609: Untrustworthy

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WHY is it absolutely necessary, essential even, that I be supervised whilst scooping the kitty litter box?

WHY?

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569: Bygones

standing

Used to be friends,

much beloved kitties,

men I thought were mates – who weren’t,

belongings I lost along the way (that I still randomly include in my dreams)

plans I had for my life,

hope for the future.

That smoking hot body I remember,

the fruit trees I planted everywhere I used to live (that someone else is harvesting now),

the books I read and passed on to other readers.

The children I raised, and set free.

The person I was.

Life.

343: And Also

And also, the neighbor –

after three consecutive days of party hearty into the wee hours (and beyond into daybreak)

was cleaning up the beer-and-BBQ debris, followed by

a tiny white kitten, whom, when questioned about this tiny fur person,

answered “He’s yours,”

despite the fact (which he already knows full well)

that I already possess four kitty people who all call me mom, AND

who displayed (knowing this would cinch the adoption) this tiny baby’s open sores

to my shocked gaze, ensuring the little fellow would be able to (instantly) claim a new mama.

His white fur has cafe-o-lait color smudge clouds, topped by an erect dark pencil tail and startling intensely blue eyes and

also, he stands in the food bowl, frantically kneading the kibble,

purring madly while scarfing  bikkies as fast as he can,

because he is unsure if the food will last, like a shipwreck survivor, which

in a way,

he is.

 

334: Movieland

I have movies I have seen that left  me wondering what in the world I spent nearly two hours watching that for? What a waste. And then, there are those magical ones that you actually search out to purchase. The good ones. The really GOOD ones.  My favorite ones are an eclectic mix of romance, science fiction, comedy, horror and drama. I used to enjoy going to the movie theater to see them, but not any more. There are  too many people who have cell phones and don’t mind at all having them go off during the movie, and carrying on long, involved conversations, usually right in the middle of the best parts of the film.

Much better to see them in my own home, where I can get popcorn that does not cost an arm and a leg, and I can pause the movie if I have to visit the restroom – and MY restroom is clean, thank you very much. And I don’t (usually) have to wait in line. Much better all the way around – I don’t even have to dress up! And the movie does not start until I am ready for it to start, and I can have a warm, purring kitty in my lap, all of which does not happen at the theater.

What are some of my good ones? Enemy Mine, Galaxy Quest, Cold Mountain, Tank Girl, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sommersby, Gone With the Wind, Braveheart, Mad Max, Waterworld, The Postman, Road Warrior, Tim, The Thorn Birds, The Bad Seed, Titanic, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, the Pirates of the Caribbean movies,  Zombieland, Barry Lyndon, Ben Hur, Bull Durham, Dr. Zhivago, and a host of others I can’t recall right now, but they know they are my faves.

What are your faves? Which are the ones that come first to YOUR mind?

331: Furry lovers

I have cats who share my life. I am not sure who is the owner and who is the pet in these circumstances, but I am the one scheduling doctor visits and buying the kibble and litter, not to mention scooping the box, so in MY opinion at least, I qualify as…caretaker, at least, if not actually the OWNER.

Last night, as I left my room’s door open to catch the evening breeze (the fact that one fur child was already cozily bedded down on the cushy rug was definitely, definitely NOT a factor), I was fairly certain that I would be visited inside my mosquito netting by one or more babies who, being far more nocturnal than yours truly, would visit therein in hopes of getting some mommy loving. Sure enough, Fez came by, settled on my chest and tummy, began making gentle bread on my cushy abdomen, and settled down for lazy stroking from me. She signaled her approval by occasionally licking my leg with her sandpaper-rough tongue. When she

Fez

Fez

had enough pets to satisfy her, she ambled off the bed and went to find a cooler spot to spend the night. She likes sleeping on mommy only in the chilly winter – which does not exist at sea-level Panama.

Later, Fluff-man came by, settled in a warm, furry ball beside my ear on the pillow, and began rumbling deep in his chest, vibrating my ear drums with his hypnotizing purr. He then reached over with both front feet, and made bread on my shoulder, more forcefully than Fez does, being a man-kitty-type person. Any parent will tell you that it is very nice when your children spontaneously come and love on you, and kitty parents are no exception. It’s nice, even when it is the middle of the night.

Now if only my human children would send a message…….

209: Rest in Peace, Number Five

Humsa

Humsa


Yeah, I know some people would say, Jeepers, creepers, lady, it’s just a CAT – as if that makes the loss hurt any less. We lost sweet number five last night to his automobile injuries. Yes, I know that I have eight other cats that I have brought home, but each and every one is a special personality, just like my human children are individual people. They are all my fur children.

Humsa (Arabic for number five) isn’t hurting anymore, thank God, and I sure do want to believe that Heaven is a big enough place for all those special creatures who make human life so much sweeter. If being loved on Earth is a qualification for an animal getting into Heaven, then he’s there.

Yes, we could have saved him from the car if we had kept him inside the house all the time, but he loved going out. He’s the one who would go next door to the mosque at prayer call and wait by the door for the people to come to prayer, graciously accepting pets from everyone coming in to pray. Then, he would make the rounds of the street vendors who also come to the mosque because of the people coming in to pray. Yes, he had some close calls with cars before.

