These were strange times. Usually, when the leaders of the Communist Party of China mismanaged their country, it only affected the rest of the world in a rather indirect way. Every time when, over the last several decades, thousands or even millions of Chinese people died, the world would just shrug it off. Look over there, we would say, they screwed up again. What a tragedy!
Only this time the problem went global. And nobody seemed to be prepared. Nobody except for some of the Asian nations that had learned their lessons from another one of the Communist Party’s screw ups, the Sars outbreak of 2003.
It was odd to see Trump mumbling about how the Corona Virus was apparently no biggie when thousands were dying in Wuhan. It was odd to see Europe stumbling over an obstacle that we should have been able from miles away. Also, why did white people seem to have a cultural allergy against face masks?
The World Health Organization was especially odd. They kept telling people not to use face masks. They advised against blocking traffic from China (where the initial outbreak was happening), and they took a long time to acknowledge that the Corona virus was indeed a pandemic. Meanwhile, they seemed to have nothing but praise for the Communist Party of China, with their draconian measures and their highly doubt worthy numbers.
Or maybe all of this wasn’t so odd at all. Of course Trump was unqualified. Of course Europe was complacent. Of course the Communist Party of China was good at covering up and “mobilizing the masses”. And of course Tedros, the head of the World Health Organization, had once promoted Robert Mugabe as “Goodwill Ambassador” to the WHO. Yes, you read that right: Robert fucking Mugabe.
And so it appeared that the world was coming apart at its seams. And that I was stuck. With everyone battling the virus, there wouldn’t be any walking for a while. Here I was, in my rented apartment in this quiet back yard, where I would be sitting and forever editing my pictures, trying not to get too anxious from following the news.
And then some goodness happened.
Gogita Gogidze, my loyal friend from the yard, had decided to procreate. I never got to know who her boyfriend was, but I had my suspicions.
One night, when her belly was big, she went to her secret hideout and didn’t come back the next day. It had snowed that night, so I decided that two of the kittehs were already named: the first one was to be called Corona, the second one Tovli, which is Georgian for “snow”.
She came back to eat the following day. I gave her a big welcome, but she left in a hurry, which I figured was a good sign: she was busy taking care of her kittehs, of Corona and Tovli or maybe more. It went on like that for a few days. Gogita would come over and have her food in a hurry, then run off to her hideout. Sometimes I tried to follow her a bit, but I could never find her. Also, I didn’t want to intrude.
Then one day she came and brought me this:
As happy as I was, I told Gogita to take Corona back. The apartment I was living in was rented, and I didn’t know for how long I was going to stay there anyway. It was better if she kept her kittehs in her hideout and they became tough yard cats.
So I told my crying heart to be quiet and shut the door.
A day or two later, when I was sitting outside in the sun, Gogita came back and brought me another gift. Actually it was two this time, and she put them right in my lap:
Corona. And Tovli. Born during the pandemic, in the first night of snow.
How many more do you have? I asked Gogita. I was running out of names.
She brought one more, a big one:
I decided that this was a good name indeed. Big One. B.O. Bobo. They would be Coco, Toto, and Bobo. And Gogita was Gogo anyway. So basically they would be like the Teletubbies.
The problem was that Gogita didn’t seem to want to take them back to her secret spot. I put them in the corner of the yard that was closest to where she usually disappeared, but she just lay down there with them and looked at me.
No, I said, I couldn’t take them in.
I ended up putting some boards around them to provide a bit of shelter. It looked pathetic, but such was the way of the yard:
We spent a few days like this, with the kittehs living in their corner and Gogita coming over for meals every few hours. It was a good arrangement that fell apart one night when I went to check on them.
I went there with my flashlight on, and as I was approaching the kitteh corner I noticed something scurrying away. It was about as big as one of the kittehs, only much faster. A rat!
Luckily Gogita was there, sitting on top of her oblivious little shits, looking rather uneasy. I decided there and then to take them all in, at least for one night:
I made a corner in the living room and put them there:
And I saw that it was good:
Then I called the landlord and asked him if I could keep the kittehs inside until they were a bit bigger, at least until they’d be able to fend off the rats. Suuure, he said in a voice that sounded a bit uneasy. I sent him a picture to crush his spirit:
Ever since then, we’ve been hanging out together. Bobo is still the Big One, Coco still has pink feet, and Toto is the smallest of the bunch:
Coco and Toto have both opened their eyes, but there seems to be a bit of mucus, so I clean them every now and then. Bobo seems to have never had this problem:
I am still not quite sure, but I think they are all boys. Not that it makes a difference. I’m going to get them checked, vaccinated, and snipped when the time is right.
Over time, different traits of character have started to appear: Bobo is hulky but timid, the Porthos of the bunch. Toto is calm and happy to follow the others, and also he’s dashingly handsome. Aramis, if you will. And Coco, with his pink nose and his pink feet, is the adventurous one, their leader. Athos.
Here are Bobo and Toto wondering where the hell Coco went:
Oh, one time Bobo did something quite heroic, though. I think it was the day before yesterday when I was sitting on the couch and noticed something next to me:
Porthos had climbed the chateau.