My name is Zulu - actually, Azul - for the biggest set of beautiful blue eyes that ever existed! (They're green here, but they were big and blue when I was a kitten, at least that's what my mom tells me!) I am a Spanish cat by nature as I was born in the heat of the tropics of Costa Rica. Azul means “blue” in Spanish. I really can’t remember too much about my life there, except that I can distinctly recall feeling a set of cool loving hands upon my sun fatigued body as I was gently plucked from my wiry cage one sultry day.
I remember now – I was deep in sleep, worn out and exhausted from having been cramped in a tiny cage that felt anything but soft beneath my feet, and when I went to lie down, the wires would grip my tiny belly. I was hungry and wanted milk, that good old comfort food. My mama’s milk would have been best, I knew. But there were no comforts here. I knew that whoever was caring for me was doing her very best, for my cage was clean and I always had water and crunchy food, which I could barely eat with my underdeveloped mouth. I wondered who had brought me here, and where did I come from anyway?
Still, I knew I was okay because every now and then, someone would bring me a treat of warm milk, probably from a cow, I thought, not as tasty as my mama’s, but who was I to complain? It was always a welcome sight. And at least I wasn’t in a cage with a bunch of other cats I didn’t know and barking overbearing dogs too, as I had seen other kittens in such demise before. How lucky I am, I thought to have this space all to myself. Still, I couldn’t help but long for a warm touch as each night grew dark and cooler from the heat of the intense sun. I wanted someone to suckle and a loving body to cuddle up to. But instead, I found myself alone, night after night. I was afraid, yet helpless to do anything about my fear. Where would my life go from here? Would I be here in this tiny wiry cage for the rest of my life? And how long would that be?
Cats of Costa Rica
Then one day, a miracle happened! I can vaguely recall that I was deep in sleep in my uncomfortable, no-frills home. I had been so exhausted from a morning of watching the passers-by look at me, and some would even talk to me, but it never failed, each time they would just walk away. I had hoped that someone would fall in love with me and pick me up and put me to their chest and feel my heart beat like a marble, and that they would not be able to resist me! Little did I know that I had such beautiful blue eyes! Why didn’t someone fall for me? I was so little and cute, I thought! Won’t someone take me home and care for me?
I now live in Canada with my big brother, Feliz. The orange guy, Feliz, which means “happy” in English, is the most grumpy big brother I have ever seen! Although I know he is only a “boy”, sometimes I don’t understand him as he gets very annoyed with me and runs away, after a half-witted growl, even though I am only half his size! I guess something about me intimidates him, perhaps because I am a girl!
Me and my orange brother, Feliz, a rare yet precious moment
How did I get here? That’s another story! After my mom put my brothers (Luke was my favorite) and two sisters (they are gone now too), in cargo on a flight from San Jose, Costa Rica, the two of us traveled First Class in the airplane together for many hours! At times, I never thought I’d get out of that small black travel bag. My mom did her best to sneak me out against airline regulations and people loved me! But when a flight attendant dropped her a note warning her to hide me, she had to stuff me back in the bag. We stayed in hotels and sat in airports for long stretches of time. Not sure what we were waiting for, but each time we got to another hotel, it felt so good to get out and stretch my legs and have my own space. Everyone wanted to see me, touch me and talk to me. And although it was all about me, I must admit, it was very tiring!
Before we left Costa Rica, we had to travel by car for many hours to a big city, crossing the water on a noisy ferry and then traveling in a rainstorm, finally to safety. I was lucky, as I got to travel with my big sister at the time, so I just snuggled next to her warm soft belly and we drifted off to sleep for most of the journey.
When we finally arrived in the big city, my mom worked so hard to get us all safely into the room before opening our crates and letting us out to explore. After all, she had to be very careful - there were 5 of us at the time! When she did feel it was safe, she opened our hatches to let us out – MEOW-WOW! What a place…down duvet comforters, a huge screen television and even a big window to peer out at all the curious passers-by! My mom had really done herself in by finding this place for us!
Luke, my late favorite brother
But even before we left our hometown, I remember a lady coming out to our place. She had all kinds of weird things with her, needles and pills, syringes and paperwork. One by one, her and my mom gave us all a turn at having a sharp thing pushed up our necks, little pink pills shoved down our throats, and other stuff too. It wasn’t fun and we were all pretty angry. Mom later told us that she had to give us all shots in order to take us with her into another country.
What an adventure that was. And now that I am almost 8 years old (in human years), I can bravely say I have lived to tell about it, as I rest comfortably in my new home here in Canada. Although it is much colder here, I am slowly growing accustomed to it as my mom turns up the heat of our little fireplace and I lounge beside the blaze all day, reminiscing and dreaming of my early days in the hot sun. Sometimes, I wake myself up with purrs and soft meows, chortling and dreaming of warmth and the green grass beneath my feet. Soon, summer will be here, and I will be romping in the meadows of Canada once again!
So if anyone ever tries to tell your person that she’s a "crazy cat lady" for loving you and trekking you half way around the world just to be with her, they are right! But it’s all worth it in the end!
Me and my mom, another Crazy Cat Lady!
Thank you to owner, Angela Passman, of World Pet Travel for helping to safely bring 5 Costa Rican kitties to my homeland of Canada. I could not have done it without her!