Once, my husband and I had been to the weekly souk (the Moroccan version of an old-fashioned flea and farmer’s market). Mojo was wearing his favorite khaki shorts, and we both heard the ominous ‘rrriiipppppppp’ when he squatted down to check out the quality of a freshly-dug pile of potatoes offered for sale. He’d split the seat out, pretty thoroughly, too. I gave him my jacket to tie around his waist for emergency modesty (for some reason, he was also commando (of course). If you are not wearing underwear, that WILL BE the day you split your pants wide open. We quickly finished our grocery shopping for the week and walked the block to our car repair shop, where we’d left the car for a minor repair while we shopped. Since we finished the shopping too quickly because of the shorts, the repair was not finished. so Hafid, one of the two mechanics we take our car to, gave us a ride home once we explained Mojo’s predicament. Muslims understand modesty very well.

When we were almost home (at the noon prayer time), we saw Humsa crossing the street, dangerously in front of a car that was not slowing down in the street that was also crowded with people. Moroccan drivers are famous for their disregard of life and limb when they are behind the wheel of a car. Mojo was incensed, and shouted to Hafid to stop the car, and he got out and yelled at the driver (who was also endangering PEOPLE), and bent to scoop number five into his arms to safety. What he forgot, in his concern for sweet-natured Humsa, was that his shorts were split wide open. I quickly got out of the car and attempted to shield my husband’s bare behind from the view of about a hundred people who were coming to the mosque to pray (not to get a free peep show). He was so worried about Humsa, he didn’t even notice, and I walked closely behind him (and the kitty in his arms) blocking the view of his trim and compact, but hairy behind as we made it the few feet to the door of our apartment building. Hafid was laughing, and shaking his head from side to side at the same time. He met my eyes, and we both shrugged – what can you do? At least Humsa was safe, that time.

He was the one little Honey Bunny danced up to and swatted the first day I brought her home. Humsa was a husky, eight-month old boy – and she was a tiny little scrap of a kitten, but fearless all the same. Humsa was immediately charmed, and he played with her (gently) for quite some time. Everybody else hissed at her, for weeks, but not easy-going Humsa.

Humsa and Caruso iinvestigating snow

Humsa and Caruso iinvestigating snow

When I got him, some of the apartment children were playing with him, and one of them announced loudly when I showed interest in the kitten “He’s MINE!” so I didn’t interfere. Two days later, I saw him at school, alone, and figured that mama had seen the kitten and had said “NO!” Since he was not claimed then, I brought the hungry little boy home, and we found out he had a tummy problem (which was probably what got him evicted). He also had ringworm, so we began treating him, and feeding him. He was so used to being hungry that he had what I call a “poverty belly” for weeks and weeks. Remember the pictures of famine children? When you don’t get food, your stomach swells. Humsa, who was our fifth cat at the time, ate every chance he got. I was sure that he was thinking: at least if THESE people throw me out, too, I’ll have a full belly. Eventually, he began to get used to having food, and he didn’t stuff himself every chance he got anymore. I figured he came to the conclusion that he could stay.

We had thought he was getting better from his final, ultimately fatal, meeting with the car. It appeared to the vet and to us, that he’d just taken a powerful whack to his hind end, and he was limping, but no broken bones. We gave him pain meds, and kept him inside, and he seemed to be doing OK. When we finally realized that he wasn’t doing OK, it was a Moroccan holiday weekend (Thursday, Friday, Sat. and Sun.) and the vet was not in town. We bought him antibiotics, and started them right away, but whatever was wrong inside was just too much. We made him a pad of towels in front of the heater so he would not be cold – he would often lie there, like his house mates do, in a warm kitty pile, basking in the warmth of the fire, like all kitties like to do. We petted him a lot.

Humsa and friends

Humsa and friends

Rest in peace, sweet boy. I miss your big golden eyes already.

144: Lost Kitty

Some time back, Squeaky got adopted by another teacher here at the school where I teach. Squeak made herself totally lovable one evening when I volunteered to show two new international teachers the medina in Azrou, the town here in Morocco where we live. Squeak commandeered the lap of Miss O’Donnell, and turned the charm up to force 10. So, she got adopted.

A vacation of several days loomed on the horizon, so Miss O’Donnell asked if Squeak (now know by the more elegant moniker of Shukran, or Thank You in Arabic) came back for a visit, since there was no one to cat-sit her in the university apartments. While she was there, we had an electrical problem, and called the electrician. When he came to make repairs, he neglected to properly close the apartment door, and we had a massive kitty break-out. EVERYBODY went outside. This is a problem, since we normally allow only our four older cats outside, and only after we have personally walked them up and down the building steps a number of times, so that they know which door is home.

We recovered every cat but one – guess which one?? It has been over a week now, and we still have seen hide nor hair of Shukran. I feel terrible about this, since her disappearance happened when we were watching her. This is like losing someone’s CHILD!! We made posters with her picture, and I used Google translate to write, in French on each poster: Lost cat, brown stripe with a green collar: Reward, and our phone number. So far, no calls.