Senor and Linda Lou have been in Pueblo Alamos, Sonora, Mexico for 10 years.
Every day brings a new discovery.
They are still working on the casa............Senor says, it won't be long.........but Linda Lou says, it won't be long until what..............stay tuned to find out what's next.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A Cat's Tale

Hola. We are back from the Copper Canyon. What a spectacular trip! Tomorrow I will take you there.
Today I am going to tell you a little story.

When we began planning our move to Mexico, we had two cats to include in the adventure. Of course, we could not leave them behind and KD and Ian were in no position to take over the responsibility of THEIR cats!

So, they traveled with us, for many days, in the truck. They practically lived in the truck while we spent a week in Colorado. They were snuck in and out of many hotel rooms. Ashes could fit into a small bag while Cookies was a little more difficult to conceal. They meowed in the rooms, they scratched to get out. They jumped every time they heard a door slam down the hallway.

They were fed from little dishes on the truck floor and forced to rely on a kitty litter box that sat on the back seat in the truck. Coming from a comfortable environment in the northwest where they romped and played and caught little birds and garden snakes and lounged on a carpeted floor in the sunlight, it was a time of adjustment. They were not used to such living conditions.

Upon our arrival in Alamos, they were not pleased. It was hot. It was dusty. Water and food tasted different.

We rented a small casita for awhile. It became a nightly routine for Ashes to jump up on us as we slept on an air mattress. She did this all night. The mattress, of course, moved with her bouncing and jumping.............we could not sleep. If we put her in another room she meowed all night long. We were cranky. Cookies was cranky. No one was getting much sleep and we had some difficulty keeping our tempers in check.

During the daytime, we took both cats to the new casa hoping they would start adjusting to it and we would be able to leave them there at night. Cookies would plop down in the first patch of shade he could find. Ashes would not come out of the truck. She wedged herself into a tiny little compartment way in the back and we could not reach her.

Around noon she would decide to come out for food and we closed the truck door. She promptly climbed under and up into the truck where she crawled into a small area near the tire.

Later in the day she came out and we put the truck out on the street. After running inside the casa, she discovered a hole in the wall and shimmied her way deep inside it where she sat and whimpered like a puppy. It took Bill forty-five minutes to get her out of the wall. Once out, she discovered she could hide up in the fireplace chimney. Bill spent alot of time trying to reach her, but he could not get her out.

So, that was the first night we decided to leave the cats alone at the casa.

The next morning Ashes was gone.
We were convinced she was just mad and would be back soon. We checked the wall and the fireplace over and over. By day three we were beginning to shed a few tears. By day five we hired the local announcer to drive through town announcing by loud speaker that a cat was missing in the Colorado Barrio. He gave a description of Ashes, gave our address and also said there would be a reward.

People came to the house regularly. One man said, i saw your cat.......she is up the street. I followed him to look, but no cat......................we have your cat, said a family...................I went to look, but no cat.

The announcer man brought an old, bent-over, wrinkled man to us...................this old man has your cat in his house, the announcer man told us........................the man has scratches all over his arms. The old man rolled up his sleeves to show us.........................he has your cat, but he had to fight it to catch it, said the announcer man.......................we will all go to his house and you can get your cat, but this man is worried about his scratches..............

We got in our truck and followed the announcer man. The old man went in his house and brought out a large bird cage. Inside was a white cat. That is not our cat, we said................. and we went home.

Eleven days passed. Now we were shedding alot of tears. I knew she was gone. We went to Navajoa for groceries and a bed. When we returned, CFE, the electric company, was hooking up our electricity. The bed was delivered. The next night would be our first night at the casa.

Sometime in the afternoon, we realized Cookies was missing. I had begun to adjust to Ashes not being with us anymore, but losing Cookies, too, was unbearable. We stayed at the casa well into the night, and continued to search for him, but did not see him.

The next day we cleared our belongings out of the little rented casita and moved into our casa. The electricity was on, the fans in the two livable rooms were working, the radio played and we should have been happy, but now, we had lost two cats.

Very late in the day, Cookies returned, after being gone for over twenty-four hours. He came up to us and just fell to the floor. He could not raise his head and was panting heavily. He was completely exhausted. We had to hold up his head to get him to drink water. He could not eat any food and just laid on the floor, all four legs splayed and head down for hours. We watched him closely and were so glad to have him back from wherever he had gone.

We did not have any lights or lamps yet, so we sat out in what later became the Hilton garden room, with lanterns glowing, watching Cookies and feeling excited to actually be living in our casa.

Not too long after dark set in, we heard a little meow. Ashes came walking across the yard and into the glow of the lantern. We were shocked. We picked her up and argued over who would get to hold her. It was very emotional.

This happened well over a year ago and I think of it often. I am convinced that Cookies went looking for Ashes. I believe that he traveled a very long distance and left a scent for her to follow so she could return home to us.

Sometimes our cats spatted with each other, sometimes they laid side by side and slept together. Sometimes they turned their backs on one another and other times, side by side, they stalked doves almost as big as Ashes.

When we returned from our Copper Canyon trip, it was raining again here in Alamos. We could not find Ashes or Cookies. There was a note from our neighbor asking us to call her as soon as we returned.

Very tearfully, she told us that Ashes had been killed by dogs that came in to the yard one night. She and her husband had lovingly buried her in the yard and kept her collar for us. They made a star out of seashells to place on top. She told us Cookies had been hiding in the field next door.

After calling him for a very long time, he came through the fence right beside Ashes's little grave. He has not left our sides since then.

So, as I tell you this cat's tale, it is impossible to not shed a few tears over a pretty little kitty that our kids named Ashes, ten years ago, because she reminded them of the ashes in the fireplace.......a pretty little kitty who had a tail like a husky dog, a fluffy tail that curled up and over her back.

The tale is not meant to make you sad. Remember, you saw her last as the roofing inspector!! And what a good inspector she was, she also inspected fireplaces and walls! She had experience.

I like to imagine the wild adventure Cookies must have had throughout the night, when he went to find her!
Where did he travel? Up to the montanas? How many miles did he walk? How far did he run? What creatures did he see on his journey? Did he follow a path? Did the moon light his way?

We will never know where she went, but we know she is now off on another adventure........................adios, little Ashes.


Chrissy y Keith said...

oh, Linda and Senor, I am so sorry for your loss. What a horrible ending for little Ashes. I am sure another kitten will find it's way into you heart. Cookies will miss her I am sure.

Jacqui said...

So sad to lose a cherished pet,they each and everyone leave a paw print on our hearts.

Brenda said...

I am so sorry, poor kitty.

Steve Cotton said...

Every pet is unique and adds an unerasable layer to our lives. But for the moment, there is the loss. And I can feel it more than you can imagine. You are in my prayers right now.

~~kattz*cottage~~ said...

I am crying with you & so very sad that you lost Ashes. As you know I've lost too many little creatures & I know how awfully bad it hurts. I'm thinking of you & give Cookies some hugs from Aunt Kax.
And big Birthday Hugs to You!!

Kax xoxo

marti and bernie said...

Oh Linda, what a tragedy. I'm so sorry to hear about this.

Linda Lou and Senor, Too said...

thank you everyone for all of your sweet thoughts about ashes. LL

Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

I've always thought you had the most adventurous cats I've ever heard of! I'm sad to hear about your loss of Ashes...give Cookies extra love.