Saturday, April 16, 2011

An Amarillo Cat

I'm not sure how the conversation got started, but at any event, it was about cats and preferred colors. There were several of us sitting around discussing the merits of one color over another and I said, "I don't like yellow cats. I've never had one, but I don't think I'd ever choose one." The color yellow is 'amarillo' in Spanish and now you can probably guess where this tale is going.

Introducing: PASQUAL, the Easter cat.
Does anyone else think the color
yellow is a dominant theme here?
When I went with my doctor friend to Socorro, our mission was to take her cat to the vet as they can do 'turn-around EKG's' and other animal medical tests quickly. Although it is more than an hour away from Barichara, for my friend and her very ill cat it was a necessity. Her white cat had been ill off and on for several months, and she wanted some answers.

Once at the vet's, tests were done and the waiting began. While we were waiting, a rather friendly cat came over and pushed his yellow tiger-striped face right into mine. My friend announced, "Oh, he's here because he was suspected of rabies. He bit a woman who was trying to push him away with her broom." Nice.

I noticed that he was totally fearless around the dogs that were being brought into the waiting area. He would walk up and stick his nose into theirs as if to say, "Whaddya gonna do about that, doggie?" And they would be so confounded by being approached by a CAT that they often just shrank away and looked to their owners for an explanation.

Some time later, while I was holding and stroking him, this same seemingly sweet cat grabbed onto my arm with his mouth and chomped down on me. When my friend started to pick him up to remove him, he bit her, too. Quick treatment was offered by the vet for our minor injuries and a promise to let us know if he had rabies... comforting.

While we were at lunch, we discussed the yellow cat, the biting, and his situation. Apparently he would have to be watched for a week, as it takes that long for a rabies test to be completed. "But I don't think he has rabies," she assured me.  She said after the tests came back, the vet would have to find it another home as she already had two cats. Feeling sorry for the ferocious, but friendly feline, I took it some left over chicken from our lunch.

The vet knew I was weakening... she said, "He's a young male, and I think if he's fixed, he'll make someone a sweet pet. He's really quite affectionate when he's not thinking about mating." And as I sat there, waiting for my friend and her cat's diagnosis, the name PASQUAL popped into my head. I looked up and that Amarillo cat was, I feel almost certain, smiling at me.

However, for the most part, it was a sad afternoon. My friend's cat was diagnosed with liver cancer with not much time left. We returned to Barichara, I did Reiki on him and on his master and he passed peacefully a few days later. The vet said that white cats in Colombia have a higher incidence of fatal cancers and she doesn't know why except that they seem to be genetically disposed to it.

Pasqual lying on my bed next to a 'loaner' kitten to help
him get adjusted to a new home. It was a friend's idea to
provide a kitten. They both settled right in!
But on the ride back, my friend remarked, "If you take PASQUAL, his name will be a testimony to his being 'resurrected' from a certain fate and he will be your Easter gift to yourself." Ah, yes, and then there's the concern about the cat-hating, sweet-natured Scott, the dog who lives on the property. How will this work?

But here I am a week later, having picked up the yellow cat who had his attitude adjusted with a small surgery so he would be calmer. He is all of that. And the next day, he walked right up to Scott and sniffed him and must have said something to him in "dog" that he could understand, because they are managing a detente that would make both Russia and the U.S. proud.

Tonight that Amarillo cat is lying next to me, after pushing his yellow striped head into mine before going to sleep. And I am pretty sure he is smiling. I know I am.


  1. Aw! This story made me SO happy. And could you get a cuter loaner kitten?! How sweet is that little one. Thank goodness it is 9:40 pm and the shelter is closed or else his picture might have prompted me to drive down there and pick one up myself. I am glad you were able to give a friendly cat a new home. Also glad you/he did not have rabies! I had to have the series of shots in 1999 after a bad shelter incident ... no fun. AT. ALL. But that's a story for another time ... So glad yours had a very cheery ending! All my best, J

  2. Sad to hear about your friends cat. :( Very nice of you though to take in the other cat. Do you have any other pets or just the cat? Im starting my count down for my arrival in Colombia!

  3. April 21 -- After a grand mal seizure, Pasqual has gone missing. My heart is heavy after spending two days calling and looking for him and not finding him anywhere.