Sad news, while we were on vacation in Namibia, Sally (the Winkster) got out of the house and has not returned. She was gone a couple days before we returned and we have now been back 4 nights with no sign of her. We spent time walking around the village calling her name and asked people all over the village to be on the look out for her, but alas there has been no sign. Given the nature of our village I do not imagine she is still alive as there are many dogs, people drive cars very fast and drunk and many people hate cats and link them to witchcraft. I have heard people talk about killing cats and the only one (other than those living with the Afrikkaner family) I have seen here was dead. Much as I would love to hold out hope I can’t. L We would let her out sometimes, but she was never gone for more than an hour or 2. Normally when I woke at night I would see her lying by the open window just watching us sleep.
What was Sally to us? She was more than part of the family, she was the only thing during our experience that was always positive, even when she brought mice in the house (both dead and alive), woke us up in the early morning and came back covered with tlhoeleles (spikeys and I am sure I butchered the name) that we had to pick off. The first few times these things irritated us, but it was nice knowing that she meant well with the mice, we could never oversleep (as she tended to start meowing as soon as our alarm went off and didn’t really stop until we got up…she just wanted us up not food) and picking off the spikeys were almost meditative. Sally almost never fought us on that, she was very patient and seemed to like it a bit. She even let us rub her belly, pick her up without a fight, stick my finger between her toes (which most cats hate), and wherever we were she followed us.
Sally was also entertainment (and that is something there is not much of here) through playing with her, personifying her actions, and just laughing at the kooky things she often did, like finding her way under our winter blanket in the middle of summer while we were sweating like crazy. She would find her way into the most unlikely spots and positions.
Most importantly she was unconditional love. She accepted us for who we are and enjoyed being around us. She never told us we are doing things wrong, never lied to us, never made us feel like we should not be here and are not wanted, never laughed about rape, child abuse or other horrible things, never made us repeat something 15 times until we said it right, never left us out of things or said something we can not understand looked at us and started laughing, never told us we should give her our clothes (or camera, computer, lunch, basically anything), and never expected us to buy them a ticket to the USA or find them an American spouse, and never told us that we should cheat on our spouse with them. At the end of the day she was therapeutic, helped us handle whatever crap came our way and made our house a home.
All in all she was a cool cat and will be missed tremendously!