Friday, April 30, 2010

The Other Cat Problem

This time next week I’ll be in Hawaii. The two huge issues that need to be resolved between now and then are the computer CAT (i.e. the Common Assessment Test as discussed Wednesday) and the feline cat who lives in my house. On Wednesday I discussed the former issue, so today I figured we could talk about the latter. I have yet to line up a cat sitter, and time is running out.

Scout isn’t particularly high maintenance, but I’d prefer she be:
  • Fed 3 times a day; and
  • Kept inside.
Only two things. I’m fine with her staying at someone else’s house, or with someone else staying at my house. Nonetheless, my circle of contacts whom I’d trust with my cat and/or my house is limited, and I’m running out of candidates.

The Peace Corps provides a slew of possible sitters, but dates are a big problem. I planned my vacation dates poorly. I work at a Congregationalist school, and our break begins a week before the government schools’ break; this is the week I’ll be gone. Most (or all?) of group 82 works at government schools, as do a handful of 81s. So they’re all out. As far as finding a PCV from within the Congregationalist system, Phil has family coming and Koa is also heading off the island.

I’m fine going outside of the Peace Corps. I have before. My friend Ruane and her family watched the cat for 2 weeks after Christmas while I was in Sydney. My neighbor Maengi occasionally feeds the cat when I’ve left town for the weekend. Both of these arrangements worked out very well, but I fear I’d be asking too much from either. I’d rather spread out the cat responsibilities.

Let’s take a time out for a second. Part of me feels like this blog post is pointlessly dragging you through the minutiae of my life. But I also think this problem is uniquely difficult within the Peace Corps lifestyle. I’m well adapted to my job and my community. I have friends, and I’m on good terms with all of my neighbors. But even with being here a year and a half, I still feel like a bit of a stranger; or at least I feel like I’d have a lot more people in The States who I know well enough that I’d feel comfortable asking to watch my cat for a week.

This is another facet of the difference in the way pets are treated in Samoa versus America. The idea of keeping a cat inside, picking up after her, and feeding her 3 meals of dedicated cat food per day is quite foreign to many of my Samoan friends, and imposing the cat on someone might be awkward for that person, or the cat, or both.

So I’m working my way through the Peace Corps. If I can’t find anyone, I’ll talk to the vet and see if they have any suggestions.

Or maybe I should just put it out on the blog. Anybody want to watch my cat for a week?

I hope you’re well. Picture below.

The small island of Apolima with "little" ferry in foreground.


Arseneault Family said...

i'm totally not caught up to this point in your blog yet, but i couldn't help be drawn to those cute cat eyes!! i would LOOOOVE to watch your cat! Can you drop her by to Canada on your way to wherever you're going? I understand your problem completely...our cat is a member of the family here....good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just leave a lot of food and water. It's Samoa, right?

Dad said...

Your photography is maturing, especially the landscapes and colors - yeah, the one of Scout's eyes good, too. I'm impressed, even if I am your dad.