Thursday, April 14, 2011
the cats that live at my house
Hungry, dirty, and full of fleas Cookie came into our lives. She was too small for solid food when we first brought her home.
A few months after we found Cookie, as I was getting up to start lunches and breakfast, I coud hear a kitten crying. I opened the front door just in time to see a tabby kitten running away. On our way home from school I told the girls to keep an eye out for him. We saw no sign of him until we got to our house and there he was meowing under the hedge. This is how Mowgli came to live with us.
Mowgli was very wild. Already able to eat solid food, he was not that hungry and the flea bath traumatized him. He spent the first week under the cupboards. I told the girls we'd take him to get fixed and release him back to the street; he seemed so miserable and scared. But somehow he came around. He doesn't like the kids as much as Cookie does but he's very affectionate.
Occasionally since I've been here in Latin America, I've encountered some pretty incredible superstition about cats. I remember in Costa Rica, this one woman telling me how cats can steal your soul when you sleep and she was not joking. She seemed to attribute all crib death to cats. A lot of people in the countryside seemed to think cats were evil, dangerous and dirty. You really only saw cats as pets in foreigners' houses. The city is different, and here in Panama I've met quite a few people with pet cats. So I was a little surprised when my daughter encountered the whole evil cat thing in the playground.
There's this girl we sometimes see at the playground, who verges on bully. She's more feared than liked and honestly seems really unhappy. I keep a close watch when my kids are playing with her, but kids know, there is always wariness when she approaches the group. The other day she told my daughter in hushed, scandalized tones that "cats are the only animal that isn't in the bible." This information was supposed to make my daughter feel bad or deviant for having pet cats. The stupidity of it just kind of baffled her. 'What is that supposed to mean?" We laughed all the way home to our devil cats.