Khalil an his cats

Khalil and his kittens


Our lovely kitten Gaushan has died. His internal organs must have burst at once when he was attacked by a dog. I don’t know where to put the bitter sorrow that overflows.
We have six dogs at home. They are King, Gachgach, Garaglok and her three children. But the dog who killed Gaushan was none of them. There are so many different dogs that follow after Garaglok these days and they’re all coming freely inside our garden. One of the most strongest-looking dog was there when it happened. Gaushan has just learned how to play outside in the garden but he managed ok because all our puppies were very friendly to him.He often followed Romeo by climbing up the walls or putting his hand inside a hole when he found it. He seemed to enjoy his outdoor life very much.

Gaushan was a smart cat which outshined others in physical ability. He never hesitated to jump on Chi-chan or Romeo to play with them. Every morning when I was preparing breakfast, he climbed up until my belly and asked for some food. One day he went too far that he got stuck between gas pipeline and the wall. He was crying asking for help when I found him. If I turn on the washing machine, he liked to follow the rotating clothes and tried to jump against it. Also, there was one specific sheepskin that he liked. When he was nervous, he always chewed that sheepskin as if it was his mother’s breast or something. When I see that sheepskin, my cry is uncontrollable.


Khalil especially loved Gaushan and he always called him “my cat”. Because Chi-chan and Romeo became much closer to me than to Khalil, he wanted to have his own cat. Gaushan was close to him indeed. “This is the sweet Gaushan”, he always sang the phrase in some funny melody. What happened in front of his eyes must have been a serious shock for him. Khalil told me that he directly took him to a veterunary but Gaushan was already dead in the garden. It’s still hard to believe that such a life full of energy could die so easily. Khalil told me that Gaushan had cried twice, weakly, “meow.” “meow.” and passed away.

2013.01.08 Tuesday
Male dogs are going around, chasing Garaglok, these days. People call it a mating season. When the period comes, male dogs create a flock and go after one female dog. When Garaglok sits down to have a rest, male dogs form a circle around her and turn their eyes on her, checking other male dogs by barking against each other.
On the first day, there were only one dog. It’s the big dog who killed Gaushan. But King and Gachgach began to fight against him afterwards. One night, I heard Japon, one of our puppies, crying in pain and when I went out King was fighting with the big white dog. They were both standing on their feet, holding each other. It was so powerful and impressive. Having an iron bar in my hand, I tried to support King but I could just hit the ass of the white dog with all my strength. I could possibly got hurt by it, if I were not careful. I found out the day after that the right half of Japon’s  face swelled so badly and was bleeding. I suppose he went against that white dog and got bit. It happened again inside our own garden. of our puppies named “Japon”
Even after that, the white dog were attacked by King and Gachgach and has disappeared at this point. Since the last fight that Khalil and I have seen, he is not seen here. That day, Gachgach jumped on the white dog and brought him down and King bit him so hard that he couldn’t move in the end. His face was smashed and body was bloody. He went home dragging his feet, miserably. Khalil said that he enjoyed watching the scene. Probably because he was the enemy of Gaushan. Khalil is still sorry for Gaushan’s death. Although he tells me that it was his destiny, he himself looks bitter quite often. I’m sure he’s thinking about Gaushan that time.
I might have felt the same if I didn’t hear about the owner’s story. according to the story Khalil heard from the owner, the white dog is a special dog which someone wanted to pay one million tomans for it. Why didn’t he sell it in one million then? Because the dog was given by his brother and the brother died by accident soon after he gave the dog to the owner. So the dog became a memento for him. After hearing such a family history, it’s not easy to kill the white dog (although I was thinking I MUST). How sad humans are. Dogs and cats as well.
But still I’m on cats’ side. I can not forgive Saryglok who killed Chi-chan’s brother and sister. He came back so easily the day after we abandoned him in a village far away but we don’t see him these days. I suppose someone has killed him because he had a very bad habit to kill chickens and even sheep.
BE CAREFUL ROMEO!Probably because of her childhood experience, Chi-chan is very careful against dogs. But Romeo is not cautious of dogs because he was taught by Khalil to be friends with them. He goes close to puppies and is even stealing food from King and Gachgach. I am trying to be more careful than before so that Romeo will not be attacked by the dogs who is coming after Garaglok.
Teaching cats and dogs to be friends, by the way, seems to be a mistake now. Gaushan might have lacked carefulness against dogs because he was always playing outside, following Romeo. Chi-chan’s brother and sister who were attacked were same. It’s nice to see cats and dogs playing together but in the wild animal world it seems as an utopia or something that is not realistic that human desire it to be. I thought I need to stay out and watch when kittens are out, because they are physically weak.
Chi-chan could get pregnant soon. We need to be ready to defend the kittens by then. The best is to re-build the walls around our house so that the outsiders can not come inside. But it seems we need to wait until the hot season when we can produce blocks for that.
2013.01.05 Saturday

Beets are something that we often eat in the winter. I boil them in advance and make it warm before I serve. Harva, sesame paste, is an Iranian specialty. It’s a mixture of ground sesame and sugar. For cheese, we have feta and “suzme”. Suzme is a homemade cheese, which is a squeezed yoghurt. Kiwifruit jam and carrot jam is also homemade by me. The best is the very fresh bread from local bakery. Serving hot tea with milk, which I have milked myself, the very best breakfast begins.
In Iran, you can buy fresh bread cheap, everywhere. The bread price is controlled by the government. It rose a little in price these days but one loaf of bread costs 350 tomans (8 Japanese yen) so it’s still not expensive. Iranians are eating such a high quality bread, made from 100% self-produced wheat. Goat cheese that goes with bread is also inexpensive. I wonder in how many countries in the world it’s possible to have such a plentiful diet.
There are several bakery in the town and people come to buy at breakfast, lunch or dinner. We usually buy in bulk and freeze them in small portions when it’s cold (below). I guess people do the same. If you put it in oven for a while, you’ll have a fresh baked bread again on your table.

Telephone came to our house at last. It was the last item of basic utilities (except for the road and the drainage canal). Thanks to ADSL that exists even in such a rural area, we could reach the internet.
The telephone office said that there were just one line available and they’ve connected it to us. They were quite kind to us probably because some of the workers family had some relation with Khalil’s father long time ago. I’m grateful.
Several days before the connection, Khalil went to buy two telephone poles with Naser. Then they’ve built in the poles in three different places, evenly from the nearest pole to our house. The office has given us one extra pole (free!), so it became three poles altogether.

When Khalil said he has bought the poles, I went to check it. I found two completely rusty pipelines lying in our garden. I asked Khalil if he has bought used poles but he said they’re completely new. Funny.

It was fixed as above. Khalil dug holes on the ground and Naser bought cement and came by tractor. They knead the cement and built the poles together. I don’t think everybody can do this work but Turkmens do that themselves. Khalil became just like the local Turkmens now.
If you want to arrange some infrastructure in such a remote area like where we live, you need to pay for the materials yourself because we don’t pay any tax to the community. But if you buy the materials and do the necessary work, the community will take care of the rest of the work.

I’m so happy that we’ve got telephone. ….

Resource: Desert People life in Turkmen sahara, Iran