Three nights ago I heard a loud meowing sound outside my front door, and I mean loud. This is what I discovered on my balcony. There are very few cats here in Costa Rica, and kittens are often killed or fed to guard dogs, which seem to be the pet of choice.
This kitten was mostly ears, with a little skin and bone behind. She appeared to be at an age when she was weaned and her owners had no inclination to feed her. At least they didn’t kill her…instead finding an apartment where a few gringos lived and tossing her out to sort a survival out on her own.
She showed up at the right door.
I am allergic to cats, as in swollen ankles, watery eyes, sneezing, headaches, and such, but I couldn’t turn her away. I fed her what I had, cheese, bread, and scrambled eggs being the only things I could think of. She took to the couch to digest.
She soon took over my life for a few days.
I became a mama cat.
My landlord, Mad Jack, doesn’t allow pets…doesn’t like them much. What else could I expect from a guy who everyone in town knows as Mad jack?
He told me she had to go.
I got on the internet – there are a few social networks in this small beach community – and found a family in Playa Langosta that was more than willing to adopt her. They really wanted her, since cats are rare here, and healthy, playful kittens full of personality are even more rare.
I had her for three days, during which time she took over every room of our condo, insinuated herself into conversations with my neighbor, and even found herself a secure hideout in a potted palm. When the her adopting family came to pick her up the day before Mother’s Day I felt as if I were watching a child leave home.
Later that night I had the longest conversation with my son I’ve had in several years. I didn’t tell him that it was probably a bit of separation anxiety mixed with a seemingly silly sense of loss over a kitten I’d only had for three days. My husband, the cat lover, has promised me when we get settled somewhere we know we’ll be living for a decade or two that he’s going to adopt one kitten a year on Mother’s Day. He insists that with fifteen cats or so I’ll be up to my knees in cats, and my swollen ankles will be hidden. As for the flu-like symptoms of my allergies, he has discovered a curandera, or witch, that will cure me straight away. I have my doubts, but I sure did like having that kitten around…never having had one before.
We shall see what we shall see.
I seemed to be running an animal rescue, or a cat rescue, or a pet rescue, I guess. Animal rescue….cat rescue…pet rescue…allergies…allergic reaction to cats….allergic reaction to pets….