Saturday, July 22, 2017

Letters From Nicaragua: Part 11 - Us And Los Animales

This trip sure had some head-turning moments, and one that would strike most of us living in the good old USA, is all of the animals running around loose. I mean, there were horses tied up beside the road, but most of the animals I saw were free to go wherever they pleased. This actually made for some very interesting behavior. For example, if you happened to be walking around and saw a loose emaciated dog in Florida, you would probably steer clear, thinking something bad was going to happen, and the dog would growl and sort of creep away. Not in Nicaragua...I'm pretty sure that anything that was still living had figured the key to survival was making friends with a human. Our days at the Eco Lodge were filled with cats, and these cats were the only ones I saw anywhere that looked healthy. If I walked up to our wonderful room at the top of the mountain, I would have at least two cats heading up there with me. They would then station themselves on either end of the porch, looking over the edge on guard for something. One day, after a surf session, I was lounging with Pam, me on the hammock on the porch while she read a book and griped about her foot. The two cats were all stretched out looking for birds or mice or something, when a third cat came padding up the last steps. Instantly, one of our cats jumped in my lap and made like he was my best friend ever. Now, I saw what they were watching for: interlopers. I'm guessing I was their human, and they wanted to let the newcomer know who was in charge here. Pam made some sounds and said that I'll probably get cat scratch fever and die from the infection, and that she wasn't going to bring my body home. Me? I was proud, and explained that I knew how to deal with strange animals safely. As the third cat left, and my cat jumped up, I went to go tell the kids about my experience, but instead met them halfway down the steps, each kid carrying a cat like a stuffed animal, I guess they already figured it out.

No cat or dog ever begged for food, nor jumped on the table when we were eating, but they were around, just in case we were feeling generous. It occurred to me frequently that there were no bad domestic animals because they led very short lives.
The one animal that did seem to be getting it together about getting handouts, was the horse. On more than one occasion while driving down some muddy road littered with shacks and loose pigs, cats, and dogs, there would be a situation where a horse just sort of walked out into the road and stood there, perhaps with a few friends, and I felt sure that the 'mordida' in this case really was to be a bite of something, perhaps an apple? Sam never slowed down for such foolishness, but I would like to have found out if I was brave enough to present my hand with food in it to a hungry horse.
Every place we stayed came with some kind of animals, and mostly, they were tolerated by the locals. One house came with two big dogs that just came an lay on the porch and came over for a petting once in a while. I thought, "This is probably as safe as it gets for a dog. They pretend we own them, and other people leave them alone".

Even Pam at one point was finally won over by a big white dog that followed her around, while she was looking for rocks on the beach. He would come over and rub against her leg and then go play in the water for a while. Once again, I thought, the dog knows he's safe when he appears to be with a more Chinese food for me here!

No comments:

Post a Comment