by Maria Ruiz
Maria often shares stories with us about Santa Barbara history, her travel all over the world, her dogs, and life.
“Honey, come quick. I think there are kittens trapped under the shower,” my husband called out to me while standing outside the motor home, dressed in a towel around his waist and his new rubber shower clogs.
I stopped what I was doing and followed him back to the shower. Inside, he walked over to where he had first heard them crying. I heard at least one kitten, frantically calling. Neither of us could see how a kitten could have gotten under the concrete floor but we’ve both been surprised at how kittens can get themselves trapped. As we moved around, looking for possible entry holes, the kitten seemed to follow us. By now, we were getting worried for the poor trapped creature.
This was a small and primitive campground in Puebla, Mexico. But the shower was relatively new. We had just pulled in and connected the electricity and sewer dump hoses. It was in the middle of the rainy season and we knew it could rain at any moment, filling the campground with four to six inches of water in twenty minutes. Any kitten trapped under the tile would drown.
I ran to find the man who had signed us in. In my very limited Spanish, I managed to make him come with us. By the time I returned with Jorge, Ted had tracked the kitten out of the shower and along a wall of what turned out to be a storage shed. We could hear the kitten inside but saw no way for either it or us to enter. There was a locked door and locked windows but Jorge quickly ran back to the office and returned with a key. The tile walkway was still wet from the last cloudburst and puddles still were full.
Jorge opened the door and began to search while Ted and I could hear the cries from the wall. He was still searching, moving stored furniture from the outside wall to the center of the room and I was standing next to Ted, listening for tell tale cries of the trapped kittens. I noticed that at the moment, none of us heard anything. Then Ted moved toward the open door and I heard the kitten following him. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Every step Ted took the kitten would cry. “Stop! Ted stand still,” I said.
Ted froze and the kitten cries ceased. “Now walk over here.” He did and the kitten followed him.
“It’s your new shower shoes, “I said.
Ted walked a few steps more, meowing with every step. Then he burst out laughing. True enough, the tread on the plastic rubber was making the noise. We thanked Jorge, who probably had a good story to take home that day. Crazy Americans, searching for the trapped kitten. Even if Jorge didn’t laugh, it still brings a chuckle to us when we remember.