Miss You Here.

Getting the new cat, Chance has been an adventure and it seems like time sort of disappears. He came in here sniffing around, exploring everything and now it’s ten weeks ago.

He’s young and curious and likely didn’t live indoors, at least not full-time. His curiously requires a lot of attention. Well, mine. I have to stop things I’m going, like a crossword puzzle. I have to get up. A lot.

“That’s not a toy.” “Don’t chew that.” “Get off of that.” “Hey, that’s an antique!”

But I also noticed my routine with Jango has changed. He’s had to make adjustments to the three-legged whirlwind, as well. It’s harder for him, because we’ve had the same relationship for many years. He’s lived with me for eleven years and close to five with just the two of us.

It became really apparent fairly quickly. Jango is a really affection cat and not unlike a spurned lover, he’s been making it known he’s feeling neglected.  Several times a day he would stretch out on his back or side, big beautiful belly begging to be rubbed, then another few minutes on the exposed chin, if it’s not too much trouble.

He’s made it clear he wants that time back, so when he comes looking, or even when I go to him, we keep it to ourselves for as long as we can. One of his favourites was in the evening as I was going to bed, he would come on the bed and perch himself on the pillows beside me. He would hang there for the ‘making love’ part and then sometimes just nod off and sleep there for a while. I love it. Sometimes he would plop on of his big back hairy skis right in my face and I wouldn’t move a hair.

The other night, he pushed past the newbie chasing his tail on the end of the bed and marched right up to his rightful place at the head of the bed. I was thrill, truth be told, so I stretched my leg out so Chance wouldn’t come and attack right away. While I worked on Jango’s neck, ears and the top of his head, Chance slowly started to creep up. It’s unbearably cute, but I still want Jango to have his time with me, I think it’s really important for him to  feel like he’s still The Man. Because, he is.

It’s getting easier and better now. The past two mornings Jango has decided that he will eat breakfast at the same time,rather than wait.  I guess because Chance’s desperation is waning. He makes a point of coming to me for his random make-out sessions throughout the day, although he’s not quite to the point of just eyes closed, belly up, that would surely be an invitation to be pounced on.

I was missing him, our old ways and I’m happy to see that he was, too. He’s usually quite happy to go a few rounds with Chance, somedays, not on your life. But we are all adjusting and he’s slowly taking his place back. I think he understands things about Chance, the injury, the desperate need to be fed and loved.

We can learn things from out fur-friends.

Jango chooses the sunny spot. Be like Jango. Always choose the sunny spot.

Jango in Sun

Look Out, There’s a Cat!


We’ve reached about the ten week mark with our newest family member and we are making great progress.

First of all, I’m getting trained. With just Jango and me, I usually know where he is, he’s a big cat. But with little Chance, he tends to be underfoot. A lot. I’ve managed to step on his paw a few times, his tail, as well. He shrieks! I shriek!

Now I’m getting to the point where I stop and look. In particular when I go in the kitchen. He is nowhere to be seen but as soon as I go anywhere near the cupboard where their bowls are kept or gawd help me, their food cupboard, he seems to just be right there like the Roadrunner in the cartoon.

I’ve become so programmed now that if i step on anything, say, a cat toy or a wine cork, which are the…

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Wha… ?

huh-660x244Que? Que? Like Manuel from Fawlty Towers, that’s how I often feel here in the Dominican Republic. When I don’t understand, which is almost 100% of the time, it amuses me no end when they just keep repeating themselves. Maybe faster, they seem to think. That will make her understand. Or louder.

What I do understand is how newcomers to Canada feel. People talking at them, many with accents different than theirs. Accents we have a lot of trouble trying to decipher, imagine accent on accent. Many years ago I worked at the Yacht Club in Vancouver and many of my co-workers were from all over the world, many just there to have a working vacation, some there to learn or improve their English. One woman, fresh from Scotland had such a thick accents most of us had a really difficult understanding her. When she told me one day her boyfriend was from Australia, I said it must be chaos just trying to have a conversation. What? Sorry? The boat? Who, now? I didn’t really catch her reply.

Native speaking Canadians use many words that newcomers didn’t likely learn. We fall into our own slang with friends or co-workers and that just makes it even more confusing. Last night I was out with a new friend here in Santo Domingo. He spent a summer, perhaps longer in the United States working in a hotel restaurant learning English and just enjoying life. Great experience for a Dominican lad of eighteen.  So while he knows English, as do many Dominicans I have encountered, they know English, but not my English. You do adapt quickly, learning to trim sentences and requests.

I have met a few cab drivers here who know a bit of English and I often call them when I need to have more than just a few grunts of my bastardised Spanish. One guy is so great, he comes in to stores or businesses with me to interpret if I need. Fortunately, many places have at least someone who can help.

So, my new friend was asking me how I got about the city, when I need Spanish, so when I told him I take a cab driver with me or write it out from the computer translator or if really stuck just stand there until someone either helps me or the store closes. It must be very hard for you. Yes, it can be, but so far, so good.

It’s like misheard lyrics in a song. “Excuse me while I kiss this guy”, the Jimmie Hendrix famous misquote.  It comes down to this; When people try to help me it absolutely overwhelms me with joy.  I never get upset if they don’t know much English, I should know Spanish. I mean, I do live here and I do know a few words and can usually understand what someone is asking me, mostly at the grocery store. Do I have coupons?

If you see someone struggling, try to help. No one expects you to know German or Urdu, but try. A bit of gesturing or interpretive dance can go alone way. It’s  mostly how I survive.

There was a printing house very close to me in Calgary when I was living there, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth. I had been in several times, mostly just to get my resume copied. One of my biggest occupations has been job hunting. One day I walked in with a manilla envelope with my resume and I placed it on the counter, pulled it out and asked for ten copied please. There were two woman standing there and one of them, of Chinese descent said back to me, “Coffees? We don’t sell coffees here!”

I stood there, a bit confused and a bit more just gobsmacked. I’m pretty sure my jaw was   agape. I looked over to the other woman, who was not of Chinese descent. She looked like she was a full-bred Cranky descent. I looked at her to see if this was just some little joke this lady did, ha ha copy/coffee, oh, how we laughed.


Just try.