Monday, December 15, 2008

I'll Cut Off Your Balls!

When people have asked me how I would like to be reincarnated, if I had a choice, if there is reincarnation (I've always hated that question, by the way), my answers have usually been: #1. I'd like to come back a dolphin. A free range dolphin who lives in the open ocean, not as an unpaid, unwilling employee of a dolphin-molesting operation. I'd like to be the one of the dolphins that finds a sailboat in the middle of the ocean and rides its wake just for fun, for a while. And then decide to jump and spin. I'd want to find my own food. Relatively free of predators and the freedom to roam the world, this sounds like the ideal life to me. Or: #2. MY cat. A cat who would have not had a chance if not for suckers like me. I wouldn't mind being the cat of several of my cat loving friends; the point is, I don't want to come back an alley cat eating trash out of restaurant garbage cans and sleeping under cars. I would want my own human slave. Just like my cats have it.

A thought occurred to me today while I was poop scooping the two cat boxes as my feline owners looked on and occasionally supervised. There are some challenges involved with their little lives. I posted some of their learning experiences last month. However life continues to lead us all on a learning path. I can see some difficult times for the feline population around me.

One day I took photos of the cats sleeping away the afternoons as they regularly do. Those are the photos I posted here. That was when I was thinking how easy they have it. They poop. I scoop. They cry. I open a can of cat food or offer some fresher crunchies. (Or on occasion, saute up some delicious chicken innards.) They need affection, they plop themselves on my lap or laptop thus getting what they want exactly whenever they want it. Not a bad life.

Last week, Busmo and Mokito were playing brotherly rough outside. Mokito cried and ran into the house. There were a few drops of blood. I went to the scene of the fight and found a tooth. It looked like a bridge with two teeth, but he hasn't had dental work, so I guess it was just one of his baby teeth. It hurt though, I could tell, he put on his little sad face. He has this sad little old man face that tortures me. After a little while he forgot about the mouth pain and he was playing with Lorenza. I went outside to play with them. I forget I am a mammoth compared to them. When they tired of the game, Mokito left (or so I thought) and Lorenza stayed for some compulsory petting. I stood up and MMMEEEOOOW! Oops! I stepped on Mokito's hind leg. Nothing seemed broken. But that was over a week ago and he is still limping. (He is a good actor, so who really knows.) He has gotten better in the past couple of days because he 's started to play soccer with his Coke bottle cap again with Pablo.

A rough day for Mokito, I thought. Pablo and I went out for the day and we left the pool half empty. At the moment we returned from our adventure, in walked Mokito soaking wet, limping twice as much, having fallen YET AGAIN into the pool. He must have had to strugggle to get out with the water level so low. The humbling life of kittenhood.

Yesterday I returned from the grocery store around 1:30pm. I unpacked most of the bags and got distracted putting perishables away. Then the cats spied the new food and cried for some. In half an hour or so I remembered the cases of holiday beer I had in the back of the car. I brought them in and closed up the car.

At 9pm Pablo went out to start the car so we could go out, and Moka dashed from inside the vehicle, scared shitless. She had been locked in there all that time. Luckily it was a cold cloudy day and the car sits in shaded covered parking. She tried to dig her way out but was stuck in there. She is still a little freaked today. If it had been a typical Mérida day............well. I don't even want to go there.


The last cat issue is the "humane" thing we do: fixing our animals. When I moved in there were so many wild cats that seemed to live in this house I decided I would trap and fix them all. Cut off their balls, by God! I knew I would still have a problem with the territorial odor, but at least there would not be a dozen new kittens every month who might well end up starving to death or end up in my kitchen at feeding time. Perhaps the fighting would mellow some. Maybe Buster could have friends, being a neutered male, if I were to ever find him. These fixed boys are at the bottom of the totem pole of catdom. This area is a particularly rough area for cats. Inner city behavior, and lots of competition.

I trapped the cat we now call Cuate. The local humane society came with the trap, then picked him up, performed the surgery, gave him shots, and returned him. It cost me 350 pesos, or $35 US. I was ready to take on the commando. I trapped a second cat, the one we call Negro. When Hurricane Dean upset our daily routines, I had to let him go. Buster was found and my ball crunching crusade was called off.

So here's the point. Negro, Gemelo, Gris and Lorenzo...are the commandantes I am aware of that are NOT fixed. Therefore they are always fighting for top cat. Buster is bigger than the three of them so he manages to stay out of most fights. Plus, he is the food source. But Cuate has been getting his ass beat. Did I really do him a favor by cutting off his balls? Did I ruin his very existence? He is Buster's friend, and is invited for dinner often, but when I lean down to put food in the dish he ALWAYS hisses at me. I find his behavior completely understandable. I can practically hear the horrible things he calls me.

Fixing female cats seems to be okay. That is if it is okay with you to make the decision for another being whether they want to be mothers or not. But the bottom line with cats is that there are just too many and they multiply too often. So spaying really doesn't break my heart. I had my own self fixed, and it was the best thing I ever did. And I thought it was pretty big of me to let Moka have her litter and keep them all. And spay/neuter them all. It is fun to have a house full of perpetual kittens. But I was left wondering just how far we humans should go to mess with the natural flow of natural things. That's all. Just some cat thoughts. I am really trying to figure out how to write a children's book with all that I am learning from watching the cat behavior, but first I have to finish the other zillion projects on the list.
Sak Boox and Busmo.


¡Que rico!


Lena said...

Does Merida have a lot of stray cats? In Israel, we have major street-cat problems; the British brought them in ages ago to get rid of rats but they never controlled the population. There are some people that catch and fix the cats. My roommate adopted her cat from the university dorms two years ago.

Calamity said...

You asked for it.

Daniela said...

I happen to enjoy the cat update, but I'm not blog critic so what do I know...

Anonymous said...

In response to Calamity's "You asked for it" I offer:

I agree that Lindi's blogs need to be less stream of consciouness and more select in her prose. She does have a lot to say and comes from a set of experiences that cry out for her 'sense of it all'.

I am, by the way, part of her family, and she should not worry about what the family would think. We're all trying to come to some sense of what life is suposed to be - or not be, so the last thing we would be is judgmental.

Linda Dorton said...

Merida has a lot of cats. The strays in my neighborhood seem to live in the abandoned meat packing building next door and eat at my house. The wild cats come and go, they get poisoned, they get run over, who knows what else. We are down to the family of six and only three that sneak in for food.

I think there is a bigger problem with the dogs. People here feed cats scraps, but don't take responsibility for them as pets. Dogs, I don't know where they come from but there are lots of strays. One of my neighbors is rescuing dogs and it has become a full time job.

Linda Dorton said...

Dear Sibling, Thanks for the words of encouragement. I appreciate the support.