Tag Archives: Princess Zuzu

Of Mice and M… Cats.

My mom, despite her cat allergy, wanted me to bring Zuzu to the states with us in order to be a mouser.

That means then that Zuzu is allowed to live here contingent on her ability to catch mice. (Officially- but I know that no matter how much Mr. MM threatens to throw her out he secretly loves her and never would. Also I’d kill him.)

The reason my mom wants a mouser is because last winter she had a horrible infestation of mice and she’s expecting a repeat invasion this winter as well. *shudder* We all were hoping that simply the smell and presence of Zuzu would keep the mice at bay but no, sadly not.

One night we were all sitting and watching a movie when we heard the tinkling of Zuzu’s belled collar punctuated by an odd squeaking noise that sounded something like an ungreased wheel. We three turned to see Zuzu march into the livingroom with a mouse in her mouth.


…well sort of.

She seemed startled by our sudden attention and she ran up into our bedroom with the mouse in tow.

Into our bedroom.

With the  mouse.


Into our bedroom where she then proceeded to lose, find, lose again, find again, and ultimately lose the mouse.


It did help us identify a mouse bolthole that we were able to plug up and we’re hoping she injured it enough for it to die later.

But what makes me the most frustrated is that my darling cat will do the famous death shake while eating her dry food- and thereby spread bits of crunched cat chow far and wide- but she can’t see to snap the neck of a mouse with the same maneuver.


On the one hand I’m hoping she figures out that mice are to be killed and how to do so, but on the other I’m hoping the mouse that got whooped will go back to his buddies and spread the horror story so that none of them come back.

I know it’s a pipe dream but what can I say?

My cat catches mice…

And then lets them go.


Sweating It

In spite of the fact that I did not sleep much last night I am still up and sleepless tonight. Why? I don’t know, but I’m uneasy.

I’m nervous about moving home, nervous about how we’ll do there, nervous about how I’ll feel there, nervous about how much I’ve changed.

I’m worried about culture shock for Mr. MM and re-entry shock for me.

I’m so excited to go home, believe me. I’m so excited to see my family and friends.

I think a part of it is that so much of my life before this was “just for now” and going back to the US is going to be “reality” or “forever.” We were so unsettled before this and now we have to figure out this whole settling thing- jobs, life, responsibility, real repercussions.

We have so much to do yet here, and so little time- while in the same instant if we needed we could have everything done in two days. Its the good-byes; I want more time for good-byes.

My nieces and nephews will not be this age forever and having only married Mr. MM two years ago I already missed so much of their lives. Will the twins remember us the next time we see them? Will they remember rolling around on the bed with Mr. MM and I tag-team tickling them? Will Ganna remember that she’s mine and Nour remember that she’s Mr. MM’s?

Yaso won’t remember us at all, he’s much too young.

How long will it be before we see them again? Its just so hard.

I don’t want to live here but I don’t want to say good-bye.

I’m sad, and I’m worried. I’m sweating- physically and mentally.

Its hot here, like crazy hot. A huge part of me is glad we won’t be here for Ramadan cuz I can barely stand cooking in this heat while not fasting- I can’t imagine doing it while thirsty. No. Thanks.

I never imagined that I could sweat from that many parts of my body. Seriously. I now sweat in places I’ve never sweated before and I’ve actually gotten used to being so sweaty that my clothes are drenched.

Sexy sexy, right?

But for real, I never liked to sweat before- not that I like it now believe me- and I would always cease and desist whatever action made me sweat in the first place. Unfortunately I cannot cease and desist being in Cairo (at least not until August 5th) so I have to just sweat. And sweat.

Alternately I wonder how Mr. MM will enjoy being in a place where sweating profusely is by choice and mostly done in a gym.

Zuzu is doing good. There’s so much random stuff about her I want to blog on like how she’s gotten so big and that she’s become really vocal with me again. We ‘talk’ back and forth again and most of her interaction with me is punctuated by trills, chortles, and copious meowing. Except her WTF face when she watches me shower or take baths. She is fascinated with the concept and yet hates water. Also she likes to rub up against me when I’ve just gotten out and my legs are still wet. Then she runs away complaining about the water. Every shower. As soon as I step out I hear her in the doorway chortling and chirping and if I -how dare I?- shut the door she yowls outside until I open it.

