Saturday, November 27, 2010

Buckeyes: We're Everywhere

I met Sharon, below, at a dinner party last week.  What best I remember from all the people at that party is  mentioning I'm originally from Ohio and seeing her open her purse and whip out:
This Buckeye!

Need I say more?  Once a Buckeye, always a Buckeye. We're everywhere.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Now What Have I Done?

If I were a young,homeless, starving, half-feral/half-GATO FINO and you wanted to call me "Mokito"...well, I'd say, "Call me anything but don't call me late for dinner...." and I'd come flying into your open arms. I'd probably tell you my tales of woe and let you caress me while visions of fancy feast filled my head, just like GATO FINO did yesterday.  My new feral personality would hiss and growl at my formerly beloved siblings and MOM, since I'd been living on the street and defending my very existence for the past month.

It wasn't the behavior that tipped me off that this might not be Mokito.  This cat mimicked much of Mokie's unique attributes...down to his annoying screechy meow that could cause any catnapper to re-open the door to freedom!  It was uncanny.  The other cats investigated and sensed something very wrong.  I didn't expect them to roll out a red carpet, but the extreme rejection seemed unlike all of them. They are a close cat family.

Almost exactly 24 hours after GATO FINO escaped to the other side yesterday, he reappeared.  He stood in the patio and called out, this time grabbing Pablo's attention.  Pablo only heard about yesterday's fiasco, so his reaction was a surprise.  Knowing it wasn't Mokito, he TOO thought it was, the voice sounded so much like our cat.  The whole fandamily went out for a secondary inspection.  

Try and tell me this doesn't look JUST LIKE Mokito!

 This is definitely not Mokito.

This is Mokito at a frazzled frantic moment, and even here you can see they are two different cats.
Oh, there is one more thing, IMPOSTOR MOKITO is a GIRL.  With my luck, one who needs plenty of veterinary attention and surgery before it's too late. St. Francis, we're still asking for help down here in crazy cat lady land!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mokito: Traveling Tails

Today is a good example of how hectic life has been most recently.  It took me more than three years to learn how to relax (successfully achieve NOTHING and stay busy doing it).  Wouldn't you know, the first time I don't feel GUILTY about my slowed down pace of life, all hell breaks loose.

Pablo left the house for work at 8:30am.  We have vacancies on the San Pedro Nohpat property, and at 8:40am a couple came by the office(house) to see photos of the rooms for rent.  Shortly after they arrived, my friend Mike came for daily pool exercise.  Once he got settled in, I attended to the couple who decided to rent the room.  After the necessary details were in tact, I headed out to chat with Mike, opting to skip today's pool experience. I was already getting plenty of exercise.

The doorbell rang.  I figured it was either the upstairs tenant who doesn't know we changed the lock while he was away, or the botellon delivery guys...who I needed to talk to about their promotions and of course, buy drinking water.

Instead it was my friend/neighbor Jill.  I thought she was here to pick up the giant bags of catfood another friend of ours left here to donate to Evolution, the animal rescue shelter where Jill works so hard.  Jill seemed rather animated, and was excited to tell me that Mokito might have been found.  He's been missing since Oct.23rd.  Another neighbor/friend Julie is missing her cat, "Rattie", and as she was hanging posters a woman mentioned she hadn't seen THAT cat, but she'd seen a different "fine cat" that was living in the bodega across the street.  She described Mokito.  Jill explained to me that "fine cats" are those who likely have or have had people, unlike the feral cats who have always been homeless savages.

I locked Mike in and drove off with Jill in pursuit of Mokito.  We found Julie and Steve were chatting with the woman Jill'd spoken about.  They'd called "Mokito" and the cat came to them.  Evidently one of them was able to pick him up -  he was inside Julie's van when we arrived at the scene.  I called his name and he cried out, exactly the way Mokito would do!  I opened the door, he came right to me, sat in my lap, where we all cried.  Julie drove me home, where Mokito seemed to calm down when he saw our house from the outside. He'd been so patient and happy in my lap in the vehicle.  "Mokito" greeted Mike, who'd been waiting to leave my house for God knows how long.  Even Mikey seemed a little teary eyed (ok, I'm probably exaggerating, but he was touched!) seeing Mokito back.  Mikey had blogged about Mokito's disappearance!  He is a special little guy and has been missed by all. 

I carried the cat into the house, and sat him down at the food bowl in my bedroom.  When I went to get a can of soft food for him, the other cats had become curious.  Moka was the first to growl and make scary noises reminiscent only of her giving birth....and none of the other cats seemed to recognize the scent of this GEMELO DE MOKITO.  Granted, Mokito would smell differently living in a warehouse for a month, having been to territory uncharted by these homesteaders.  The Mokito was thin, causing me to remember how thin, hungry and wild Buster came home after being missing in this crazy city for two months.  I was only 98% sure it WAS Buster back then!  But it was Buster, and he recouperated this day he only rarely exhibits his feral side.

I decided that Mokito needed to be alone for a little while, to eat more tranquilly; calm down.  I started putting the other cats(4) out the door into the dining room - one at a time. I got them out and remembered I had Mike, Julie, Jill, Steve....AND the bottled water guys....ALL still waiting for me at the front gate.  I thanked everyone, frantically shoved them all out on to the street (sorry, friends).....and went back to lots of howling and growling.  (NO blond or Polish jokes please) I hadn't closed the cat window in the bedroom, so the curious four had re-entered the not-so-tranquil scene.

