A feline start to 2013

Cliched I know, but I can`t believe that January has already been and gone and that 2013 is well underway and I have yet to write a blog post. So, I am finally sitting down to say Happy New Year to the faithful family members, friends and a few wonderful “strangers” who read my blog regularly.

Rodrigo and I had decided that Christmas was to be more about actions than material gifts. Yet he managed to combine materiality and thoughtfulness in a very special and surprising way. Let me explain…

At the end of 2012, I was thinking alot about missing having animals around. Growing up in the countryside in South Africa we always had at least two or three dogs as well as two cats for the last few years. Even when I was living with Coni here in Chile, I had her cat called Santiago (picture a small black panther that acts more like a dog than a cat) for company. Now, considering that we have a bigger apartment, I have been thinking alot about pets. Both Rodrigo and I like big dogs, and even though we have a great park around the corner, we know it would not be fair to have a dog in an apartment. The other option was a cat, yet I know that Rodrigo basically despises cats. So I thought I was destined to get a goldfish for company, which is not exactly the most loving pet imaginable.

But that is where Rodrigo surprised me – he mentioned on Christmas morning that his sister-in-law had “reserved” a kitten from a neighbour of theirs and I just had to wait a few days to get it. I was totally gobsmacked considering I know how much he hates cats. I kept asking if he was sure about this and that I understood us not having a pet. But he said he was fine and so I started making plans – buying a litter box, litter and food most importantly.

Long story short, the reserved kitten never made it to us, instead Rodrigo arranged for me to choose a kitten from a small kiosk on the top of Cerro San Cristobal. He is busy installing solar street lighting in the park and overnight they kept the equipment in the storeroom of a kiosk on the hill. The owner had a cat with 4 or 5 kittens. She said that Rodrigo was free to take one. And so life changed forever…

Cerro San Cristobal

Cerro San Cristobal – birthplace of Kilima


Kilima enjoying some milk after the trauma of being transported from the hill to her new home in a box. Kilima means hill in Swahili. I chose the name for the obvious reason that she was born on the most famous hill in Santiago and it has African roots which was very important for me.

She has now been with us for about 6 weeks and I can`t imagine the apartment without her. Although I can remember what my legs looked like before her claws got stuck into them every time she wants to jump up, play, or get my attention. The apartment has also turned into a bit of a playground with various balls, toilet paper rolls (her favourite toy and super cheap) and random pieces of string and rope to keep her entertained.


Since she has to be an indoor cat, I wanted to give her something to climb and scratch and play on. I looked at prices for these cat towers, which are ridiculously expensive and so I coerced Rodrigo into making one for her. Offcuts of wood free from Rodrigo`s brother and offcuts of carpet made this very cheap to construct. 90% of the cost was the rope to wind around the main pole which was a great investment as she loves scratching it instead of the furniture. Sadly though, my legs still take a beating.


Summer has been killer hot recently, so we invested in a great floor fan which with a simple ribbon attached to it has become another great toy for Kilima.

So, life in Apartment 2G will never be the same again, but I must say I really love having another life around the place. She has already found her way deep into our hearts, Rodrigo`s included. But I promise I am not going to write lots of posts and bombard you with photos about my pet. I will be content to have her curled up beside the computer, or on my lap as I write about the adventures that are sure to come in 2013.


But just one last shot, which Juan Carlos managed to catch at the exact moment she was yawning…

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One Response to A feline start to 2013

  1. Esme Solomons says:

    Lovely little kitty… now I want to watch her grow into a big cat, through some pictures from you. She will be kept well occupied with her ‘toys’, and I’m sure she will be a spoiled cat by the time she is big! Enjoy her, and all best wishes to you both, and your new family!

    Love, Esme

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