I Moved To Oaxaca

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Saturday afternoon, a beautiful, warm, dry, breezy day with a bright blue sky and puffy white clouds. It helps.

Last night I kept hearing a cat crying; not the "let's rumble!" or "let's get it on, baby" kind of noise but the "I'm lost!" sound. On and on and on. I finally went outside, and when I did I saw the guards across the street at the governor's house doing the same thing. It sounded like the cat was on the roof of his house, but even though a guy went up there with a flashlight to check, he didn't see it.

It would stop for a couple of hours, then start crying again, off and on through the night. When it started again this morning I again went outside to look, but this time the cat was just outside our building's entryway! A little tabby, maybe four months or so. When it saw me it darted under the front door and into the foyer of our bldg. It hid in the corner behind the door for awhile as I talked to it, but it didn't want me to touch it or get too close. And in addition to crying I could see it shaking with fear. I didn't want to leave it there, so I went to grab it and it darted under the gate and into the patio. Then Carlos, our building's handyman, heard the ruckus and came down. Well, we cornered it, and Carlos grabbed the kitten. And then quickly strangled it and took it away.

It was harsh to see, but I'm not at all upset with Carlos. What else are you going to do with a lost feral kitten? But I cried and cried, and I guess Carlos felt bad because next thing our landlady came down to talk with us, and we managed to get some words across, but not much. And then we had to hightail it to school to teach.

I was still crying walking to school but got it under control for class -- thankfully it went well -- and for a short talk afterwards with Manuel. I basically told him that I was having a confidence crisis in the wake of Kaiser Sosje's visit, and that I felt my being sick was interfering with work, that kind of thing. But he was fine with it all (and said everyone had a tough time with that woman's visit), so it went well. I went to collect Greg and saw he was in Patricia's office practicing his Spanish on her. When I came in Patricia asked me how I was, then said, "I have a little present for you," and handed me a card and a small bag. When I looked inside I started to bawl! I quickly shut the door to her office but her office walls are mostly glass, so it didn't really afford me much privacy as I tried to explain what happened. On the way to school I told Greg it felt like I had bad cat luck (failing Tyson, Berdoo, and not having Izzy here), and the incident with the kitten this morning just reinforced that feeling. So when I opened the bag and saw three little painted wood cats ... Patricia at first was aghast at her timing, but I told her that it felt like a sign of good cat luck, and that that was a good thing on a day like today.

So there you go. Greg did a little prayer smoke in the Llano for the kitten, we had a good talk and a good sit, and then I read the card Patricia gave me: it was a get well soon card signed by everyone at work, so of course I started to cry again, even with the usual park crowd all around us.

I'm still sick, but I feel better about work. It's a hard habit to break, that not confiding in people in the workplace. But I just heard from our travel agent in El Cerrito that Aero Mexico will not allow animals in the cabin, even if in an under-the-seat crate. Now what?


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