AD License Plate

AD License Plate

Sunday, January 3, 2016

It Rained in Abu Dhabi Today

No big deal, right?

Well, yes, actually, it is a very big deal in these parts. So far this season we had one other day of rain, I think sometime in December. Then a bit of a sprinkle, for about two minutes, in October.

Before that, the last time it rained was last January... so we probably won't get rain again for another nine or ten months.

Crazy, right?

I remember back in the States one time when I was in Los Angeles and it rained. The place went nuts. It seemed like just a normal, rainy day, the kind you get fairly regularly in New York. You'd wake up, see the grey sky, grumble a bit, then put on the rain coat, bring the umbrella and leave behind the good pair of work shoes.

But in LA, people stopped working. There were warnings and alerts and live broadcasts of newscasters in the street discussing the rain, with people making goofy rain-dance gestures in the background, all for a bit of rain -- all quarter of an inch of it!

I laughed at this stuff, but now, it's happening to me.

A rain-soaked downtown Abu Dhabi.
This morning I woke up, saw the grey and wanted to dash out and do the Snoopy dance in the streets.

Rain! Glorious, beautiful, Sting-singing 'I dream of rain, I dream of gardens in the desert sand' kind of rain.

And then, I just wanted to curl up, drink tea and read the paper in front of the window while watching it pour.

I don't even drink tea!

That said, we all celebrate the rain in different ways, and next time, I may celebrate it this way...


Friday, January 1, 2016

This is Boz.

This is Boz.



The Bozter.




He is our fourth (foster-ish) kitten currently in residence.

John spotted this Birman on his daily walks to work. Since he’s a purebred, it means this kitty wasn’t born on the streets – he was put there.  Over the course of a few weeks, John would stop by and say hello and feed the cat (who we originally called Fluffy) and give him some attention. Fluffy could be found in a few usual spots, the most common was in front of a shuttered storefront where he could capture the cool air-conditioned air escaping from a crack underneath the doorway. Because even back in October, the days were still hitting highs of 110, with 85 percent humidity – not good for a long-haired, fluffy cat.

Next door was a beauty salon and the lovely Filipinas who work there also kept an eye on him. Many times John or I would stop by and ask if they had seen Fluff. They told us that after his morning walkabout he usually wouldn’t be seen again until around 6 p.m.  Then one day, John came home and said a couple from the neighborhood had taken him in to their villa…

Problem solved.  Or so we thought.

A few days later, Fluffy was back on the street.

And we were back to feeding him.

Then Fluffy disappeared again, and we learned that another couple had taken the cat into their flat.

Done and dusted, we figured.

But a few days later, with the fur ball back on the street, we realized we figured wrong and in the interim, we had scooped up Patchi (an Arabian Mau) and were wrestling with the idea of bringing yet another kitty into the fold. What were we becoming? A kitty halfway home?

Apparently, yes.

One weekend while John was in the UK, I went for a bike ride and spotted the poor little Fluff-monster. He was getting mangy and matted. I saw the injured paw John had mentioned, along with an infection building. I saw the weary look in his eye… and headed home to bring back the carrier to get the fella out of harm’s way once and for all.

Before I left, I knocked on the door to the Beauty Salon and told the ladies that I was taking the kitty away.

They laughed at me.

“He’ll be back,” they said, as they reminded me of his history with the other area cat rescuers.

“No, no,” I said. “We’ll get this sorted. We’ll clean him up and get him a home.”

The ladies giggled, stroked the big, dirty, hairy cat and humored me, “Bye bye kitty. See you soon.”

When I got him home, he was obviously stressed, so I left him in his own space with food and water and litter, and quiet cat bed for him to rest.

In the morning, I opened the door – and he was nowhere to be found.

And when I say nowhere… I mean NOWHERE.

Not under the bed. Not behind the curtain. Not behind the dressers. Not under the blanket. Not in the laundry hamper. Not in the closet…. Okay, maybe after about 15 minutes of further looking, and really considering going BACK to the salon to see if he had somehow escaped and made his way back there, I found him tucked into the tiniest of crawl spaces in the back of the closet, behind a few pillows and under a suitcase.

Boy, could that boy hide.

A few days later and some time for Fluffy to gets his bearings and it became clear – this big furball had quite a set of vocal chords. It wasn’t the sound of a cat in heat per se, but he was very yowl-y. He also had the hint of a ‘quack.’ No seriously, this gorgeous abandoned cat quacks (and I will try to post video of it here.).

Shortly after his visit to the docs for his paw and shots, he went in to get fixed. I asked if maybe his neutering might help with his *cough* vocal manner.

Thank goodness for the astuteness of our doctor at British Vet – he picked up on my question and was quick to diagnose the Flufster with cystitis – a bladder inflammation. With a round of anti-inflammatories, and his, um, procedure, he’s quieted down… a bit. But when mealtime comes, there’s no doubt, the boy likes to sing for his supper.   

So we had to call him Boz. Not only because of his crooning ways, but because Boz Skaggs is one cool cat. And so is this kitty.

He continues to surprise us as he comes out of his shell. Usually super cool and somewhat stand-back-ish, last week he began jumping up on the bed and rolling on his back, looking for a cuddle. 
Yesterday he began playing with a feather toy and showed us how nimble he is. 

I'd say if he were really a person he’d be Chris Hemsworth, but John thinks he’s more like The Dude in the Big Lebowski – giant paws, kind of shuffling about from room to room (with that little quacky-chat/rant thing going on) and always on the search for good food, or a White Russian.

We think Tessa might be in love with him. They get on pretty well… playing a bit and Tessa batting her kitten eyelashes at him. Or at least letting him have first dibs at the plate at mealtime.

With the New Year we’ll see what happens for our two fosters. The expat families who have been away for the holidays are coming back, and hopefully we can find some good homes for one or both of them.

If you’d like to adopt Boz or Patchi, let us know. We're very discerning about who we will place these precious pets with, but we are also open to shipping these kitties back to friends in the States knowing that there are wonderful homes for them among our peeps. 

In the meantime, Happy New Year!