Thursday, 10 January 2019

A Little Housecleaning and thoughts in the dead of Winter


 This is the silently famous cat who patrolled the Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra 
Madre.  She was very similar to another cat we had during my infancy 
(1947 - 1963), who lived to a very advanced age (21 years) and who was
 considered to be human.

Lamentably,  the cat pictured only had  the name of "Kitty-kitty".
She was
 very demanding, very compliant, and was a friend to dogs of honour and
 cats of all kinds.  She always slept inside, and during cold times,she and
 her sister and another 00spare cat…would sleep intertwined twixt the
 three, and sometimes with a stinky dog!

It will be only another profound sadness 
should you outlive them.

     All this present day disorder is uncalming to an old Confederate…so he retreats to his calm area, as would any self-respecting antique snowflake, and mopes.  He might remember the loss of the kitten his wife ordered him to take to the house, after she had fallen off of the roof of the Doctor's office where my boss was employed.

     The kitten was terribly small, almost nothing but ears and scrawny skinbulging eyesand yet with all the conceit of a cat, very demanding of immediate attentionNOW!!!

    So, as ordered,  I gathered up the kitten; as ordered and took her to the house.  She immediately went to the bathroom where apparently she smelled the water dripping from the shower-head in the main bathroom…and sniffed the one drop-per-second or so.

     I determined that the first priority was going to have to be that she have water.  El Gringo Viejo put her up on the top of the toilet tank with an tiny ironstone saucer with distilled water.  Obviously, after falling from a roof, she had no further fear of heights and she set about re-hydrating.

     She evacuated that saucer almost instantly…and it was refilled.   Within seconds that amount of  H2O was evacuated, and the saucer was refilled again.  While she worked on that saucer-full, I went to the refrigerator and took out and then shredded a bit of roasted chicken from yesterday, and placed it on a sheet of newspaper, folded in quarters.

   Surprise, surprise when the kitten showed up in the kitchen…nose twitching…and finally running over to the folded paper towel with perhaps a couple of ounces of mixed dark and white meat of chicken.  This was a little more challenging, but this cat demonstrated that her forte' was to be found in her challenges.  And she liked "The Colonel".  


    This cat later was taken up and brought to our little adobe hut and our lot that faces onto the the Rio Corona in the middle of NoWhere, Mexico.  She strode about, investigating every corner of the house and checking out the entire property.  She decided that being the Queen of a property such as this was not all that bad.  Better being Queen of England than President of an Unknown Universe.  So she took over the house.

     One of her favourite "tricks" was to take the seat of a chair at the supper table, while my clients would be eating supper.  She would then put her chin on the table, while sitting in the extra chair.  I kept a supply of moist corn-kernels in the refrigerator and would place a couple of kernels in front of her nose, and she would very, very discreetly pop up and take her "dessert".  I would provide explanations and respond to questions concerning birds, and the trek of the day.
     She (the cat) would almost request permission for her absence before and after and eat her "dessert".   Then she would pop up againthe clients were totally charmed A man who had always "hated" cats wound up bringing cat treats for this cat when he and his boss (wife) were drinking margaritas on the corridor and reviewing their birdwatching books for the names of recently first-seen birds ("lifers", in the idiom of real birdwatchers).

     This cat and her sister, whom I brought down a bit later, grew and became adult cats, unfortunately, and they had a double marriage with Tom Cats of the community.  These mother cats had two litters, totalling five kittens…all of whom were male cats.   Odds?  Buy a lottery ticket, although I have never bought one nor shall I buy one.   Five kittens born of two mothers, and all males is really off the scale.

    Moving quickly, let us change the tone and topic:   One of those kittens at the age of 10 weeks was taken by some reliable people to the innards of the very pleasant Capital City of Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas.  A couple of months passed by and all five kittens were invested with good families.  Imagine the confusion when on the same day, the people who took one of the cats, and who named the poor beast "Wendall", had been scared away from his place.  Next door were some degenerate people, unqualified for residence in the neighbourhood.

     There were several fighting dogs owned by a character who had "peculiar" orbit of "friends".  The dogs would go crazy at the merest scent of the tomcat.   So it turned out that the cat managed to escape and begin a one month retrace back to the place of his birth.   The people from Cd. Victoria arrived one day, shortly after the arrival of "Wendell".  They were more than nearly tearful about having lost "Wendell"…and they informed me that they would like to have another cat like "Wendell".

(Long, long pause."Buenosaben Ustedes que los gatos y los perros frequentamente traten de regresar a sus lugares nativos?  Espcialmente cuando han sido espantados por otros animales?"
Well, okay, but you all need to be aware that cats and dogs try to return to their places of birth, especially when they have been frightened by other animals".)

    Everyone in the family nodded and verbally agreed…seemingly contrite for having done nothing wrong.   In the parlour…and out of the sight of the folks from the downtown, rich-folks area, Cd. Victoria down about 18 miles southeast of your Adobe Hut…t(he famous Quinta Tesoro de la Sierra Madre)…there came a loud "meeeeooooowwww", and the children and the wife said "He's here!!!  He's here!!!!"   I openned the front door and out rushed Wendelltrotting and padding the Saltillo tile as if the baked tiles were Persian woven carpets, meoowwwing with glee and rubbing up the legs and ankles of the people who had cared for him.
     The last I heardand this was 10 years ago or moreWendell became very selective about his "novias" (girl-friends), and he liked lounging around in the lower range of the upper-class of the professional city-folksleeping and making up his Santa's list for next Christmas.  

     Sadly, and this is for the girls and women who need a good, soft cry…the mother  of Wendell began to go into very quick decline.  She was twenty years old, and had raised a family, protected El Gringo Viejo, Alvaro, the dogs and pertinences of The Property, and was exhausted with life.   While I was speaking to the very woman who saved her boss…I placed the receiver part of the telephone to the cat's ear and upon hearing the voice of my boss, my wife…who had saved the noble cat's life…the noble cat made running motions with her lower legs and feet, and then... took flight with the Angels.

It was an event to forever remember.

More later,
All honour to those who remember honour. And all honour to those who have fallen…..
El Gringo Viejo