In late 2008 my mom and I adopted Butternut from family friends who’s cat delivered kittens. She was the only ginger cat in the litter which made her stick out like a carrot in a basket full of aubergines. After much hissing and scratching she was loaded into our Toyota and carted off to her new home with us.
The name Butternut was chosen by my mom, whose love for the vegetable influenced her to name a domestic animal after it. Perhaps that’s why the cat is rather mentally disturbed.
At the time of her adoption, Butternut was the only cat in a household of two dogs, which of course led to her mastering the art of sneaking up on unsuspecting dogs, pouncing on them and latching onto their backs with her claws. For the sake of her dignity I wouldn’t tell her that BJ, was in fact blind in one eye and deaf in both ears, and therefore she shouldn’t be too pleased with herself for jumping a decrepit old dog.
Butternut grew up to become the self-appointed protector of the household and now takes joy in harassing any visitors before they can even get both feet out of their vehicle. My cat has some distorted opinion of what she is – I believe she thinks she is an Ancient Egyptian Goddess who was a tigress in her past life and is now trapped in the body of a domestic cat.
In her spare time, when she is not picking herself up from one ottoman to drape herself on the next, she busies herself with terrorizing the dwindling lizard population – I’m tired of finding twitching tails all over the house.
On one occasion she decided it would be a splendid idea to carry a live dove into the house and let it go in the living room to see if it would avoid a fatal collision with the fan. I was in the bath at the time of her murderous experiment and heard what sounded like world war Z in the other end of the house. After hurling myself out of the bath, bellowing down the passage armed with a towel and tennis racket ready to grand slam the supposed intruder back to their ancestors and finding nothing but feathers and bloody entrails laying strewn around my living room and dining room, I was ready to throw Butternut over the electrified fence. Butternut was all too pleased with herself for gifting me a delightful present and simply licked her whiskers, turned with a wag of her hips and sashayed out of the room.
Due to her terribly strenuous schedule she has taken to the comforts of food – my cat is able to consume an entire 2Kg bag of Whisker’s Turkey and Chicken nuggets within several days. If there ever was a female version of Garfield, its Butternut. I am actually concerned with her recent weight gain, so I have started rationing her food, which she has not taken lightly and now sits on the kitchen counter and meows at the top her feline lungs until she is satisfied with a handful of cat biscuits. Sometimes I tease her and say that we should have called her Magwinya (Traditional Setswana fat cakes) to which she replies with a torrent of meows and whips her tail before she storms out.
I love my cat dearly and look forward to many more joy filled days with her.