We Four in Egypt

Now back in the US!

On staying or going, and pets

A few days ago I asked for your questions. And boy did you ask. Lenore and TypO had some tough ones, so I’ll hold off on answering them.

Wendy asked a few questions:

Do you expect you’ll come back to the US when this assignment is over or will you look for another opportunity outside of the US?

How did you handle all of your pets when you left the country?

We have 3 dogs and I’ve always felt tied to the States by my dogs. Does that make sense?

The first question is easy, because we don’t know the answer. My contract here is for two years; we’re half-way through. But I have already been told I can renew for another two years, so this assignment is more indefinite.

Some days I really want to be back in the US, to settle into a community where we’ll live for more than a couple of years, where I can listen to a local NPR station and hike in the woods (though probably not at the same time). And some days I think I’m crazy to consider leaving. We’re in Egypt! It’s an amazing place. And our lifestyle here is good, helped by my 35-hour workweek (even less during Ramadan), generous vacation time, and full-time housekeeper/nanny.

And some days I am ready to move on, but to another country. I’ve been thinking a lot about different places in East Africa, though there aren’t as many opportunities for me in my field in sub-Saharan Africa. Or Europe, for that matter. We could probably move on to elsewhere in the Middle East, but I’m not sure of the appeal of that over Cairo.

What’s interesting is that about a year ago, I did a bloginterview with Mr. Four in which he said, “I think I’ll be glad to go home in two years.” Now, he’s settled in and really liking his job and our life here.

So, we don’t know. We’re keeping our options open right now.

Wendy also asked about our pets. I blogged about this a year ago, though much has changed since then.

When I accepted the job in Egypt, about 16 months ago, we had five animals, two cats and three dogs. Only two are still alive, the two younger dogs.

The Old Hound was sick and old and died peacefully after a life of adventure last July while we were still in the US. Iggy the diabetic cat came with us to Cairo but died from insulin shock about a month later. The Jeckyll/Hyde Kitty went to live with my mom, and she died last April after a very happy last few months.

Before I go any further, I do want to clarify that The Old Hound, Iggy, and the Jeckyll/Hyde Kitty were all quite senior. I think The Old Hound was the youngest, at about 14 years.

So that leaves Ms. Muddy Paws, who is living with my mom and whom I saw this summer, and Ms. Underfoot, who is living with another family in College Town. I love my girls, but they needed new homes even before we decided to move overseas as they just weren’t meshing with the boys. That sounds crass, but the situation was actually a bit dicey.

Of course, we’ve managed to acquire and lose a cat here. And of course now there’s the sweet if sicklyPuppy Four, who of late has been having seizures again.

Keep the questions coming, please. Wendy, I hope I answered yours.


17 September 2008 - Posted by | home, iggy the cat, our life in egypt, pets


  1. Sending healthy vibes to Puppy Four. 😦

    You can stream NPR from their website and walk through the.. um…um… There must be at least one park in Cairo. LOL See, just like home only with more yummy pollution! :p

    Comment by Typ0 | 18 September 2008

  2. Thanks for the well wishes for my pup.

    I do listen to NPR (am right now in fact!). What I miss is listening to local coverage about the place where I am, when I am there. So it goes like this: it’s Sunday morning, I have the NY Times in hand, and a cup of tea, and NPR is playing in the background. More mood than content, really.

    Comment by Ms. Four | 18 September 2008

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