Star gazing, Cats and Hedgehogs

Every so often, and at what you would call un-Godly hours, I look up to the heavens in the hopes of locating at least one or two of the many constellations people spoke nineteen to the dozen about in Astronomy. And no, I am not that overly-enthusiastic, telescope-in-hand stargazer who claims to know everything there is about Venus, Mars and everything heavenly. I am that other type, you know, the simple notepadin-hand type.

The night was tranquil; clear skies, quiet, warm and with a slight zephyr; the perfect night for stargazing. After several strong coffees and tossing a heavier-than-necessary scarf around my neck, I led myself to the ‘observatory’; an abandoned tarmac parking area located to the furthest East of my residence. I lit a stick, smoked in strong and then looked up. In the exact moment of struggling to isolate constellations from billions of sparkle, instinct whispered to my ear that I wasn’t alone.

An old wrought-iron gate that appeared to have been lastly used during the pre-colonial times stood to my left. On the other side of the gate stood a cat, frozen, cautious and seemingly, a bit out of orientation. Across the road and from the other side of a thick, well-trimmed natural fence, fierce dogs barked away. To serve no other reason but that of illustration, we shall call our cat Ka-Puss. I hate cats.

Ka-Puss is no fool. He took time to survey the situation while I sat put as if affixed to the ground. After a while, Ka-Puss reluctantly ventured towards the gate, but for a few steps. Again, he/she/it took time to determine whether it was safe to venture further. Let me mention that I am a very peaceful person. As such, I held still and sat solid you would have wagered that I was sculptured from marble. But Ka-Puss stayed put, surveying and looking around. Finally, probably after figuring out that I am the peaceful being I claim, he crept, as if staking prey, to the furthest side of the gate and cautiously, almost without breathing, squeezed through the bars. Once on my side, he zoomed away faster than I can remember.

I went back to stargazing only to be interrupted, two or so minutes later by the arrival of the night’s second guest; a hedgehog! Yes, apart from rogue students, you also get to see hedgehogs at and around UoN. And yes, I know what a hedgehog looks like. We will call this one Ki-Nose.

Now this is what surprises me. Ki-Nose knows no caution and if he does, then he is dumber than dumb itself. This is what he did: Ki-Nose approached my position from the right side of the parking lot. He came in fast, carelessly and as if blindfolded, passed right by my FEET! I must say I was tempted to stomp on all that stupidity. I laughed instead.

After which I pulled hard on my then dimming cig and looked up. Clouds! Damn Nairobi weather!

Also, steal me a telescope.

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