Loki and the City of Irbid

I know it has been a few weeks since I last wrote, and as such, quite a few things have happened. However, this particular tale is that of a small stray kitten living in Jordan. Walking through the streets of Amman, it would be impossible not to notice the massive amounts of stray cats; they linger under parked cars, dumpster dive, sprawl across the tops of stone walls, and prowl around through underbrush and (when they can) on the tops of buildings.

Imagine for a moment, before I really delve into the matter, that you have a great fondness for cats; that when you see them, you engage in meowing conversations with them- much to the alarm of the Jordanians passing by around you. If, per chance, you see a kitten- or any baby animal, for that matter- your heart simply melts and you completely and totally love it from the very first second that you see it. A strange type of love at first sight, I suppose. Now imagine this; you’ve just gotten ready, and you have plans to meet up with a group of friends and go to another nearby city for the day. You walk out, into the already dry and somehow clinging heat of the day, the dust rising from your footfalls as you make your way, accompanied by two friends that live closest to you. About three blocks from your house- a house that by the way doesn’t belong to you at all, but which you live in due to the generosity of your host family- you hear a small mewling and pause. Your friends are hassling you- they’re in a hurry, you’re already running late to meet the other group of friends- but you stoop down anyway, and peer into the shadows under a nearby car to see where that sad little meow came from. Lo and behold; it is a grey and tan -it would be grey and white if it wasn’t so thoroughly covered in dirt and grime- fur ball. Then, it mews again, and , to your astonishment, shows none of the fear of the other feral cats and instead wanders up to you and rubs against your hand as you meow back.

Hopefully now you see that what happened next, though completely illogical, was the only course of action I could possibly take; I picked up the little dirty fluff-ball of a kitten and brought it with me. After which I forced my friends to stop while I bought the poor little guy some food from a gas station (liquid cheese and milk, most assuredly questionable choices) and fed him, and then picked him up and continued on again. After what seemed to be at least another mile of walking (keep in mind I am a particularly lazy sort of person on most occasions) I felt a slight and most unpleasant warmth and I gradually, and vocally, realized that the kitten was peeing- yes, peeing- on me. At which time I thrust him out away from my torso and my friends disintegrated into heaps of chuckles, giggles, and hurrahs. I would like to say that at that point I turned, went home, washed up, and passed on our little day trip; but it was not so, and I cannot claim even that small bit of logic or sanity (call it what you must). No, I continued onwards-after the kitten finished urinating on the ground, that is. Eventually, we met with our other friends  and I discovered, to my horror, that we were taking a bus to Irbid city (at which time I contemplated briefly leaving the cat as it is about an hours ride). Still, I refused to part with my furry friend and continued on.

For the entirety of the day, I carried around that little kitten and even-with some slight assistance- began to call him Loki. He was smuggled onto two bus rides, rode in maybe five taxis, waited for me outside a restaurant, and a hospital that another friend of a friend works at in Irbid. Unfortunately, I didn’t actually see much of Irbid as my focus was absorbed by little Loki for the majority of the time, and even more unfortunately; I ended up wearing a disgusting shirt all day. However, I successfully brought the little guy home again, only to discover that my host mother is allergic. Loki did stay for a few days as an outdoor housecat; following me everywhere I went around the area, and even letting (I say letting, but really he had no choice) me bathe him. The entire weekend turned into a time of kitten snuggles and fun until I left on Sunday morning for school. The last I saw of little Loki was him blinking his eyes sleepily at me as I tried to sneak out before he could follow after me. I must admit that I am a little sad that he left, but more than that, I am grateful for the little adventure I had with Loki the kitten.

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