A few weeks ago I was in my house and I had the kitchen door open to let in a little bit of a breeze (it’s hot and humid in Guatemala and any type of breeze is welcome!). When I turned around, there was this little black kitten standing there.
I guessed that she was about 4-5 months old, but she was incredibly skinny – think close to a walking skeleton. She was crying piteously and looked so frail that I knew I had to give her something to eat. I am primarily vegan, but by chance I had some eggs in my refrigerator left over from some baking I did for someone. I scrambled one up, not sure if cats even ate eggs.
Not only did she eat it, but she cried for more. So I cooked up a second one for her. She could barely wait for it to cool down before she ate it. I put her outside and got into my pickup truck, La Bestia, and ran downtown to one of the small corner stores. They didn’t have any cat food, but they did have canned tuna fish, which was close enough. I bought a few cans, figuring they would tide me – and her – over until I could do the 30-minute drive to the city and buy her some real cat food.
She, not surprisingly, started hanging around my house all the time. If the door was open, she would walk in like she owned the place, eat something, and then jump up on my couch and fall asleep. When she was awake, she would follow me around like a puppy and want to be right next to me at all times. In fact, as I’m writing this, she is sitting next to me.
I finally broke down and accepted that I had a kitten…or, more accurately, that this kitten had chosen me as her person. I got her flea and tick meds and heartworm pills, and made appointments for spaying and vaccinations. I bought several toys for her, some bowls, and a collar.
I had been calling her Midnight, but it just didn’t feel quite right.
One night, she was laying next to me on the bed (yes, I had completely broken down and let her in the house and on the bed…she curls up next to me and is the cutest thing) and I was talking to her, saying that I didn’t think her name was the right name for her. She was purring, but basically ignoring me. I spoke a couple names out loud. She continued to ignore me, until I said one name. Then she turned and looked at me. I asked her if she wanted that for her name, and she reached out her paw and patted me on the nose.
So, I’d like to introduce you all to Jaguar.
She’s growing quickly and makes me laugh with all of her antics. Her favorite toy is a small ping pong-sized ball with a couple feathers attached. She will bat it around and carry it in her mouth for hours. Since she was an outdoor cat before she came into my life, I’ve had to teach her what a litterbox is. (She’s doing great with it!) We are trying the indoor cat route right now, since she just had her spaying surgery and the vet recommended that she stay inside for 15 days to give the incision plenty of time to heal. We are on day 3 of being indoors, and so far, so good. I’m hoping that she can remain an indoor cat. There are so many dangerous animals here – boa constrictors and poisonous snakes, foxes, porcupines, wild dogs and wild boars, real jaguars, to name a few – and I think she will be much safer indoors.
I’ll keep you all posted on how things go!