in Nigeria

In the more rural areas of the different states of Nigeria, you can hardly find a home with a cat as a pet. This could be an understatement – you’d probably see a few strays at night, skulking around almost stealthily in search of food or probably just stretching; something they can’t do during the day.

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In the more rural areas of the different states of Nigeria, you can hardly find a home with a cat as a pet. This could be an understatement – you’d probably see a few strays at night, skulking around almost stealthily in search of food or probably just stretching; something they can’t do during the day.

Actually, you can see a few cats during the day…smashed on main roads in very public view.

The reason for this is mainly the fact that most diabolic practices in Nigeria involving therianthropy (shapeshifting) have always involved cats. It’s kind of a known fact that witches are generally associated with cats. Therefore, we were mostly brought up being informed that the majority of cats are witches.

So, 2 days ago, I found a stray right outside my house, curled up and in plain sight – in danger. She’s a two-week-old mackerel tabby and she was quite pathetic when I saw her. I said, “Little girl, what the hell are you thinking just balancing in public in broad day light like this. You want to get killed? Your head could be smashed so easily!” Then I wondered where her mother was… Probably dead.

So I took her in. I have had a lot of experience with my friends’cats but I’ve never raised one.

First of all, I had to keep her in a very dusty, unused room outside the main house building because my mom would freak out if she saw a cat in the house, and also because one of my brothers can’t stand her (the cat). When finally introduced to others, my other brother suggested feeding her noodles, and one of my big dogs almost crushed her (out of excitement though, I don’t raise killers).

I had to go to work (I was on my way actually when I saw her) so Ieft her in a huge basket in the dusty room and hurriedly put a light cloth at the base, and a small bowl of milk in there as well. I was told that she shrieked all day.

The days following have been easier, with Google and a few other helpful websites, and my very helpful closest friend, Jemima. Having raised 5 stray siblings on her own, I call her the Cat Whisperer and take her advice very seriously.

I christened the cat Xena, and am currently in search of a suitable home for her. I have 2 dogs and one is quite big; my house is not an option.

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Above is my dog curiously sniffing at the door of the dusty room.