Let’s start with the cats. We built our house four years ago and they were kittens hanging around the construction site (actually one papa and three babies). The workers started feeding them and I followed the tradition. I’ve never been much of a cat person, actually I used to have pretty serious allergies around cats, but that has calmed down.
There’s Morris (the papa), Mitzi (the cute one without the tail – we had to have it removed after an apparent accident that crushed it), Maxi (the runt of the litter but the sweetest). Minnie get lost along the way or adopted by a neighbor, I’m not sure.
Each day I feed these cats – actually twice a day. Its a commitment I undertook. And my municipality offers to spay any stray cat on their shekel – so the cats have been spayed as well. All’s well. Until the day that Mickey showed up…
Mickey is a huge, ginger colored male cat that just appeared one day, scarring the hell out of Morris, Mitzi and Maxi. He scared me too! He was ugly, with what looked like scabies around his head, and he wasn’t afraid of anything! He walked right over to their food, smacked anyone who got in his way and feasted, without a care in the world. Even Morris, usually the bravest and protector of the group, was intimidated. In spite of Morris’ best attempts to discourage Mickey, the bully would have done of it. He swiped at him, made some scary cat sounds and let the whole block know who was new (and staying) in town.
I tried to resolve the situation by feeding Mickey in another place. I gave him a pile of food on the other end of the front yard, away from the other cats’ pile. So guess what he did? He stood over his pile, then followed me over to the other pile, made his presence known there, grabbed some food, and then went back to his own pile. The message was clear – “I’m here, I’m there and forget it if you think you’re going to get rid of me.” We all got the message!
I thought my life was going to be mediating cat wars. Let me remind you again, I don’t even particularly love cats – but I have grown rather fond of Morris, Mitzi & Maxi. I felt protective of them – I didn’t want any trouble! I called the municipality and a very skilled animal person came one day and took Mickey off to be spayed. He was returned the next day and didn’t look at all worse for the experience. I was wondering if they really spayed him. He seemed just fine – and he was just as aggressive as before – taking his food from wherever he wanted.
He got so cocky that I found him in my garage! Okay, I’ll admit it – I leave the garage door open a drop so that the other cats have a cozy place to sleep at night – the winter rains and such. But who invited Mickey? He made his way into the garage and let all know – I’m here! He found an empty carton, curled up in it and that’s been his home ever since. Last week I found him in my office! I was typing away at the computer and suddenly I saw a little shadow of something go by. Much too small for my dogs. It was Mickey – the garage door must have swayed open because of the wind and in he strolled.
Well, guess what! Nowadays Mickey and the rest of the cat crew are buddies. They even like each other. They head butt each other in an affectionate manner and I can feed them all at the same time, in the same place and there’s peace. Its really cool the way this nasty cat insinuated himself into this situation and made friends – with me and his fellow felines. He just wouldn’t give up.
Now let’s get to the Chilean miners. Wasn’t that an incredible story? I watched them pull miner after miner up out of that narrow passageway and I was mesmerized. What amazing courage of the workers who went down there. What team work among all those who contributed. I read something about NASA being involved and a company in Pennsylvania who provided the drill bit, and a Chinese company that built the scaffolding and another American company supplying the special sunglasses each of the miners wore upon exiting that hell hole.
The camaraderie, the team efforts, the jubilant atmosphere really, really touched my heart. I imagine it touched everyone’s – how could it not? These hard-working souls, doing no mans’ work down in the bowels of the earth get stuck down there. And what happens? They’re found and no effort is spared to get them out alive. Didn’t it touch you?
So that brings to mind another incident that took place the same day as the rescue. A puny, horrid person, a president of a country, visits Lebanon and starts making vitriolic statements. He rants and raves and threatens. He speaks about the rights of a people he is not even slightly affiliated with. He spits out lies and hatred. He is evil incarnate in the figure of a silly looking little man in his daddy’s too-big jacket. Is it just another face of anti-Semitism? Plain old hatred of Israel? I’m not sure but I resent his presence in this world. He has no right to be in the news the same day humanity triumphs over nature. He has not right to be in the news. He has no rights to be…
I’d rather think about my cats and those miners.