Tag Archives: friendship

I’m Cute and Furry!

I live on Cairo’s streets! Love me!

Hello there! It’s me, your friendly neighborhood Cairo street ferret! You just caught me bounding along effortlessly.

Wasn’t that adorable?  Don’t you just want to die because of how cute I am! Did you see the way my body forms perfect mini-arches with the street as I’m springing along? Weren’t you reminded of the scalloped dye cuts that your mom used when she went through that scrapbooking phase? Some people have described my cutesy antics as magical, ineffable, and transcendental. For me, it’s just my normal life. Do you know what it’s like when people are inspired by even your most ordinary actions? Is anyone moved to tears or laughter at the preparation of your morning coffee? No? Well, this might be something we ferrets alone can understand.

When I saw you leave Cairo Jazz Club, I thought I’d make an appearance so you could know there is something beautiful left in the world. I was just over there by that pile of trash doing dainty ferret things when I sensed a smoky soul in need of a lift and then hop! bounce! There I was! And then I was gone! You don’t have to tell me how much you enjoyed seeing my amiable face and bizarrely flexible body. I’ve heard every praise known to man and ferret, so anything you say will be meaningless anyways. I’m glad to do this merely as a service for those a little bit more burden-laden than the rest of us in this city.

I know you Arabic students have a hard life, trying to make it off of a stipend that only supports a humiliatingly upper-middle class lifestyle, the exorbitantly expensive restaurants, country clubs, and apartments embarrassingly out of reach. You have to deal with nightly homework in a subject you specifically came to Egypt to study. If that isn’t enough, you have class a ridiculous four days a week, and only fourteen weeks of vacation out of the year long fellowship. So I get it.

You and I are not so different. I live off of street trash and car fumes. In fact, after the Ferret Council of 1974, street ferrets decided to evolve and can now digest most forms of Styrofoam and need car exhaust in order to survive. It gives us increased flexibility and fur sootiness. I, like you, also smoke people’s cigarette butts whenever I can find them. If I’m really lucky, I inhale the second hand smoke directly from someone’s mouth. That’s only happened once before and I don’t think the man himself understood why he was laying on the ground smoking a cigarette with a street ferret tickling his whiskers, but it was a pleasant, and maybe once in a lifetime, experience for both of us. I also live my life prancing around the streets of Cairo, my slinky-like body structure allowing me to be run over or stepped on without any damage whatsoever to my person, even though my pride is always hurt. The ferret rage comes afterwards, and sometimes I crawl into the hoods of parked cars and tinker with their engines just to show them. It’s eerie how much satisfaction I get from watching things burn. But that’s what this city does to you.

So…I’m getting bored with this conversation. You Arabic student types aren’t exactly skilled conversationalists, are you? Anyways, I’m glad I could brighten your night a little bit and I hope life gets easier for you. Really, I do. I hope someone finds you and decides to pay you for just being who you are and nothing else, since that’s what everyone deserves. If I’ve learned anything from Cairo’s streets, it’s that everyone is special.

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Batty About You

Come for dinner and we’ll wipe the table off for you. Probably.

We have quite the impressive balcony in our new apartment. I don’t mean to toot my landlady’s horn, but it is, quite literally, the greatest thing that has ever existed. Despite the thick layer of dust and an occasional poopy smell, this balcony is one of the most pleasant places I have taken my Nescafe, and I am glad to be here.

A live tree hangs over the balcony, making half of the right side look as if it were in a forest. (Just to clarify, we are not in a forest. We are in the opposite of a forest: Cairo, where trees come to be coated in dust and then wither despite the abundance of carbon dioxide ). This tree is a preferred swooping location of our local bat population.

The thought of bats might sound unpleasant, like when you get an email from a guest you accidentally locked out on the balcony notifying you that she stole your delicates and won’t give them back until you replace the pair of designer jeans she tore while climbing down from the fifth floor. I myself used to think that bats were grotesque creatures, especially because their wings look like desiccated hands. They are also mammals that fly, which is just wrong.  Though they had never done anything to hurt me, childhood movies and Halloween taught me to fear them as creatures both of darkness and evil intent, only one of which they deserve.

But then, on accident, I learned something. Bats eat insects, including mosquitoes. This was a game changer. Were I given a thousand marble tablets, nine hundred and ninety nine assistants, three thousand years, a box of potato chips, and an endless supply of gummy bears and chisels, I would still not be able to carve out the depths of my loathing for mosquitoes. The bat, my former de-facto foe, became my friend since it feasts on the beings I despise.

Why should we hate the bats anyways? Is it because they are like us, preferring to stay up at night and swoop around in seemingly haphazard oblong shapes? Why should the dove be associated with love, when they are good for nothing more than statue-defecation and vegetation-carrying? Who cares if they’re monogamous? Aren’t bats the true romantic animal, staying up late, sacrificing the sunlight in order to eat disgusting creatures that would otherwise suck my blood? That’s all I’ve ever sought in a man.

I finally understand that bats are simple creatures, loving darkness, mosquito eating, and screeching, activities that I occasionally indulge in myself. Now when I see him/her/them swooping around outside the tree, I smile to myself as I imagine the thousands of insects they have crushed in the grips of their weird mouths. I no longer look on the bat as any less than human. They are my guardians in a world full of things with more than four legs, and what they do is more noble than creepy. I’m taking this opportunity to announce a new line of greeting cards, chocolates, and bedding based on the concept of bats as the true symbol of romance. If you are a hands-off, fun-driven investor, please email me at battyaboutyou@hotmail.com.

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