Friday, January 20, 2012
Raining Cats and Dogs
He showed up a couple months ago, at night. I thought he was an apparition because one minute he was there, the next gone. Gone for a week before I saw him again.
Well-fed, friendly, this is no feral cat. But where does he live? Is he Mexicano or Americano? I've tried speaking to him in Spanish and in English. He responds to both - he answers, talks constantly.
I don't mind feeding him, having him around, but I'd heard him fighting with Blue, the park cat who's been abandoned by - hm, let's see, how many people? Three. So by default, she's mine. And she's huge too. This is the only photo I've been able to snap of her, under my trailer step, although she's not shy; I'm just too slow with the camera.
Big Cat isn't as nicely groomed as he was when he first showed up. His fur is a little more matted and I can feel bites or fleas or ticks or something along his back. I wonder if he's been recently abandoned. Maybe he and Blue bonded over their shared experience.
One day I went outside because I'd heard a kitten meowing. It was trapped on the roof of the bodega, looking down at me between the roof slats. Jesus, so now cats are falling from the sky? I got Manny to help get the kitten down. Like the Big Cat, the kitten was friendly and well cared for - clear eyes, pretty fur. But no way I could feed three cats so I did the worst thing I could've done: I gave him to a Mexican family. I knew their daughter would like the kitten but I knew, too, that they couldn't afford to feed a cat. They live in a house with no doors and with dirt floors. They wanted a mouser. I'm afraid they think the kitten can live on mice alone. The dilemma: do I give them a bag of food now and then? Or do I leave that kitten to his fate? At least they live way out on the edge of town where he won't be battling dogs and cars.
Recently two puppies were dropped over the trailer park wall. That happens a lot here. People know that Americanos are suckers for taking in strays. Sure enough, the people who found the puppy are keeping her, taking her to the U.S. when they go. She's one lucky dog.
The morning after my birthday I was driving home from Casa Blanca where I'd gone to breakfast with friends, hoping grease would be the cure for my hangover. A dog ran across the road. It looked very strange. What the hell....? Finally we could see that the poor thing had his head stuck inside a plastic bottle. Must've been licking out the remnants of whatever was in there. I didn't stop - the breakfast eggs, potatoes and bacon were rebelling against the previous night's tequila.
A dog's life in Mexico sucks. That's why so many expats start shelters or spay and neuter clinics - those procedures are outrageously expensive here, more than in the U.S. so it's no wonder people can't afford to get them done.
If Big Cat starts hanging out at my trailer on a regular basis, I may try to find a home for him only this time with a gringo, someone who lives in Kino or who will take him to a better life in El Norte. On the other hand, as long as he behaves himself, he can stay here. I think Blue likes having a friend.