We were able to exchange the carrier, thank God. This one now is the right size but SO SMALL. I just feel horrible putting Zuzu in it for 12 freaking hours. We also bought a craptastic kitty leash for way too much money. I think I’ll be returning it if I can find another one. Putting it on her was HILARIOUS. At one point she was literally turning sommersaults in the air trying to get it off. I have to get her a better one though, for real. It is just not going to work for us.

Right now she is playing with her beloved bottle caps, I think her life will be so empty in the states without tile flooring and cheap bits of plastic. I hope that jingle balls on carpet will help to fill the void but I’ll be bringing a stash of hayah bottle tops back with me because those are her favorites, no lie.

Also the Barefoot Empress witnessed her playing fetch with me this evening. I have witnesses that Zuzu plays with me like a puppy.

Zuzu also tries to climb into our luggage; she particularly likes it when the top is down and there are clothes piled on top so she has to dig her way in. Is this normal cat behaviour? All we will see is the mound of clothes on top quivering, the luggage shaking, and Zuzu’s hind end sticking out.

Yes we have attempted to zip her up inside, and no we have not succeeded. She’s too quick. Right now she is trying to work the zipper so she can get into one of the bags; if she had opposable thumbs we would be in trouble.

Hahaha, I just remembered one time that we had an empty suitcase standing up and she climbed on and somehow managed to tip it over on top of her so she was trapped inside. I had no idea what had made the suitcase fall until I heard her pitiful cries coming from inside.

Ah, I may have bored some of you to tears by talking way too much about my cat but it was theraputic enough for me to now think about going to sleep.

First of course I will be tossing B’rincess Zuzu out of the room with her clackity clacking bottle caps.

Masr’s Parting Blow

So I’m sitting here in my room, which is chaos amid packing, with no a/c and some food poisoning that just won’t go away. Not only am I dealing with painful stomach cramps but now, with the cool air kaput, sweating. I would like to continue packing however I just can’t do it.

I was sifting through my books today and I just have too many that I want to bring with me and thats not even looking at what Mr. MM wants to bring with him. I just don’t know if we’re going to be able to work under airline weight restrictions but I can’t imagine how much shipping is going to cost. I’ll obviously need to make a few painful decisions regarding the reading material but whats holding me back is the hassle and improbability of finding English-translated Arabic novels. *sigh*

There’s so much stuff to figure out and I just don’t have time to be sick. Gah.

I’ve got to take brincess Zuzu to get her rabies shots and a certificate from ye olde local vet. I’ll be taking her back to the vet who couldn’t cure her stomach problems –I’m sure you all remember this fiasco– only because he’s mad experienced with taking animals overseas. If only homeboy would answer my text message dammit.

Zuzu is, and this isn’t just a proud cat-mommy talking, like super insanely intelligent. I just adore her. She plays fetch! All. The. Time. She brings her bottle cap into the bathroom for me to throw from the toilet for her; talk about inopportune moments.

She’s totally awesome though, alhumdulillah, she is my cat-shaped shadow and is almost always in whatever room I am in.

I’m worried about the flight with her. She’s not a vocal cat so I’m not too worried about her crying a lot in the flight but I’m sad that I’ll have to keep her in her carrier for so freaking long.

She and Mr. MM, poor kittens, are going to both be flying for the first time and their very first flight will be 12.5 hours long. Thats a really, really long flight. And then we’ll have a 7 hour layover (!!!) to contend with before the very short 4 hour flight to MSP.

Since we’re laying over in NYC, Mr. MM wants to take advantage of our super long stay to leave the airport and see a bit of the big apple. I’m all over the idea except that I’m nervous that something would go wrong and we’d miss our flight/not be able to get back through security/something else totally horrific.

Hopefully at some point, somewhere, we’d be able to find poor Zuzu a nice big pile of sand to do her business in. She’s a very fastidious cat and I just don’t know that she would be ok with letting loose on the shredded newspaper in her pet carrier. I can imagine that she would keep her legs crossed, figuratively, until she found a proper place to pee no matter how painful/detrimental it might be. I do intend to cut back on her food intake 24 hours before the flight and hopefully that will help.

Can anyone who has travelled long distances with pets help me out with some friendly advice? I plan on paying the fee and bringing her into the cabin with me.

