The boys are leaving their little school here in Guatemala. They have only been there half a year but have been very happy. Academically they have both excelled which really helped their confidence, especially Nico who learnt to read and also discovered that he is pretty good at maths, better than his smarty pants sabe lo todo big brother who excels in all the communication departments.
It is their last half day tomorrow but today they had a party. Unfortunately, the teachers in prepa, neglected to do a party for Nico so the pile of doughnuts we sent all got eaten by first grade and he was so upset that I had to give him 4 fairy cakes when he got home. Paulo´s class had all made him cards and given him little presents. A lot of them were quite religious giving him blessings and the virgin etc etc.
The most heart wrenching letter was from his little nobia Emilia who has been incredibly loyal these last few months! She printed it on the computer and had even put a photo, her email address and telephone number and a little cuddly present. This girl is not giving up on her man. And this is what she wrote translated from Spanish.
Feliz Viaje Paulo
You were the best friend I have ever had and I will never forget you. I am so happy that we got to spend this time together. Your friend Maria Emilia
I don´t really believe in moving cats from home to home too much, but definitely not from country to country. So although I am feeling guilty as hell, we are leaving our two cats behind, and so far I am not quite sure where! Every time I look at them I feel a huge pang of guilt. On top of all that, they seem to be making a huge play on the fact that they are happy and smug right now, like only cats can!
Chloe was from Aware, an animal rescue centre run by an eccentric Brit (you find these British animal lovers all over the world) and his Guatemalan wife in a place a few miles away from Antigua. Our dog had died leaving our first male cat Smudge a bit lonely. He had run away a couple of times looking for love but we always managed to find him. I remember once noticing his weighing up as he thought freedom and insecurity versus food and tough love from toddler Nico.
We took him up to Aware for the snip and by chance a kitten had been left at the end of the road a few days before. Anyway along came the noble and dignified Chloe, who was allowed one litter of kittens, one of which was such a beautiful Siamese generation throwback that we just had to keep her. Smudge disappeared and then there were two.
Mother and daughter have not always got on and I am not that surprised. Sophie is a naughty, cheeky, fish stealing youth who pushes in front of her mother at every opportunity. The children love her though as she deals with them with the same cocky cheek she uses on her mother. Chloe on the other hand has always been my cat. She waits for the children to go to bed and sneaks inside for a bit of sofa time with me.
Bizarrely, lately they have been being really affectionate towards each other which makes me think even more that I want them to stay together. I fear that everyone wants to adopt the pretty, cheeky Sophie and noble Chloe will be left to her fate like a poor Guatemalan campesina widow. Oh the guilt ………. I am just hoping that perfect home will appear and my cats can maintain the safe and easy life they have had with us because I ain’t getting on a plane to Cuba with 3 kids and 2 cats.