12 January 2013

One of those "really hard for these kids" things

At one point, we had FIVE cats! 

This little (although he's definitely to the adolescent stage now) guy is named Achilles and was rescued by our girlies from the huge drainage ditch where on the property here'd he'd fallen in and was trapped, quite late one evening. That night, it poured for several hours and that ditch turned into a raging tournament. Our girlies feel very responsible for him, since they saved his life.

This little dude, they called Napoleon. He was one of three "refugees" we volunteered to keep when the Sahel campus was flooded last August/September. He is a beautiful, unusual cat - pure white with pale blue eyes. We did finally found a home for him. He immigrated to Benin where he lives with another missionary family and has his run of their mission compound... as long as he can stay away from the civet cat, jackal, crocodile and other unusual critters they've collected.

The little calico is Napoleon's sister. She was the first of the refugees to find a home with the family of one of Rebekah's friends and classmates who had just returned from furlough.

Tim is convinced that Achilles has "abandonment issues."

When the girls rescued him, he was, really, still too young to be apart from his mama. Most mornings find him snuggled in bed with whoever will let him, sucking/nursing on that whoever's shirt or jammies. He really is super snuggly... and he's my chou chou.

This is Sasha. He's a very regal sort of character. 
He was the first kitty to land chez nous, this term.

He's the top dog cat and he's all tom...
He and Rebekah have a special understanding and when he'll growl or swat at anyone else, she can pick him and do just about whatever she wants with him.

He really is a beautiful cat, 
not too big but powerfully built and his intense yellow eyes are striking.

Here is Hera.

She's the mama refugee. We weren't really fond of her at first - too independent, skittish and unresponsive to affection. She was very uncomfortable any time the kids brought her into the house and when you pick her up, you can tell she is super awkward with being handled. But, probably thanks most to Elsie Mae's constant - sometimes suffocating - affection, she is being gentled. This morning we turned the lights on in our bedroom to find her snuggled on the pillow, right next to Elsie Mae's head...

I know, right now you are saying, "Sure, that's all fine and dandy. Maybe it's even a bit interesting, all this trivia about your cats. But what does it have to do with the title of this post?

We've bought tickets and we leave Niger on June 9 of this year, for at least one year of home assignment. The kiddos will be saying lots of goodbyes, and sometimes, it seems like those ones to the pets are some of the hardest. The TCK life is full of so many goodbyes...

We've begun the search for homes for all of our critters (2 dogs, 2 goats - including one "with kid," and several pigeons)... we're even toying with the idea of wondering whether we could get one or two back to the States with us...  but which would we take, how would we care for them there (the misso house where we'll live that first year doesn't permit cats and dogs), can we even afford to do so, what about regulations and quarantines, etc.

(All photos were snapped by Nadia, Anna and Victoria.)

If you were in our shoes, what would you consider and why?

We're all ears... Any ideas?


  1. That's a tough one hey.. think family and close friends first. Then friends and family friends..

    I would never give up my boys, they are a part of our family. We have two cats, brothers, we met them at 2 weeks, had them home at 6 weeks and have loved on them ever since!

    They belong with us, always!

    1. Those are great ideas - unfortunately the airline we are flying home requires a chip implanted in the animal for tracking purposes and I'm not sure that technology is available here...

      ...so we are back to searching out good homes for them.

  2. Your title caught my eye because I do think the TCK life is full of challenge and good-bye's! Good luck with taking a cat or two back. You might double check on re-entry back to Niger with the cats though. Three years ago when we went on furlough for a year, we left our silky terrier here with a friend because it turned out getting Scrappy BACK into Turkey would be even more difficult than getting her to the US in the first place.

    1. part of the problem is we aren't sure God will be bringing us back to this place... and for two of our kids, it will be a final or goodbye for a long time goodbye...

      thanks for bringing that up, however. i hadn't considered that possibility.


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