When I finally had just Mokito in the room, I was petting him as he sat in my lap. I started looking at his face. It looked different. Although Julie commented that not many cats look like Mokito, we remembered how MANY looked like him during the animal sterilization clinic we worked last year.  He got down to eat more food.  Since I have his photo on my desktop, I started comparing faces. The cat eating while the others growled did not have the same facial markings as Mokito at all.  The wide part of Mokito's nose is all white, with an even reverted V-shape up into his forehead. This cat had HALF the white nose.....

 This is a close up of OUR Mokito...not the impostor! The New Mokito had the dark (his) right eye, but less white nose.

Eventually New Mokito hid in the bathroom, and I opened the door and window.  There's nothing worse than being locked in AGAIN if that's what happened him to him this past month.  He snuck out and investigated the patio area.  He jumped up that tree the way old Mokito would.  Right now I have NO idea if that was our Mokito.....whose markings showed up differently with his weight loss and feral attitude, or just another "fine cat" who thought he had found an acceptible new home, only to be disappointed and FREAKED OUT  by the presence of a queen and entire commando!  By the time it occurred to me to take a new photo........he was up the tree and over on the other side.

Finding Mokito gave Julie hope, who just lost her cat yesterday.  I hate to tell her it wasn't Mokito she found, and since I'm not sure, I think I won't.  This is RAT, who goes by "Ratty", tho' I'm not sure how he spells it.  He was lost Nov.17th around 75th and 66th, centro, just like Mokito.  St. Francis, you've got double duty now! 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Gringo Surprise!

We have the Diário del Yucatán newspaper delivered on weekends. I usually peruse the front page for international news or gang war news, and then pull out the Local Section.

Imagine my surprise when , in the middle of the newspaper, I found these two sections of NEW YORK TIMES full of 'selected articles' in ENGLISH.  I haven't read any of them yet, so this is not a critical review.  I was just stoked to see some NEW news in English!  If I find anything of extreme interest, I'll add a new post.  If you live in Diário territory and feel you lack some new reading material, check out the New York Times available at any intersection.

ps.  NO, No sign of Mokito yet.  Never give up hope.  (: note to self: repeat several times daily :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Once a Buckeye, always a buckeye.

Last week I unexpectedly found myself in Monroe, Michigan, joining my family for the burial one of my cousins.  Donna was only 48, and it was a strong call for family bonding. Of course it was sad that our reunion was for a funeral, but we are family and being together helped ease the grief a little.

My oldest brother, Jay, came into the house, showed me a bag full of buckeyes, and asked me if I'd collected any.  The fact was, I'd forgotten all about buckeyes.  We weren't in Ohio, the Buckeye State, we were in Michigan! What would make me seek out buckeyes?  The funny thing was, as soon as I saw Jay's buckeyes I walked straight down to the river bank looking for the tree.  I have carried a buckeye in my purse 'for luck' since the last time we had a family reunion, in 2004, for my nephew's wedding in Chicago.  (My brother doesn't miss a buckeye tree!) As kids in Ohio, we collected buckeyes like dutiful little squirrels every autumn.  I remember making leis out of them, but mostly I remember how much fun we had collecting them. 

After I collected a new batch of buckeyes, for what purpose I had no idea, I started looking at the buckeye with renewed interest.  So what CAN you do with a bag of buckeyes?  And why do we feel compelled to collect them?  All I know is Jay hand carried his bag to Houston,  promptly filled a vase with the worthless seeds and proudly put them on display.  Now that I'm home in Mérida, my new collection is in a glass bowl in my 'china cabinet'.  I'm thinking if I meet someone down on their luck, I can help them out with a LUCKY BUCKEYE!

For those of you who are not familiar with the buckeye and wonder why we Ohioans are so quick to relate to each other simply because we're Buckeyes, collect and display the worthless seeds, support sports teams JUST because they're called Buckeyes, among other slightly odd is some information for you.  It just goes to show, you can learn something new every day.  Maybe not something earthshattering or life changing, but it's something.  Buckeyes are symbols of SURVIVAL.  Being a survivor, I like having buckeyes around.  Below are a couple photos I took of my new bucks, and a bit of history I found online about them.

From Wikipedia,
Buckeye may refer to:

Several tree species of the genus Aesculus

  • A person from the "buckeye state" (Ohio).
  • Ohio State Buckeyes, the intercollegiate athletic teams of The Ohio State University
  • Buckeye (chicken), a breed of chicken originating in Ohio
  • Butterflies in the genus Junonia
  • T-2 Buckeye, an aircraft
  • Buckeyes, the athletic teams of Nelsonville-York High School
  • Buckeye, a named passenger train operated by the Pennsylvania Railroad between Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Buckeye (butterfly), a butterfly found in the United States and Canada
  • Buckeye candy (a.k.a. Buckeyes), a peanut butter and chocolate candy made to resemble the nut of a buckeye tree
  • Buckeye band (a.k.a. BUCKEYE), a pop/rock recording band with Polydor Records founded in Ohio during the 1970's
Places in the United States
  • Buckeye, Arizona
  • Buckeye, Colorado
  • Buckeye, Indiana
  • Buckeye, Iowa
  • Buckeye, Kansas
  • Buckeye, Kentucky
  • Buckeye Township, Stephenson County, Illinois
  • Buckeye Township, Michigan
  • Buckeye, New Mexico

Fictional characters:  Nathan "Buckeye" Heywood or Citizen Steel, a DC Comics character
Buckeye Trail, a long-distance trail in Ohio

Buckeye Steel Castings, a former steelmaker in Columbus, Ohio

Buckeye Division or 37th Infantry Division, a division of the US Army

Buckeye Pipe Line

Buckeye CableSystem cable company

Buckeye coupler, a type of railway coupling used to connect locomotives and rolling-stock

For more than you ever wanted to know about buckeyes, click here.