Thursday, November 16, 2017


In order of abundance, the cockroach wins hands down. They are at least two inches long and fast. Unless you can run over them with a golf cart, there’s no way to get rid of them. But they actually stay hidden for the most part.

Then it’s the iguanas. These guys fascinate me. They look prehistoric as they creep along, stopping to do push-ups. But if you get too close, you’ll see the speeds they are capable of… fortunately they run away.

This morning, after the downpour all night, the sky was swarming with dragon flies. It was a beautiful sight.

Everywhere you look are birds. I wish they were tropical birds, but they are mostly your standard black or grey birds, some seagulls, pairs of doves, and the ever present pelicans (who look like they belong to the same era as the iguanas).

As for cats and dogs, the cats rule here. On our little street a man shows up every morning with a bag of cat food. Cats come running from every direction with tails straight up. He scatters the food around in little clumps. One restaurant, Lola Valentina’s has five house cats to keep the pest problem under control. Pretty much every restaurant has a working cat. Most of the old timers have chunks missing from their ears to prove their turf wars.

The dogs are mostly pets, but I’ve seen a couple of strays. Little dogs are the theme here. The other day an teenage puppy was having a stand-off with an old veteran cat. The dog was blocking the entrance to the cat’s yard. The cat wasn’t moving, it just stayed crouched in the middle of the busy pedestrian street. The puppy was frantically trying to work up the courage to come near the cat. I thought its tail was going to fall off, it was wagging so hard. It would hop forward a few inches at a time until the low growling from the old tom would intimidate it back again. Thirty or forty people stood or sat around to watch this little battle. Finally the pup got distracted and turned its back. In a blur the cat dashed into its fenced-in yard. The puppy sat stunned and defeated as it watched the cat stretch out within a foot of the fence.

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