Rubber Legs and Ruins: Conquering Cobá

July, 2003. I got up bright and early, ready for Cobá. I had asked the bus driver on the way back from Tulúm about the bus schedule to Cobá; he told me that they left the town of Tulúm at 7:00am. So at 6:40am, I was outside our hotel, waiting to catch a combi to Tulúm.   A bus stopped first, with “Valladolid” written on it, and I asked if he stopped at Cobá. Wouldn’t ya know it – it did!  So, off I went, on my way to Cobá! I lathered up with repellent along the way; those nasty mosquitoes weren’t going to slow me down that day!

At 7:45, I was dropped off three blocks away from the entrance to the ruins; the driver told me the first bus back to Tulúm was at 11:00. The ruins opened at 8:00, so I walked slowly, eating my sandwich along the way. I was not only the first one in, the tricycle taxis had not even arrived to set up their stand within.   This was great! I was alone to explore the jungle paths, in search of spider monkeys and whatnot. I walked at a snail’s pace, trying not to make noise, listening to the sounds of God’s creatures all around me. Continue reading

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The Coveted Round Basket

Our furry children loved baskets. Baskets with or without a folding top; rectangular, square or round. We always had a few cardboard boxes and paper bags to give them more choices, but the favorite choice of all three was always baskets. Of all the baskets, the preferred for all three kitties was the round one.  Roly Poly used to fight Simba for it. More accurately, Roly would let Simba know in no uncertain terms that her allotted round basket time was up. No words, just a couple of swats.

During Guerita’s prodigal years, she did occasionally hang out in a basket or two.  When she became a housebound kitty once more, I thought for sure the fur would be flying over the baskets- especially the round one. That was the basket they mostly fought over. But like most siblings, the three of them seemed to work things out. Poor Simba; she was the only one who ever got kicked out of any basket by a swat from Roly or a stare from Guerita.  Roly tried the swatting tactic with Guerita, who swatted right back. He backed down, every time. Then Guerita got sick and no longer jumped on the balcony for those baskets.

In her last days, I picked Guerita up and let her climb into that coveted round basket. She enjoyed that time, closing her eyes, picking up her head ever so slightly to feel the breeze upon her face once more.  Both Roly and Simba jumped on the balcony during that time, which made me a bit apprehensive… But as it turned out, they both looked her way, but went straight to other baskets. Not a peep out of either of them, not even to each other. Somehow they knew that Guerita’s last days were there, and they were honoring her, showing her their love in the best way they could- by giving her the coveted basket.  Letting her know she would always be the queen cat.

Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.Romans 12:10

Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Philippians 2:3

09jan basket

The Mexican Short-haired Pointer 

Living in the sub-tropics, we get a lot of geckos. Oh, we don’t complain.  After all, geckos eat mosquitoes, so the more the merrier! Roly Poly was fascinated by geckos. He liked lizards in general, but that’s a tail for another day.  For today, we will stick to geckos- the lesser-cousins of iguanas –  and Roly’s fascination with them.

As mentioned previously, Roly Poly was a cat in a dog suit. By the time he was 2-yrs-old, Roly had grown out of his Chihuahua phase, straight into his Mexican Short-haired Pointer phase.

Wait- what?

Yes, our little feline son was part Mexican Short-haired Pointer. Roly would stand at full attention and stare, tail straight out and point his nose right at a gecko. We were grateful that there was only ever one gecko at a time, as that would have put quite a strain on our little boy’s neck – not to mention make the rest of us dizzy as well!

As he got older, Roly no longer felt the need to stand at attention; he switched to pointing in a seated position.

The strange thing was, Roly didn’t actually hunt the geckos. He just liked to point at them. He reserved his hunting skills for iguanas, but again- that is a tail for another day.

I often wondered why Roly did that.  I had never heard of a cat that acted as a Pointer. But then again, Roly Poly was quite the special cat.  Maybe it was all a part of his serving us as our protector.  Job well done, Little Boy!

For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. Romans 13:4

08jan

Sooth My Aching Bones

Simba loved her Daddy time.  From kittenhood to adulthood to her last days, Daddy Time was her most favorite. Laying on Daddy’s belly, laying next to Daddy on the floor, hamaca or on the couch, it was all the same to Simba. She loved Daddy time even more than eating. And that says a lot!

In Simba’s last years, Daddy had a lot of lower back issues. One of the home therapy he found worked well for him was a small heated bean bag. He laid flat on his stomach with the heated bag on his sore spot.  Simba discovered the heated bag, and decided it would help Daddy greatly if she gracefully laid her body below the bean bag, with her front paws on top of it. Maybe she heard about pressure point therapy?

Daddy soon purchased a longer bean bag that stretched across his lower back which worked much better for him. A week went by, and I saw that he was heating both bean bags. Confused, I asked him what for… “You’ll see!”, he replied.  As he set things up for his therapy, Simba sat watching; waiting her turn.  Daddy put the long bag on his back, put the short one next to him, and patted it, calling Simba over. And come to him, she did. Cuddling next to Daddy, with her very own bean bag to sooth her own achy bones. Simba and Daddy Time.  Daddy and his Little Girl…

Have compassion on me, LORD, for I am weak. Heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony.  Psalm 6:2

07jan daddybeanbag

Simba and her heated bean bag!

