Wednesday, September 10, 2008

9/10: We Will Never Forget

Not that we want to turn this whole blog into a repository for touching animal stories, but it's worth noting that it's a year ago today that our original homeless street kitty, Benito, went to the Great Litter Box in the Sky, which led to the consolation purchase of Lucy from the animal shelter, which got the Missus thinking that any kitten she finds in the street should be brought into the house, which leads us, one year later to little Juan Pablo frantically chewing the stitches in his groin. The wheel in the sky keeps on turnin'...

For reasons we still can't quite put our fingers on, the death of this kitten we'd known for all of five days was just absurdly traumatic. It was also one of those instances where your status as a tourist in a strange place gets driven home to you - Lonely Planet does not have an entry for "dead feline disposal." What the hell do you do?

Ordinarily, we suppose, one would bury the kitten in the backyard, under a lovely little tree or something. But in our case, we don't have a backyard and the house isn't ours, so professionals would have to be found and brought in. This is where sentimentality came into play, because we assumed (correctly, we'd bet) that Mexican street cats are seldom afforded a respectful interment even by the most well-intentioned animal shelters, and the thought of the little guy winding up in some dumpster was simply unbearable. So we contracted the services of Clínica Veterinaria Dr. Solorio, one of the few vets in the area to specialize in burials and cremations.

This is Dr Solorio's offical logo, taken from his invoice, which is also plastered across the side of his van. Cartoon aficionados of a certain age may recognize this as Droopy Dog. Imagine feeling as grief-stricken as you ever thought possible, and the undertaker pulls up in one of those circus clown-cars. You make a note to yourself to remember to find this funny someday.

The end result was that, at a cost of just $200 US dollars, Benito's cremated remains, wrapped in a tiny Mexican flag inside a carved wooden box (these we provided ourselves), sit on the bookshelf behind us right now, watching over his siblings here. We keep waiting for the day when the maid decides to clean out the inside of the box.

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