Slowly I descended down the stairs of the aircraft, breathing the heat-laden and dust-filled air of Namibia. Breathe in, this will do you good!
Namibia is my favourite country: wonderful, welcoming people, desert country with lots to see for those of a discovering ilk, sunshine and “that” cat. Knaaters belongs to my sister and her husband who live in Kapps Farm, about 25 km outside Windhoek on the way to the airport. He is more than 18 years old, nobody knows his exact age as he walked in on my brother-in-law many moons ago and has survived many other cats in the Kapps farm household; I stopped counting the cats a long time ago. Anyway, he is neutered and Knaaters means testicles, which he clearly has not got. However, though I usually only visit Namibia every two years, he seems to recognize me. We both wake up early and go to sit on the stoep (veranda) to watch the sun come up, with Knaaters getting the requisite belly scratch. We then go for a little walk with Knaaters walking ahead, his tail in antennae pose (radio controlled), and he keeps looking back to see if I am still there; I refer to him as my “guard cat”. Slowly the rest of the household awakes and Knaaters disappears to greet everybody; he is lost to me until sunset when he returns for some more attention, then snoozes on the bed with me.
Last night we were watching a video when Knaaters joined us; this morning he came to me while I was baking in the sun (I have already had comments on my pasty white legs) and reading a book. Then we went for a little walk while I photographed the flowers.
Kapps Farm essentially consists of small holdings and, when I first visited in 1994, was quite wild and one would see Kudu and baboons quite regularly on the roads and hillsides. Unfortunately, Kapps Farm has become more populated and is not quite the same idyllic retreat it once was, but it is still a beautiful place. I spend many an hour sitting in the garden watching the birds building nests and feeding on the flowers; every now-and-then I may see vultures circling high overhead and even hear the cry of a fish eagle in the distance. The local hop-on-hop-off train trundles through once a day; planes landing at the airport pass overhead. In short, a perfect place to recover mentally and find a new equilibrium in my life, which is exactly what I need right now.