Just like our apartment in Bangkok, I thought you may be interested in our home in Amman which we shared with various cats. We had a really great time here between August 2007 and August 2009
We found a home fairly quickly after arriving. It was just what we were after, it was quite large, the ground floor flat of a three storey building, had a garden and was a five minute walk to work. However, it didn’t have an address. When we asked the landlord he sent his son outside to find out where we were! The address on the lease was 107 Omar bin Kattab Street which is also marked on maps as Mango Street. However before we left, the municipal authorities recognised the fact that no one knows where they live and decided to take the bull by the horns and started plastering big blue numbers on all the buildings. We ended up with a number ‘4’ even though we were right on a corner. We were also assigned to a road that wasneither Omar bin Kattab or Mango Street. This was part and parcel of living in Jordan.
Anyway, whatever the address we were very happy. It was enormous but also cosy at the same time and had a very attractive patio area which was an absolute necessity for the regular weekend barbeques. It had three bedrooms but in common with many middle eastern homes it had two living rooms – one for the family and one to receive guests. This room had a separate entrance, so they wouldn’t be able to see the women of the house. Along with pics of the house there are also quite a few of cats. We were given the first one, Gerrard. He stayed a while then mysteriously disappeared only to show up months later – I spotted him on the balcony of a neighbouring block of flats. He had decided to live there. His new owner was Italian and took Gerrard back to Italy!
Next up was Smokey Jo. She showed up one day and shortly afterwards gave birth to four kittens on our living room sofa. Smokey junior, Minou, Azwad (‘black’ in Arabic) and Torres. Unfortunately Smokey Joe and Smokey Junior died not long after – we presume by eating rat poison which is by all accounts scattered fairly indiscriminately about the town. It was very sad that this seemed to be a common theme. Cats showed up and disappeared with some regularity. Anyway, we were soon visited by another tyke, Boggle, who although very young had already lost an eye. He settled in straight away. Lastly, Mad Mummy Cat showed up. She looked a bit like Smokey Jo but always had a very “mad” look on her face, despite being very gentle and friendly. She promptly had a litter of kittens as well but we managed to give these away to good homes. PS with all these births going on in our house we decided to neuter all our kittens. We had a great vet who lived down the road and he did this on our dining room table. He also operated on Mad Mummy Cat. She wasn’t feeling very well so he came round to see her and promptly said she had cancer, opened her up on the dining room table again, cut it out, gave her a hysterectomy for good measure and she was right as rain the following day! So although we had a great time on Mango Street it wasn’t without its traumas!
And of course we made a few videos as well.
This one is about the shops on our street – Mango Street
Operation Cat Snip, a podcastsinenglish.com video
A walk around the house just after we moved in.
More photos here