So the vet called us last week to explain that someone brought in a kitten that she thought we might want. She said that she checked her out and she was healthy and good. She said that she'd pay for the spaying if we agreed to adopt her.
I was still on the fence over the idea of having a new cat so soon, but I agreed to this situation because we knew the cat would be healthy. The "shelter" from where we adopted Joey was more of a lady's house that included the foster cats plus the 12 cats that she already owns. The lady is super nice, but her house is inevitably a breeding ground for diseases and bacteria. I just don't want my kitty to die on me again, ya know?
So we met the kitty and fell in love. We named her Garbage, and if you're a fan of The Office, you may remember why that's hilarious. She's very chubby and spunky and rambunctious. She likes to climb on our shoulders to rest, like a parrot or something. Here's a picture of her:
Alexandre learned the verb "to pet," and how he pets my head and says that he is "personing" me. (Get it? You pet a pet, so you person a person. Entertaining language learner logic!)
In other news, I've been feeling kind of homesick lately. I miss having a big network of people around. I miss being able to go visit my family on a whim for the weekend. I miss BART in San Francisco. I miss getting Newsweek and the Oprah magazine in the mail. In more abstract terms, I miss knowing my way around and knowing how to do things, like find a new apartment or open a bank account by myself. I miss being in a society in which people, more or less, respect their fellow citizens. I have levels of expectation that I've built up after years of living in one culture, like when I can expect people to give me the 'right of way' of sorts, and when I'm supposed to be the patient one, and I absolutely lack that here. The result in a different culture is that I'm often disappointed in and frustrated with people.
This always comes to mind when I'm driving here. The driving is horrible. It's every man for himself. People do things that can obviously hurt them or hurt others with regard only for the efficiency in which they, personally, can arrive at their destination. People run red lights. A lot. People don't give pedestrians the right of way, but pedestrians don't wait for cars, either. Many parents don't put their kids in car seats. Every country has things to be proud of and things to be ashamed of. For America, we should be ashamed of our rampant imperialism and cultural invasiveness. Brazil is a strong and beautiful country with a lot to be proud of, like its pride in its diversity and its acceptance of immigrants and other cultures (last month, the government organized a commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the first wave of Japanese immigration in Brazil. Some people have bumper stickers that are pictures of the Japanese flag and the Brazilian flag combined. This would absolutely NEVER happen in the US). Brazil has never been part of a war. But what Brazil possesses in peace and general acceptance, it lacks in specific respect for others. The country at once embraces and denies the idea of community. It's bizarre.
So yeah. I'm not like, so distraught that I'm packing my bags or anything like that. I think this level of saudade (missing/longing) is healthy, and to be expected. Besides, I have a kitty here that is starved for attention. :o)