The Cat in a Dog Suit  

If you are a fan of Snoopy, you know that Snoopy of Charlie Brown/Peanuts, you probably Snoopy’s personality.  His ability to just show up and fit right in with whatever was going on, be part of the crowd. Snoopy very much had human qualities. Sometimes one would think he was a human in a dog suit.

One Christmas Eve, we were watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas” with friends. Their 3-yr-old son pointed at Snoopy, and exclaimed very excitedly that it was Roly. We kept correcting him by saying it was not Roly the cat, but Snoopy the dog. But he insisted that it was Roly, not Snoopy.  Surely he could see what we could not – that the character we were all looking at walked on 4 legs, was white with dark ears, had a black spot on his back and had quite a human-like personality; therefore it must have been Roly Poly! Indeed, that was not Roly Poly on the TV, but that little boy was close: Roly was a cat in a dog suit.

When Roly was a little puppy- I mean a kitten- we used to call him our little Chihuahua. He was the size of a Chihuahua, and had big ears that didn’t quite match his size. He eventually grew into them, just as his unique personality started to shine.  Unlike most cats, Roly actually responded to us.  When I called him to come to me, he came.  Every time. He also would wait outside every evening until we came home from work, wait for us to pet his head, and then show us the way to our door. When we had family gatherings in the patio, Roly hung out with the guys. And when I left for Chicago for a month and told Roly to watch over Daddy, Roly took his role seriously.  He followed Daddy when he went to his mother’s house, and even went to get him across the street when visiting cousins.

Everyone got a kick out of the cat who came looking for Daddy. The cat who responded to commands.  The cat who took care of his human parents.  The cat in a dog suit. Our little boy!

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve… 1 Peter 5:2

04jan chihuahua

Chihuahua, or cat in a dog suit?

 

 

The Perfect Plop

There is something so satisfying about a good, heartfelt plop. Coming home at the end of a stressful day, kicking off your shoes and throwing yourself/ plopping on your comfy bed. “Ahhh!”, your entire body says cheerfully!

A cat plop is something like that, only better. It’s the feline version of a happy dance. A cat plop signifies a deliriously happy feline. Maybe kitty was eating an entire freshly caught fish or a can of tuna, or simply the fact that Mommy and Daddy are home, and said kitty is happy. PLOP! – is the happy sound that precious furry body makes as kitty enthusiastically throws him/herself down, purring loudly for all to hear. It’s usually followed by a bit of a body twist, as if the bed/couch/floor is part of the plan, giving kitty a back massage. Some cats plop more than others. Simba, she had it mastered as a kitten.

When Simba and Guerita were kittens, it took Simba longer than it did Guerita to adjust to us and their new home. Guerita trusted us within days, walked around with her tail up; it took Simba a couple of weeks to feel at home. They had their own room and they had each other, and they had Mommy and Daddy time.

It was during that Mommy and Daddy time that Simba began to plop. She would jump up on our bed – which was supposed to be a no-no, but when we saw that she just wanted to get in front of the fan, we relented. She caught on that it was okay, so she continued to jump on the bed – but added an audible “plop” to it! She was officially our Little Plopper!
As Simba was the introvert of the kitties, it was only through her plops that we truly ever knew how content she was. And she plopped quite often! I remember when Simba snuck out of the house and got herself pregnant. My mother-in-law told me that afternoon that she had been asleep in her bed that morning. She heard a loud plop, looked at the foot of her bed, and there was Simba! That was a laugh out loud moment; although my mother-in-law had never been privy to our Simba plop stories, as soon as she said “plop”, I already knew the end of the story!

She mostly plopped for Daddy, but she plopped for me as well. she also reserved happy plops for when her Weeta came to town.

Simba was the Queen of Plops to the end. On her last night with us, she was too weak to walk. but that night, she wiggled her body up to mine, then wiggled her way over to snuggle up to Vidal- all night long. Although she no longer had the strength to pick herself up to stand, let alone plop- we knew that was what she was doing. she was giving us her final plops; letting us know how happy her life had been, and how much she loved us.

Truly our little Simba was the Plopmeister herself; the Queen of Plops. Now she is plopping away- her own “happy dance” in heaven, teaching all the other kitties how to truly express their joy!

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… Psalm 30:11

PLOPSimbaBelly

I’m soooooo happy!!!

 

 

 

 

RolyFit Resting Like a Rock: Side Rock

Contrary to popular belief, not all cats are created the same.  Some of us are much more flexible than others.  Some are lean and strong; others have big bellies, and others have short, tiny legs.  It isn’t possible for all felines to stretch all four legs out at the same time like, and it isn’t easy for all felines to rest on their backs.  As with any exercise regiment, it is necessary to have a cool-down, rest time after stretching.  So with that in mind, here is our RolyFit rest posture, Side Rock! Continue reading