gatito documentary

Good Friday morning. It was hot, and I was still in bed groggily trying to decide if I would be able to sleep a little longer in spite of the heat and take advantage of my vacation while it lasted. The Center was closed during Holy Week except for evening choir rehearsals. As wonderful as it is to listen to all the CCBN’s activities, it sure was nice to sleep in past 8am without being woken up by trombone lessons or recorder class. However, instead of the normal musical din I soon began to hear different kinds of sounds coming from outside, just below my window. It sounded like a kitten. I remembered that the volunteers who lived in the house before us had gained a reputation for taking care of unwanted strays. Groaning inwardly, I rolled over and decided that if it was still there when I woke up again I would figure out what to do with it.

Sure enough, when I opened the front door mid-morning, I found a wee bit of a kitten crying miserably in the corner of the porch. It was still wobbly on its little legs and obviously couldn’t have climbed up the steps by itself, so someone must have left it. Funny, people usually take things from our porch, not leave them (e.g., laundry drying on the line).

I had never taken care of a kitten this tiny, and Amanda hadn’t had any pets at all growing up. Luckily, Laura, one of the previous FOB volunteers and daughter of a veterinarian, had left us a small baby bottle and powdered infant formula for just such occasions. At his arrival, the kitten was so tiny that he even had trouble taking milk from a bottle, and one eye was swollen shut. Now, his eye has healed thanks to some drops, his fleas are gone thanks to a bath, and his little tummy is getting quite plump. He’s even starting to scamper and loves nothing more than to sit between our feet while we are cooking or washing dishes, making it a bit awkward for us to move around the kitchen without stepping on him.

Few of our Nicaraguan friends are as taken with the little guy as we are, but our friend, co-volunteer and freelance filmmaker Melissa Engle has put together a little documentary based on her observations, featured above. At first we were looking to give him away, but no one really seemed interested. Now we’re rather fond of the little guy (okay, okay, I admit I was ready to keep him from the start, but it seemed like Amanda needed a little more time to get used to the idea).

So far we’ve just been calling him “gatito” or “kitty” (not very creative, but easier than felis catus). Other suggestions have been Garfield, Fuzz, and Samson, but we may just end up calling him Tiger. If nothing else, it’ll give him something to aspire to.

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