Sunday, October 19, 2008

The best laid plans...

We are desperately trying to complete some projects around here. I have been travelling too much lately and am taking online courses, so haven't had time to dedicate to anything more than the day-to-day. One of the projects involves a lot of painting - something I can actually do, and even enjoy, if I have the time.

Recently I posted about the on-going cycle of golf cart woes with the muffler man and mechanic. At the time of that post, we had completed two cycles, and Miguel had rigged up a wire to get the engine going from a cold start. Well, that wire served us well until last Wednesday, when the golf cart simply died on a side street not far from the house. So my preferred mechanic picked up the cart and brought it back the next night - running well, including starting up from a cold start. Happily, we went to town to visit the ATM machine - and the cart ran like a champ, even faster than it had been in a while.

On the way back, we heard a small noise when we turned the corner. The muffler? But not loud, just a little noise. We should have known...

As we crossed the tope near the airport, we were being passed by an old truck, and wow - that truck sounded horrible, like a helicopter. What a racket. The truck got in front of us and drove on, but it left the noise with us. Miguel and I looked at each other. OH MY GOD! It's US!!! I think we were both so shocked and angry that we couldn't even discuss it, and of course, even if we'd wanted to talk, we couldn't hear a thing over the thumping of the propeller. I mean motor.

In verbal silence we putted home, ignoring all the stares as we disrupted the peace of every home we passed. When we got home, we didn't even look under the seat to find the problem - we just parked the cart and went inside. We didn't discuss anything about the cart until the following morning when I lifted the seat and saw the muffler completely broken off from the exhaust pipe - it was just laying on top of the engine, like the pathetic pile of recycled metal it was.

Miguel mentioned taking it for repair, and that's when I lost it and said that the muffler man had better not ruin the mechanic's work AGAIN, because if he did, I would go over there loaded with pliers in both my hands and I would yank HARD on certain body parts that would cause the man a great deal of pain.

Miguel went off with the cart, and later told me it would be ready at 1 pm yesterday. So yesterday afternoon, off we went by taxi - to a different muffler man. Hehehe...I think Miguel took my threat seriously! Of course the cart wasn't ready - but the man did have a new, strong piece of metal he would be molding for the exhaust pipe, and he assured us it would be ready at 5.

Miguel decided that 5 really meant 6, so at 6:30 sharp we walked over and the cart was ready. The work looked solid, and a support had been installed to help the muffler handle the vibrations of driving into potholes and over topes. And so far (crossing everything I possibly can) the muffler is holding (and yes, we've already tested it with a pothole or three), and the golf cart is running and even starting from a cold engine. So the latest Limey hurdle has been overcome once again. Applause, please!

Since the golf cart distractions from yesterday had interrupted the painting plans, I decided that today was going to be my day to paint. But the last three nights I have not slept well because a kitten wandering around has been calling and crying. I've gone out in the middle of the night to try to find the kitten, but no luck. We have seen the kittens - two gray ones, probably about 2 months old, and we've been putting food out for them. But since the latest rainy days I've really only seen one, so I thought maybe something had happened to one kitten and the survivor was crying out of loneliness.

This morning the kitten was still crying, and in the daylight I was able to locate it, and discovered that it was not one of the gray kittens, but a much smaller calico baby. It was hidden in the long grass behind the neighbor's garbage can, and I called Miguel to come and help me catch it (I assumed it was wild and would bite me without a towel protecting my hands). Miguel took over and caught the kitten, and it made no attempt to bite, it just cried loud and hard. I realized there was no way this kitten could have eaten the pellets of food we'd put out, and since it had been crying for three nights, it was pretty much starving.

Miguel went off to buy cat food and I tried to comfort this little creature that had been out in the elements for all this time without food or care. The kitten was shivering but would not settle - it was hungry! It had no idea what to do with the food I put down in a little plastic cup - it tried to chew on the plastic and eat the blanket. I put some food on my finger and it gobbled that up and then tried to eat my finger. I finally just put the food right on the floor and it cleaned it all up and then I covered the cage with towels to give the kitten a chance to warm up and rest.

The kitten is probably 3 weeks old - its eyes are open and it has tiny teeth. So we're into a 3-4 hr feeding schedule, and fitting in some cuddling time as well. Tomorrow I leave the country again, so Delfino will take the kitten to his clinic, and we will work with him to determine this kitten's future - adoption or return to the garden here. We can't keep all the kittens we find, but this one might just end up back here once it's a little older. Not sure yet.

I've lost count of how many times we've been down this road before. Someone dumped that young kitten out there rather than take it to Delfino to be cared for. I believe Delfino will accept unwanted kittens whether the people can pay or not, and I wish there was a way we could get the word out to those who are not aware. I know this situation is not unique to Mexico, but in Canada I can't remember the last time I encountered animals dumped in the street. Here it is right in our faces, it is heart-breaking. And they've been rounding up the stray dogs again, and any unclaimed animal will only meet one fate - death.

Nope, this is not my paradise and it is not paradise for the animals. But it is home, where I want to be, where I belong. Despite some things that make me very uncomfortable and sad and sometimes make me want to throw up or get on the next plane out of here. I can run away but the problem is still here, so all I can do is follow my heart and do what I can. It will never be enough, but it is better than doing nothing at all.

So today I did not paint afterall. Oh well.

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