Travis’s wife, Jackie, sent me this wonderful story of how their kitty Lola came to join their family. It’s such a great story that I’m just going to post it here in its entirety. Take it away, Jackie:
“I am a woman who loves a man who loves a cat. After finding your blog I couldn’t resist sending you the story of my man who loves a cat.
We were serving as Peace Corps volunteers in a super small, somewhat dangerous town in Chiapas, Mexico, about an hour from the border of Guatemala. We never considered adopting an animal, there were lots of stray dogs and a few cats, many people in the town would take in baby kittens or puppies and then chase them off once they were big and not cute anymore. Life for a couple of gringos can get pretty rough and we were having a pretty hard time. Poverty, mistrust and isolation made up our daily lives.
One evening we were trying to relax in the oppressive heat when we heard a familiar noise outside of our house. We opened the door and there was a tiny kitten. Dirty, skinny and crawling with fleas. She sat right in front of our house and meowed very insistently. Like she expected to be let in. She was a bit frightened at first but we were able to coax her out from under the couch with offerings of tuna and warm milk. She soon allowed us to pick her up and started purring. Not knowing how she would react to a new home we tried putting her in the bathroom with a made up bed. This simply would not do. She howled and tried to get out. Unable to resist the cries of a kitten, we picked her up and brought her into the bed with us. She has slept between us every night since. We named her Lola. My husband is a cat man, and he was attached from the beginning (even though he won’t admit it).
One day tragedy struck. We arrived home from teaching English in a small isolated village away from our home. We were not completely confident to leave Lola in the house, we could not close her in because of the heat but we had bars on the windows so she could come in and out as she wished. We came home expecting to be greeted at the door as usual but she never came. We waited and waited and nothing. Already isolated and alone in a strange, unfamiliar town and we had lost our only friend. For 3 days we couldn’t sleep and barely ate. Our neighbors asked about her, knowing how attached we were. Their first response was “why don’t you get another cat?” I guess wanting a cat versus wanting our cat didn’t completely translate. Seeing the tears in our eyes the neighborhood girls all joined forces and canvassed the neighborhood asking about our cat. People who had never spoken to us previously asked us if we had found our cat and wished us luck in her safe return. Just as we were giving up hope and getting ready to put her food bowl away, one morning our doorbell rang. We assumed it was a tamale vendor or water delivery. As we drowsily unlocked the door we heard a familiar sound, a tiny mewing that could only come from one place! A strange lady was at the door with our beloved Lola. She asked us: “Is this your cat?” Lola leapt from her arms and into the house. She was covered in scratches but otherwise unharmed. The strange lady left with the only explanation that she found her near the market.
We have now returned to the US and Lola is engaging in a new life as an American kitty rescued from the streets of ol’ Mexico. She continues to sleep between us every night, and napping on my husband’s chest during the day.”