A New Arrival
Last June, two nights before the Iranian presidential elections, he showed up at our house. He was sitting on the front walkway, refusing to leave. It was obvious he was a house cat, familiar and comfortable with people. I wouldn't let him in the house, hoping that his owners would come and take him away soon. I know what it feels like to lose a pet, even if temporarily. I wanted him to stay outside so that he could be seen by his owners who must be frantic, I thought. I had had a painful time separating from our cat, Oskie, or Asghar, when I left Iran in 2006. I still miss my gorgeous "hanaee" (henna colored) cat who is staying with a family in Karaj. But I also knew that I didn't want another pet, not yet. This cat which had invited himself over was getting on my nerves. I could see my younger son getting quickly attached to him and I was desperate to find his family. We posted "Cat Found" signs in our neighborhood. My next door neighbor posted an announcement on Craig's List, and I finally managed to convince my son to take him to the local animal shelter to see if he had an identification chip or if anybody was looking for him. For some strange reason, it turned out that nobody was looking for him. My son left contact information at the animal shelter, but didn't leave him there, bringing him home again. The events in Iran were unravelling fast, first the elections, then the demonstrations, then the violence, and finally the grief and outrage. My older son joined us and we stood vigil to what was happening in Iran, much like millions of other people in the world alternating between pride and respect and outrage and sadness. The cat stayed and became a member of our family. He is a loving cat, peaceful and trusting of people. He sits by me all the time. This is a picture of him, taken this morning while he was taking a nap by where I sit to work at the dining table. When I get up to go to another part of the house, he follows me and comes to sit wherever I am. He is a new member of our family now. His name is Mir Hossein.