Innocents in Mexico, Chapter 3: Night 1 in Mexico: Chihuahua

Find Chapter 1 HERE and Chapter 2 HERE

Innocents in Mexico

Chapter 3: Night 1 in Mexico: Chihuahua

           Heading out of Chihuahua in the twilight, a bit worried about where to safely park for the night, we suddenly saw a dark curtain in front of us.  It was dust being raised from gale-force winds blowing perpendicular to the road, almost obscuring sight and making me worry for the duffel bags full of art supplies on the roof.  We’d already lost Bob’s big stretched canvas somewhere in the Mohave Desert, and replacing all those oil paints in Mexico would be expensive, I imagined.  The wind got fiercer and the sky got darker.  At one intersection, a small dog ran circles, chasing scurrying plastic bags.  The oncoming traffic was stopped for the light, as we were, and few cars were passing through the intersection.  He executed his ballet oblivious to the danger.  A begging couple stood as their two small daughters crouched on the median strip, watching the dog with no apparent concern.  Then the lights changed and we drove carefully past the still circling dog, off into the rushing gray maelstrom.
             Finally, on the outskirts of town, Bob spotted a motel sign and we gave up our plans to sleep in the van.  For $17 American, we had compound walls to park our fully loaded van in, a tile-floored room, slightly smelly but relatively clean.  Dirt had blown in under the door to make small dunes on the floor and the room was so hot and evil smelling that we had to open windows to let in more sand and dust.  Working all night, the small air conditioner failed to cool anything that wasn’t standing directly in front of it.  Bob pulled the van up so we could see it from the window.  We put Bob Dylan on the tape player and pulled out the ice chest to make our own cold dinner.  Spiced brandy and 7-Up for me, early bed for Bob.
            Bearcat, however, had other plans.  He was a handsome cat––steel gray with short hair, chartreuse eyes and both the physical prowess and vocal abilities of his Blue Burmese mom.  All of this trip, however, he had spent silent and quiet under the air mattress.  At night we’d pull him out, his claws attaching firmly to carpet all the way out.  Then we’d take him off to some strange room or house where he’d relax only after we were in bed, when he could jump up with us and snuggle into the blankets.  This trip had been like an alien abduction for him.
            In Flagstaff, he’d spent two days hiding in our daughter’s closet, coming out only at night to explore the house after their 5 dogs, two cats and monkey had been moved to various rooms behind shut doors.
           When we visited our friend Carey in Tucson, we’d tied Bearcat up in a yard with shade but had forgotten about the hawks circling overhead, until Carey had mentioned them.  When we went hurriedly out to investigate, Bear had managed to slip under a tarp that covered the air conditioner and seemed happier there than in the garage where we locked him in for the night.  He’d sulked all day the next day as we drove on to Alamogordo, never once coming out from under the air mattress to talk to us for a bit. He’d been happiest at the house of a friend in Alamogordo where he got the run of the house with no other animals to compete with.  When I took him out in the yard on a leash at night, he had explored with both interest and caution.  I’d followed him around––the only successful way to walk with a cat on a leash.
            Now he was experiencing his first night in Mexico.  All night long, the cat scratched feverishly in his litter tray, then would jump up and rub against me, biting my toes, waking me up no fewer than six times during the night.  Then he’d jump down from the bed and I’d hear feverish scratching from the direction of the litter box. The next morning, there were only two tiny gray turds buried in the box, but litter confettied the bathroom floor, competing in mass with the sand grit on the bedroom floor.  The plastic liner was completely shredded and pulled away from under the elastic brace which held in tight at the top of the tray.  Only then did it occur to me that they had put catnip in the litter to attract cats to it.  Our cat had been high all night after resting all day.  Unfortunately, our schedule had to be the reverse.  After just one night of trying to sleep through his herbal ecstasies, we decided we might have to find a substitute litter at the soonest opportunity.

Find Chapter 4 HERE.

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About lifelessons

My blog, which started out to be about overcoming grief, quickly grew into a blog about celebrating life. I post daily: poems, photographs, essays or stories. I've lived in countries all around the globe but have finally come to rest in Mexico, where I've lived since 2001. My books may be found on Amazon in Kindle and print format, my art in local Ajijic galleries. Hope to see you at my blog.

15 thoughts on “Innocents in Mexico, Chapter 3: Night 1 in Mexico: Chihuahua

    1. lifelessons Post author

      He really did seem stoned. He would crawl under that great heap of stuff we had and we luckily had affixed a leash to his collar. It would be sticking out a bit and we could pull him out from under.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: Innocents in Mexico, Chapter 2, May 11, 2023 | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

  2. Pingback: Innocents in Mexico, Chapter 4, May 13, 2023 | lifelessons – a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

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