Friday, June 6, 2008

Commando of Cats - Part 1

Negra or Fea
Lorenzo under the car
Buster poolside
The new toys

Splish Splash I was Takin’ A Bath
It is time to recognize the other inhabitants of 518 Calle 75, the COMMANDO OF CATS. Many of the cats occupied this house when it was abandoned for a few years. I think in the cat world it makes them part owners.
Just after dawn yesterday, I heard a Splash! In the pool and I went running. Moka was soaking wet. There were four other cats around the rim of the pool just watching in awe. This is Moka’s second swimming experience. She is one rare cat who loves the water. Moka did not appear traumatized, but she looked so funny. She looked like the wet cat photo my friend Jerry and Naomi had on their wall for years. One look at the scene had me wondering, did she do it on a dare? (“Can of Whiskas says you won’t.” “Two cans say I will.” Splash.) Did she fall in chasing a bug or tussling with one of the macho cats? Or was she making a statement: I am the head of this commando. Maybe she was just overheated and decided to cool off her very pregnant body. It does get hot here, and all that fur and the babies inside….Who knows? She is a curious and crazy little kitty.
If Buster is the Comandante General of the Commando, Moka is the Generala. As a neutered male, Buster would ordinarily be lower in the natural order of “who’s in charge” in the cat world. But the cats know this is his house, and he is twice the size of the rest of the commando. What’s more, he saunters in, eats, hangs out for a while, and then asks me for more food. When I give in and break out another can or packet, he sniffs it and walks away. He sits back and watches the rest of the commando sneak in the house to scarf up some food. I think he asks for the food for them.
The little Siamese Moka, Buster’s newest little sister, is the smallest of the commando. But she commands a lot of respect as an unspayed, pregnant female. She selects which cats get to eat from Buster’s and her bowls. Her favorite is Gemelo, which means twin, as he looks much like Buster and we think he is the father of her kitties. As of this writing I do not have a photo of that wily little bastard that sprays in the house. I better explain why I have a pregnant cat right now. I found Moka curled up at my gate one day in November. She was six weeks old and must have been the runt of the litter. She was really sick with sinus and respiratory infections. The wonderful veterinarian I have, coincidentally named Dr. Pablo, came to the house and treated her. She took antibiotics. I was actually giving her injections every day in one attempted treatment. (me….needles…..injections….horrors!) Eventually we gave up on the antibiotics and I prepared for her some Vicks VapoRub steam treatments. She would go into her little carrying case, I would put a towel over most of it, leave the door open, and set down the vapors. That helped her more than anything else, although to this day she still has sinus problems and continues to have her spa treatments often. I believe Dr. Pablo said we did not fix her because of her health and the risks in anesthesia. Our new plan is to fix her and the kittens as soon as is possible and practical. She is so unique looking I can’t wait to see the kittens. I have never had kittens. I know I need more cats like I need less brain cells. But hey, it is an unfulfilled childhood dream of mine to have kittens. Some people wanted children, I wanted kittens. We are going to have kittens.
Cuate is a Mexicanismo meaning “friend” or “buddy”. He is a handsome but dirty gray and white cat. He does not like me very much and usually greets me, in my own house, mind you, with a hideous hiss. But I can’t blame him. When I first moved in and became aware of the cat situation, I decided to have them all fixed! The local Humane Society makes it easy. They bring you a trap, come for the trapped cat, perform the operation and give the cat vaccinations and a checkup in the hospital, then return the cat for $35 US. Cuate fell for the trap first. Off with his balls! If I were Cuate I would hiss at Lindi too. He is Buster’s friend. Buster invites him in to play. There is a cat party in here every night while we sleep. Pablo was up all night one night and was amazed at the activity that went on around him. All they did was look at him and give him those “What is your problem?” eyes.
Momcat, the newest Siamese to join the commando, may be Moka’s Mom or sister. She has recently had kittens, we can hear them mewing softly next door at the abandoned meat packing building. She is shy and sneaks past me heading toward the feed bowls in the house as if I cannot see her. I am only afraid that soon she will bring those kittens over here, and really, this is a large enough commando. What’s more, we are having our own kittens soon.
Gray is a quiet and rather non-descript cat. He seems to keep to himself, and he likes to hang around poolside where it is cool. They all do. It is cooler around the pool. They all also drink the pool water. This fort is very important to this commando; there is food, shade, and water. And of course me, the biggest sucker in the world when it comes to cats. If I were a cat I would definitely make camp here at Lindi’s house.
Negra, aka Fea (ugly) is a little black cat. She is very sweet. She likes to be petted. She boldly comes to the door and cries for food. After I feed her outside, she sneaks in for more inside. She is a nice looking little feline, but when she opens her mouth and shows her few bad teeth she has a whiny raspy “whahhhhhhhh” that makes her look, well, not cute. She is so nice though that I felt bad calling her ugly, so we went with basic black and try to call her Negra. She has a twin brother who stays out of sight most of the time, but he is an active part of the commando also. I do not have a photo of Negro.
Negro keeps his distance because he was the second cat who fell into the trap. It was a matter of bad timing. I captured him over the weekend hurricane Dean was headed directly for Mérida last August. I put him in an empty room, as was suggested by the Humane Society, for two days….they said they could come for him on Monday. It was horrible. He was completely freaked out and racing pacing in that cage. Crunchies scattered everywhere, his water dish overturned. If that was not a big enough mess, he had diarrhea. I am not going to expound on this, nor exhibit the photo, yes, I took a photo, it freaked me out as much as it did him. As I watched Dean develop and the red alerts went up I figured there was no way the Humane Society would have time for this extraneous project of mine. So I let him go, cleaned up the mess, and never trapped another cat. I still believe it would be best for all, but I cannot do it quite like that again.
Lorenzo. Lorenzo is Spanish for Lawrence, but it is a colloquialism for someone crazy. Our Lorenzo, photo of him hiding under the bed above, is the talkative one of the bunch. It sounds like he is complaining all the time, or nuts, just walking around “Mrah, mrah, rrrrrrrrrrrew”…something like that. Other than griping, his favorite activity is to court the female cats. And spray. (Trap candidate.)
How about that cat scratching post that Pablo made? They do not sell things like this in México. These cats love to play. I told Pablo about the cat scratcher furniture and showed him photos on the internet, and he ran with it. He loves Moka and Buster and the commando. He built it from mostly scraps. The cats are having fun with it. I am looking forward to watching the kittens romp on it.

No comments: