Archive for the 'Cats & Dogs' Category

RAP Cancun Animal Rescue Web Site Launch

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

I’m proud to finally launch the RAP Cancun Animal Rescue web site.

For those that don’t know, Cancun has a very serious problem with strays cats and dogs. In some parts of the city you see multiple street animals in a single block. The city of Cancun has few resources to combat the problem and doesn’t even have the money to humanely euthanize animals (from what I understand they electrocute the animals they catch).

RAP is working on the front-line to save street animals, to rehabilitate them and then help them find healthy, loving homes. RAP is also working hard to educate and support pet owners so that they understand how important it is to sterilize their pets.

Please visit the site, subscribe to the RSS Feed: http://rapanimalrescue.org/feed/ and, most importantly, please make a PayPal donation. RAP needs all the help we can give. I’ll keep you updated as I make changes and upgrades to the site.

My previous posts about RAP:

Ushering in 2009

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

I feel I should write a post that ushers in the New Year and dismisses the Old Year, or something. So here goes.

I began 2008 with a lot more money in the bank than I ended it with. I’m a long-term investor so I’m not very bent out of shape about it, it will come back, but I did like having more money.

When the year began the exchange rate between the Mexican Peso and the U.S. Dollar was such that our house was worth more than twice what we originally paid for it (in Dollars). At year end our house is worth quite a bit less in Dollars, though still more than we paid for it. That’s frustrating. So now I’m really rooting for the Peso to gain strength against the Dollar again. Go Peso!

I began 2008 thinking that selling real estate in Mexico was something I might be good at. By May I’d been stabbed in the back on two big deals and had come to believe that if you lie down with wolves you might not get back up again. I love looking at real estate and have a strong understanding of real estate investing, so I may still help my friends find places to buy, but I’ve learned that I have to keep it light and not think of it as my work.

In 2008 my web design business made more money than ever before. I learned to be more efficient. I got faster and more importantly, I grew more realistic about what I can do for clients.

In 2008 I missed my kid way too much. As one friend told me recently “it makes you old before your time to live away from your kids.” I was happy to see her at both Thanksgiving (In November) and at Christmas, so we ended the year very close. But it still rots not to live with her.

We began 2008 with 10 cats and 1 dog. We ended with 8 cats and 2 dogs. Overall the house is happier with 2 dogs in it. But we still miss the two cats that died, one of them left a sister-cat who still cries for her, the other left his mama who isn’t close to any other kitties.

I’m not one for making lots of New Year’s Resolutions because I think it sets one up to fail. But there are several things I want and need to change this year. My one Resolution is to stop working on weekends. And I think if I stop working weekends I will automagically change other things that need to change because I will be taking more time for me and will be less stressed.

Here’s wishing you all a happy, fruitful 2009!

A Whole Lotta Nothing & An Umbrella

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Boy are we lazy around here. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing. But it sure is a thing to be reckoned with. My daughter is here, for Xmas, and we are having a very nice time. But we aren’t DOING anything. I mean we are walking the dogs, and cooking, and cheating when we play Trivial Pursuit, but besides that…we are just being really lazy.

I guess with her here I feel that trying to work would be rude, and likely frustrating, so I’m not even attempting any work. And she has no agenda. So it’s been easy to fall into not having any goals at all.

Christmas was nice and mellow here. I cooked much of the day. And we watched the movie Wall-E on DVD (cute). And we played our own special version of Trivial Pursuit where we don’t even bother to ask the useless pink questions that are always about some long-dead movie star neither of us can name and instead we hand-pick better questions about science, geography or history.

As far as loot went we all pretty much picked out our own gifts and then wrapped them for each other. So the actual Christmas gift-giving didn’t involve much surprise. But everyone was getting what they wanted, so it was satisfying.

The one gift I wanted which I didn’t get was a new patio table umbrella.

The old umbrella has a problem. Well, it has two problems. One of my cats, who shall remain nameless, decided to climb a ladder that was leaning against the house. And when she reached the top of the ladder she decided to jump onto the top of the patio umbrella. Well, that umbrella is 4 years old, so she went right through it and made a big hole in it.

But wait, there’s more. A few days after the cat jumped through my patio umbrella a second cat, who shall also remain nameless (only because I’m not sure which of the 8 it is), did the same thing AGAIN. So now the patio umbrella has 2 huge rips in it from cats falling through it.

The story is cute. But the umbrella really looks awful now. So I think we should either buy a whole new umbrella or replace the fabric on this one (its parts all work fine). But we haven’t gotten around to deciding which choice is better. So we do nothing.

I do hate that doing nothing thing. Though I am awfully good at it.

Rescued Puppy

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

I’ve written before about the wonderful work that RAP Cancun Animal Rescue is doing to rescue and rehabilitate street dogs in Cancun. RAP is also working hard to provide accessible preventive health care for pets in Cancun and so last week RAP’s clinic was the host location for Cancun’s first-ever free Spay and Neuter clinic. The Spay and Neuter clinic was co-sponsored by Cats and Dogs International (CANDi) and VIDAS, which is a wonderful organization that travels the world sterilizing animals. You can read personal accounts of the RAP Spay and Neuter clinic on Cancun Canuck’s blog and on CancunTom’s blog.

On the last day of the sterilization clinic I went over to RAP to help out, but my plan backfired when Darci, the president of CANDi handed me a puppy to hold. The puppy is a female who is about 2½ months old, she had been found in the street. By the time I met her Darci had already spent more than an hour picking fleas and ticks off of her. Well, you can guess the rest. I walked around for the next few hours carrying this puppy and I couldn’t leave her behind when it was time to go home.

We have not named her yet. We’ve got a list of possible names, but so far none of them has stuck. Sam, the pre-existing dog, is adjusting in fits and spurts to this little puppy. He’s really jealous that she’s getting so much attention, but he also likes her and has been playing with her quite a lot. It’s good to see him with a playmate, he needs that.

The cats are mostly just annoyed. My old lady cat, Grace (who is 17) is having the worst reaction, she’s decided that the puppy is a huge annoyance and refusing to eat much. Emma-cat has attached herself to the puppy and follows the puppy around and then sits and watches her, she’s fascinated although it seems a bit like morbid fascination if you ask me. Moopie and Lilah just think the puppy is stupid, which is an appropriate and expected cat reaction. The other cats are pretty much just avoiding the puppy. I’m sure all of them will adjust as the puppy calms down and gets used to the rhythms of the house.

Here are photos of the little girl.


This puppy is a girl of action, she’s hard to photograph when she’s awake because she doesn’t stop moving. She will settle into your lap, if you let her. Otherwise she’s a-runnin’.


Here she is sleeping, or rather just thinking about waking up. She doesn’t sleep for long periods of time, but she does that cute puppy thing of running around and then suddenly falling asleep in one minute.


And here she is chewing, which is her favorite thing to do. She chews and chews and chews and chews whatever is available. It’s a full-time job chasing her to make sure she’s only chewing on proper dog chews. (I think my shoes are history.) Right now she’s chewing on Sam, who is chewing right back, so that works. More puppy updates will inevitably follow.

All Steamed Up

Friday, August 1st, 2008

I’m mad. And sad.

I just went for a walk with Sam the tonto wonder dog. And during our walk we saw two stray dogs which both seem to need some kind of help or care. Both of these dogs have been hanging around the neighborhood for a few days. One is skinny and needy and young, but it has good healthy puppy energy. The other is older, has a collar and a limp and seems like she might be sick. This second one really concerns me, she’s not just lost, she’s ill.

So when we got home from walking the dog we went back out with some food and water and put it near where this second dog was lying down. She took off when we showed up. But I think she’ll return to that spot because I’ve seen her there a number of times in the last few days, she’s comfortable there. I’ll go back in a few hours and see if she’s eaten what we left for her. Pobrecita.

Cancun’s stray dog problem is out of control. I only saw two dogs in my neighborhood, but I live in a decent area. When you get into the poorer sections of Cancun the problem gets much worse. There are stray, limping, hurting dogs everywhere.

Every time I come face to face with a stray dog I feel so sad. And I get so mad at people here who do nothing. Worse, they don’t just do nothing, they get all ga-ga about how nice it is here. How can it be nice here when there are so many animals visibly suffering in the street? In my humble opinion, it can’t be.

In recent weeks I’ve made a commitment to RAP Cancun to help redesign the web site, and put it in English so that we can more easily solicit donations from English-speakers. We are also going to ramp up a campaign to encourage tourists visiting Cancun from the U.S. and Canada to adopt street dogs. Fortunately there is no animal quarantine between Mexico and both the U.S. and Canada, so adoption is a viable option.

If you would like to make a donation to RAP please let me know or contact Maria Alicia through their web site.

Land of Plenty

Wednesday, July 9th, 2008

I’m struck by how much extra there is here in the States. There are yard sales all over here (with the Mainer accent they are called “yahd” sales). And each time I see one I’m struck by how much stuff is being sold for next to nothing. People here simply have more than they need. Most of them do not realize this, but it becomes clear when you see what they are getting rid of and how cheaply they are willing to part with it.

This is different from Mexico where lots of people don’t have what they need. My yard sale experience in Mexico is that they come in 2 flavors:
– First you have the normal Mexican yard sale where items are being sold well past their prime, but prices are high. A pair of beat-to-shit old ugly shoes for $10 USD, used DVDs, complete with scratches, for $5 USD, an 8-track tape player for $15 USD, etc. It seems that a yard sale is seen first as a chance to make money. Getting rid of things you don’t need seems to be secondary.

– The second type of yard sale in Mexico is the “ex-pat who didn’t make in Mexico” yard sale. These are usually great sales because the ex-pat came to Mexico thinking they would love it. They buy a new living room set from Liverpool and they fill an apartment with nice new things. They often adopt a pet. And then one day they realize that Cancun is not what they thought it would be. They decide to leave and they liquidate everything as fast a possible and high tail it back to the States or wherever… I love these sales. But each time I hear of an ex-pat who is moving back without taking their pet(s) I get furious (I’ll save that rant for another day).

Here in New England the yard sales are not just full of good cheap stuff, they are full of interesting antiques. I keep seeing nifty chairs and couches that I wish I could buy and fix up. But the last thing I need is more stuff in Mexico that I have to haul back to the U.S. So I’m waiting until we move back to the U.S. to indulge in buying things I don’t need…

It’s a Bird’s Life

Friday, June 27th, 2008

According to my National Geographic Society “Bird Migration Map for the Western Hemisphere” the Yucatan Peninsula is a stopping point for birds that migrate from as far away as Baffin Island in Northeastern Canada and Uruguay in South America. I’m not sure how many of these birds actually bother to come through Cancun, but some certainly do get spotted here.

When we first bought our house the yard had no mature trees. Now, 5 years later, we have a monster of a ficus tree, 5 huge bugambilias, a chico zapote that’s almost 2 stories tall and a naranja (orange) tree which is full of (green) oranges at the moment. Needless to say we have lots of attractive branches for birds to land on.

And land they do. Each morning we are awakened by birds who sit in the ficus, just outside our bedroom window. Once they start their squawking the cats inevitably jump onto the windowsills and watch the bird show for a few hours. Some cats get more into this than others and a couple of the cats get a little carried away making imitative “bird” noises and periodically launching themselves up onto the window screen in a futile attempt to chase a bird.

The other day we were awakened by bird squawks. But this time they were not coming from the ficus tree, they were coming from the other side of the house, from the backyard. And this time it wasn’t the usual 10 or 20 birds having their normal pre-coffee discussion about how to torment our 8 cats. No. This time it was roughly 90 to 100 birds. And this time they were squawking like no one’s business. These birds were LOUD, they had a purpose, they were raising an alarm!

When we looked we saw birds perched along every edge of every roof and wall around our backyard. And ALL of them were squawking INTO our backyard!

We raced into the yard and found the problem. Several guilty-looking cats had a bird cornered in our backyard. They were close enough to the bird that it couldn’t take flight. We chased the cats into the house and then fended off the dog who had come to “help”. Once free of cat interference the bird flew halfway up the wall and landed on a vine in the corner. Then it was able to fly to the top of the wall. I couldn’t tell if it’s short flights were due to it being injured or whether they were due to space limitations coupled with being in shock. But the bird got away under its own power.

As soon as the bird topped the wall it’s squawking brethren quit their alarming and went about their business. But I have to say I was really, really impressed with how all those birds tried to help their fallen friend. If they had not woken us up that bird would have been cat food.

I’ve always thought I would like to feed birds and become a birdwatcher. But it may have to wait until another life, a life in which I don’t pull every starving cat I find off the street and bring it home.

Kittens Need a Home

Saturday, May 24th, 2008

The other day a woman stopped into my vet’s office and asked if the vet would take in 3 starving kittens that had eye infections. My vet said “no” but offered to treat their infections. The woman complained that none of the pet shops she’d been to would take the kittens either (obviously because they were sick).

Well, the woman walked outside the vet’s office and dumped the kittens in the bushes in front of the building and then she left. A little while later my husband, who was there helping the vet with some building maintenance, heard the mewing. The vet has been taking care of these kitties since then, she’s treated their eye infections, has successfully fattened them up and has neutered each of them. But now it’s time for them to find homes.

The two black ones are female and the orange tabby is male. If you know of anyone who might need a kitty (or 2 or 3) in their life please contact me asap.

This female was a skinny little thing when I first saw her, now she sports a belly.

This guy needs a bath but will be gorgeous when he’s cleaned up.

This girl is my favorite, she’s got a really sweet personality.

Here are the 3 of them together.

Please help save these kitties. My vet can’t keep them, she’s already got 6 six dogs that she adopted off the street (after nursing them back to health from various injuries).

Doggie Blues

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

I’m giving myself a full 4 minutes to write this blog entry, so as my daughter’s preschool teacher used to say “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit”. [Incidentally, she went to a preschool called Make a Mess and Make Believe, but the kids affectionately called it Make a Mess and Don’t Clean it Up.]

When I was walking Sam today we saw a dalmatian, it was a female. And it was hiding behind a tree as we walked by. She had a collar on. She was terrified of us but curious. She clearly needed someone. She was clearly lost. She had little boobies, which told me that she had been a mom, but is not currently lactating. Poor thing. Terrified. And Sam wanted to play with her, which scared her.

I just wanted to grab her and take her home. Someone misses her. But she’s so skittish that I wonder if her lost owners might have been abusive. But being a beautiful dalmatian she might be easily adoptable. Maybe I should go look for her (without Sam in tow). But then what if we don’t find a home for her? Or worse, what if we fall for her and can’t give her up (like I did with that dratted, lovely, perfect EmmaCat)?

Ok, time is up. More later.

Cats, God and I need a day off

Monday, March 17th, 2008

I’m a bit frazzled. I’ve got several real estate buyers in town right now, and I’ve got several web design deadlines in the next two days. Not a good mix. Real estate is this open-ended, lengthy schmooze process. While web design takes total concentration with no distractions or other appointments. I’m seriously considering pulling an all-nighter, I feel like I’m 18 again (and I mean that only in the worst possible way).

My daughter called and said that her agnostic/atheist father had just given her a 40 year old Bible and “how cool is that?” (I’m wondering if he wanted to make space on the bookshelf). And I’m thinking that it’s cool that she thinks that’s cool, because she was not raised with a religion, she was raised to choose her own religion, if she wants to. One of my recent conversations with her involved me reading long passages from the Old Testament to her over the phone and providing my ribbing commentary along the way (there was quite a bit of giggling, especially about not coveting thy neighbor’s ass). Anyway, I think it’s great that she’s think her Bible is cool. Perhaps it’s time for her that grandmother who has a Ph.D in Religious Studies to give her grand daughter a call… Oh Mom?

Meanwhile the next book my Book Club is going to read will be The Portable Atheist: Essential Readings for the Nonbeliever edited by Christopher Hitchens. One member of the Book Club stated that she “didn’t believe in Atheists”, I’m pretty sure she voted against this book, but she lost (we have a very democratic voting system). Regardless of viewpoint I’m sure that book will make for a great discussion. And a great discussion is the only possible excuse for all the wine we drink at those meetings.

Besides musings on God and his lack, and real estate and my lack of focus on web stuff my big thing right now is my cats. Surprised right? Flaco’s death has made me appreciate the living. So I’m trying to actually pet each of the living breathing 9 cats every day. This is harder than it sounds, since several of them hide under beds night and day and only come out for meals. I’m kind of forcing love on them, I feel a bit odd, “you will accept my love, like it or not”. But my eldest and fattest, and probably most frail, Grace, the 17 year old cat that I rescued back in Colorado, is appreciating all the attention. She’s even waking me up at night by purring in my ear. So I think I’m on the right track.

  • Advertising

Pueblo Maya - Mexican Restaurant & Craft Market, Chichen Itza, Piste, Yucatan Yucatan Direct: Real Estate for Sale by Owner in Yucatan, Mexico The Truth About Mexico
  • Blogosphere