I am not going to drag you through all the angst-ridden details of this story, you just don’t deserve to be witness to all the drama and I don’t need the eye-rolling. Suffice to say I have confirmed my status as a card-carrying neurotic worthy of Woody Allen status. Seriously, I was obviously not drinking enough wine.
Anyway, on with the abbreviated version.
I made an agreement with Cat that I would feed and water her on the deck but not let her in, there-by (theoretically) avoiding the whole “bonding with the cat” thing. Right. That actually went on for a few days, I was a tower of strength – a role model for young people everywhere. That is until I heard Wolf yelling and chasing her, trying to get her to go away. I opened my door a crack and whispered, “here cat, pssst”. Well! She came scooting in and I quickly shut the door.
I would swear that she and Wolf set me up with that performance but I can’t prove it. Anyway that was the end of the “don’t bond with the cat” exercise. After that she pretty much slept every night with me, waking me up about 4 to let her out. sigh.
Though I would bemoan to all that would listen about the cat, I did nothing except occasionally cry and hold her. “Oh what to do!”, I would wail. Eventually I gave myself a shake and told myself bloodly well do something, anything cause this was simply not working. No one was appearing out of the ether to take cat. So I hopped onto the Pink Panther and proceed to make a nuisance of myself with the neighbors not to mention embarrassing myself by tearing up. I thought that I had struck gold at Alice’s Restaurant (no Alice just Necee) when she told me about a good friend that might well take her, I even met with Sarah later that day and she was so positive. She would just have to talk to her boyfriend first. That was the last I saw of her.
Suddenly it was my last week (how the f*** did that happen?) and Cat still had no home. I mentioned it to another volunteer and Jody says, “oh I’d love a cat, I’ll take her.” What? Did I hear that right, it slipped so glibly off her tongue that I almost missed it. She’s only here till the end of March but that would give her some time to find another home and if it came to it the new volunteers could just keep adopting her, since a lot of them stay at the same enclave. Yipppeee! But then Jody disappears for a few crucial days: sick, days off etc. I start to panic… again. Here is where having a phone would have been such a blessing. So I start looking again for a home, again trolling up and down dirt roads knocking on doors. Not exactly how I pictured my vacation but when you think about it, not surprising. Ran into Carmen, the vet that volunteers at the centre and asked her if she would take her. What ensued was is a prime example of how tricky language can be. Carmen thinks she understands more English than she does so she often nods her head, smiles and says yes. You can imagine the scene with me jumping up and down smiling and Carmen with a puzzled look realizing that perhaps she doesn’t quite know what she has agreed to. We sorted that out and it appeared that I would have to work on her further to guilt her into adopting the cat.
Since home or no home I was committed to having her spayed before I left but the gods conspired not to have that happen until my last Thursday – I was leaving town on Saturday. Who would take care of cat during her post-op? More angst. I make the appointment, I get her there. The vet was sweet though puzzled as to why I was crying about a stray cat. Likely it was all the pressure I was putting on myself about Cat, that somehow in my heart she represented all the animals of Costa Rica that I could not help, that if I could at least help 1 animal, just one it would mean something. So she’s examining her and she starts to smile and says, “pero (but)”; I gasp, “She’s pregnant!”. “No”, she says, “but she is not a girl, she is a boy and he has been castrated already.” It was one of those times where I wish someone had a camera and could capture the look on my face. “SHUT THE F*** UP!” Ok then. She gave her… him a treatment for worms and for fleas and off I went with my boy.
The next day at work I run into Jody for the first time in days. I ask her casually whether she wanted the cat or not. She says, “Oh of course I want the cat!” sigh. “of course I want the cat” I mutter under my breath. Suddenly such a weight was lifted off my shoulders that all I could do was smile and hug her. By the end of the day we worked out the details of the exchange and I proceeded to have the best day ever at the centre.
The plan was that Jody would take a cab to my place and be there for 6:30 am, my shuttle to Panama would pick me up at 7:15 ( the CIA could take lessons from us on coordination). Not a lot of wiggle room. Cat and I had a nice night cuddling and playing – he had just started to feel safe enough to play in the last day. Then 4 am came, his normal exit time for doing his business but should I let him out? What if he didn’t come back in time? No I couldn’t take the chance so I had to clean up the smelly dump under the chair that resulted. 6:30 I was out front waiting for Jody… 6:45 I was back in my cabin hugging cat and crying, completely at a lose as to what I could possibly do if Jody didn’t show. Then I heard the car door slam and Jody was at my door! Every thing went tickity-boo after that and I had my happy ending! Whew.