Tuesday, September 6, 2011

precautionary magic

I think it is time to end the Oaxacan stories  --  I have a bunch more and will likely come back to them someday, but for the moment I would like to move on to other things.  But first, a bit of business.

I had been very comfortable in my apartment in the old thick-walled stables with the French doors looking down on the gardens, and had hung my clothes in the closet and spread out my books and things that now had to be packed for the return home and the place took on that sad, disordered, end-of-trip look.  Of course Poosey Gato, the cat, immediately took it all in and saw that I was just one more unreliable foreigner, and did not hide her contempt.
    My hostess, the Countess, was also, for her own reasons, preparing to return to Mexico City, or perhaps to France; her affairs were at the moment unsettled.

We were both concerned about Poosey Gato.  I left an endowment that would keep her in canned cat food for several months but the Countess was concerned that when she left the Mexican help would abuse the cat and chase it off, as they did not like cats, so she described a campaign she had been subtly pursuing.  For a number of weeks, when chatting with the Mexicans who worked around the hacienda, she had been mentioning the interesting fact that the reason Americans had so much money is that they kept cats and cats were very good luck.  Everyone knew that Americans were unreasonably fond of cats, and also seemed to have more money than they deserved, so it all made perfect sense.

And this is probably a good place to end my stories about Oaxaca.

At least for now.

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