I’m just thinking how deja vu’ey this last month of being here is. Around this time in ’07 I got food poisoning and now I have it again- except like way, way worse. Top it all off with a regurgitation of some drama that happened at the same time in ’07 and its almost like emotional food poisoning. No hard feelings, but it just makes me remember how disgusting some people are, really. But it’s just so coincidental that all this is coming back around. I guess you could consider it full circle.

I was really hoping I’d be over this stupid food poisoning and the way its lingering makes me wonder if it was food poisoning or if it’s something more sinister. Anyone know how long FP is supposed to last? Have I finally contracted some horrible Egyptian disease that causes me perpetual emergency bathroom runs and nausea?

To everyone who is feverishly typing ‘are you sure you’re not pregnant?’ into my comment box right now: yes, yes I’m sure I’m not pregnant.

I really want to be over this now kthanxbai.

And eff the a/c! Dear God why? Three more weeks! Three more weeks please!!

Man… I have so much to think about, and plan, and do.

Faceplant x 3

I am so over this. I fell again yesterday simply while walking. I don’t know whats wrong with me right now but apparently my sense of equilibrium has taken a summer vacation.

My whole body hurts right now but whether this is from all of that falling down or because I’m having a flare up of my fibromyalgia I am not sure. This would be the first flare up of this magnitude in years. Maybe its a mixture of a small flare-up and painful joints from falling down.

I must say though that I am not the only klutz in residence: Zuzu is quite ungraceful for a cat. She trips over things, runs into doors, and somehow has a knack of running right in front of my foot while I’m walking so I kick her a few feet into the future. She also hits her head on the floor while doing the kitty back roll and it makes quite a hollow knocking sound.

Silly cat.

Zuzu is afraid of the maid

Edit: I cut out the part about Egyptian politics because it made me depressed.

Today I learned how Egyptians clean carpets. #3 brought her daughter with her this morning and they washed the oriental carpets. It was amazing- they brought them into the bathroom, unrolled them, showered them down, dusted on some laundry soap, scrubbed them with a detached broom head, and then squeegied them off with the bathroom squeegy and hung them from the balcony to dry. Uff they really needed to be cleaned so its great that she offered to do it and of course we’ll pay her more for it.

edit: ok pay her a lot more. I had no idea they ask so much for cleaning carpets… I dunno, I’ll have to ask Mr. MM about it when he gets home because I am completely out of credit and couldn’t call him to ask.

#3, mashAllah, cleans better than either of the maids before her. She does a really great job and I’m so thankful to have her.

Zuzu is scared witless by her though, its absolutely absurd. With maid #2, who was terrified of cats, Zuzu wanted to hang out and watch her clean, getting in the way as much as possible. I had to lock her in bedrooms and sometimes we’d have to chase her around the house in order to catch her to lock her in the room. Now? As soon as the door rings Zuzu poofs and disappears. I know her hiding spot so once I let #3 in I go and grab the cat, who hangs onto me for dear life with every single one of her twenty freaking claws, and when I get her into my bedroom she run for the back corner and hides there for the rest of the day even after #3 has left.

I just don’t get it. Deliverymen: she hangs out at the doorway; the Englyptian: she goes up to her and says hello and even sits on her lap!; other visitors: she is skittish but still comes around and checks everyone out; the sweet maid: senseless terror from the very first time. Zuzu didn’t even MEET #3, she just ran. Its so odd because I think #3 is sweet but cats have 6th senses so maybe I should be careful around the  maid.

Who knows.

Edit: I am also now missing something that would be VERY odd to steal. We use one of those long-handled plastic slotted cooking ladles to scoop kitty poop and its gone. I thought maybe she washed it and put it in the kitchen but its not there either. I have no idea and if she did take it thats a REALLY weird thing to take. I’m just curious, she has a cat at home herself, where does her cat poop? She doesn’t seem to understand the concept of the litterbox and she dumped trash into the box this morning. Not speaking Arabic is a huge hassle.

Kitty Dreams

I wonder what cats dream about. Zuzu dreams a ton, she twitches, her tail wags, and sometimes her paws move like she’s running.

And just now, asleep on a chair across the room from me, she just jerked and hissed. Hissed. Since I got her this is only the second time she has ever hissed. She’s a great cat, even when we’re punishing her she never hisses, except for once and I think it scared her worse than either of us.

So it was funny to hear. Something in her dream made her hiss.

I wonder what cats dream about.