I would open the front door to admit Loaner for breakfast. She still belonged next door at the time but she was coming to me more and more, beginning with breakfast. And she would follow my car to the garage where I would just happen to have a new-bought supply of shrimp to serve her.
There was usually plenty of shrimp to go around. Pinky, my tortoiseshell, had hers on the kitchen windowsill, where she, canny pussycat that she was, would go to have the treat without interference.
Tango, if he was home at the time, joined in the feast. In Meow’s Way Redux I have chronicled these pussycats and Pinky’s romance with Oliver, a visitor who came everyday in courtship.
I hold Tango and Pinky in memory, where they now repose.
People tell me they won’t have another pet after losing one. That they can’t go through another wrenching event of loss. I could agree, except that I love cats (and all animals) and would be willing to invest again in one or two.
I mourn little all-black Bijou who was hit by a car, and Tango and Mojo who didn’t come home. They loved the outdoors so who am I to deprive them of it?
The memories persist. Bijou liked to sleep under my chin, which inhibited me from reaching for the light switch. Mojo always uttered a meow whenever he came in. Tango always laid himself on my hand in bed for ten minutes before he went to eat. In his grave manner, he observed the rituals of love.
If these traits aren’t close to being human, then I resign from the human race.
Renato followed me to the United States a year after I got here. But before his visa was complete he flew to Tijuana and I flew to San Diego from San Francisco and crossed the border into Tijuana. He was there on the other side waiting. He looked so thin. The year of waiting to join me had taken a rough toll.
There was a naval ship in port that day, and I made the crossing engulfed in a wave of sailors on leave. There weren’t many sights to see in Tijuana except an upcoming bullfight. I won’t say the spectacle was worthwhile. The animal seemed so small, so bewildered. When the bandilleras went in I winced for the bull, which died in due time at the sword end of a seemingly clumsy matador.
And now I am signing petitions to banish bullfighting (good luck!) and a multitude of other cruel practices involving helpless animals. Don’t tell me it’s the culture; I am tired of that excuse.