As the longest running guide giving tours of the tombs, I became friendly with a resident cross-eyed, black cat I named Morticia, for obvious reasons. Year-long, upon entering the cemetery, I placed a can of tuna at the grave of my pal’s father that Morticia had come to expect.
One day, at the end of tour I left my hat behind as I escorted the guests back to Rosewood. Since I’ve an exceptionally large head and that’s the only hat in Mexico I found that fits, I went running back to get it. The cemetery was closed so I borrowed a ladder from my tienda pal, scaled the fence and retrieved it. It was then I noticed Morticia sashay up the central aisle of the cemetery with twenty some cats behind. I learned Morticia was queen of the cemetery cats as it was the perfect spot for feral cats to spend the night, free from dogs and with an endless supply of prey (note that you’ll never see a rat in our cemetery).
I never told my pal about placing tuna on her father’s grave. She’s not partial to cats, a sentiment that being allergic to cats myself, I can understand.
Last year this time she went out to paint her father’s grave for Day of the Dead and I asked, later in the day, how that went. She replied, “You know that cat your fond of, Morticia? She drove me mad constantly hoping on my father’s grave as I painted. When I pushed her off she got pissy and started to piss around the tomb as if marking her territory.” Since I wasn’t about to say I put tuna on his grave, I simply replied “How odd.”
Morticia disappeared last Christmas season. I’m assuming she has died, since at five years she’s outlived the average feral cat by three years. In her honor on Days of the Dead I’ll place a can tuna on the grave for her spirit to come and remove the flavor from. I’m sure that won’t stop today’s kitties from eating it that night!
Speaking of Kitty, at the cemetery today were three sisters all under the age of 6, each with some Hello Kitty tee or toy. I told them how my sister’s name is Kitty, and they simply didn’t believe me feeling Kitty was a name reserved for a white, cartoon cat.
Finally their mother scolded them saying “If he says his sister’s name is Kitty, it is.”
So to push the envelope, I then told them how I call my sister daily, every morning, to start the day saying “Hello, Kitty”. Suffice to say with the under a meter set in the cemetery, I killed!
by Joseph Toone