Monday, 7 April 2014


Jorge came to our lives last year, some time after the spring of 2013. 

I was walking home at nighttime and as soon as I opened the door I noticed a little furry fellow sitting outside in front of the entrance, a few feet away from me. He was immensely cute with his caramel coloured fur and amber eyes. Long whiskers and playful tail. I thought that was adorable and I didn't want to scare him away. So I called my parents in a whisper and they came to see the cat standing in our doorway. My sister and my mom let out an "aawwww!" in unison and one of them suggested to bring him milk. You know Latin American families: always so hospitable (we later learned that milk is actually bad for cats! Oops!). We even got to take a few pictures and videos of him with our phones. Before he went away, we managed to pet him a bit, and he seemed to had enjoyed it. A few weeks later he followed me until the back door of my house, and a few weeks after that he had the audacity to enter my house when I opened the door! We had to close the sliding doors that connect the kitchen with the living room and bedrooms, and kept him in the kitchen.
He was so curious. He would rub his neck against anything. We also found out eventually that cats have glands in their necks that, like dogs, are used to "mark" their space. 

We didn't know his name, and we didn't know who he belonged to. We didn't want to get attached so we would just shush him or say "hey!". I started calling him "gato", which is 'cat' in Spanish (I'm either awful at names or wanted to make a bilingual cat out of this little dude). Until one day my mom came home with a small bag of cat treats. We were very happy seeing him enjoying those treats, but my boyfriend Jeff warned me that the owner might not like it. "Would you like if some stranger started feeding your cat?", he would say. "Well, if he was well fed and loved at home, he wouldn't be looking for attention here!", was my argument. I knew it was wrong, but I couldn't help it. This cat was extremely adorable, and we were getting attached.
Jeff was the one that started calling him Jorge. I thought it was incredibly cliche as far as Latin names in North America go. I kept calling him Gato.
Eventually, we opened the doors to the living room and bedrooms for Jorge (not that he hadn't figured out how to slide the doors already!). He was fascinated with the new areas to explore. He would take his time and examine every single corner, sniff it, sense it, rub against it. My dad was afraid that the cat would destroy his new couch. But this cat showed to be a well-behaved cat and never scratched anything. Except the carpet in my room. I guess it wasn't as fluffy as the carpet in the living room, and he would treat it like a nail salon. I had to keep my room closed all the time because he would actually tear little pieces off.
His favourite spot was the window. There is something about cats and windows, ya know? He would sit for hours just looking out to the world (it was more like the 12th block of East 51st Avenue). 

One day, I found the cat outside the window in the tiny balcony we have in the front of our house. He was meowing his lungs out and I was in my room. I thought he was downstairs so I opened the door but didn't see him. I heard his meowing again. It came from above me. There he was, on the second floor of my house just outside my room's window. Immediately I asked my sister why she had left the cat there, it was so mean! She said she hadn't. That the cat had left our home hours before and through the door. I didn't believe her, of course. There was no way the cat would have gotten there by himself! But a few days later I realized that the cat had indeed jumped all the way to the second floor. I was mesmerized! Cats are so deceiving: they seem so fragile and tiny and cute. But they are truly smart, cunning little creatures. 

It didn't take long for the owner to find him. He was chilling outside our balcony and she spotted him. I guess we had been playing with the cat so many times that the owner had started to wonder where the heck her cat was! She rang the bell and complained that we kept her cat in our front balcony. We said no, he goes up there by himself. She wouldn't believe us, of course. She was mad. So my dad told us not to let Jorge in again. We were a bit saddened, but a week later he came back. We tried not to open the door for him, but he meowed so much and he sounded so sad. I would sneak him for a few minutes into my house and play with him and feed him before letting him out again. He always purred so much, and the way he sought your attention made you smile any time of the day.

The owner came again. This time she had seen her cat jump to our balcony, so she apologized to us. Since this time she was more calm, we talked a bit about him. His name was Frenchie. They lived 2 houses away from us, and she never had the heart to lock her cat inside her house because she knew Frenchie needed to play and just be a cat. That's how he got so many friends in the neighborhood. Apparently we weren't the only ones that she had had to ask for her pet back. I told her we called him Jorge (at this point, even I was calling him that way), just because we didn't know his name and my boyfriend came with the idea. She didn't seem very thrilled about us naming her cat, but she didn't say anything. She also commented that they and their roommate might be moving soon, but they didn't know when yet.

So the cat was still allowed to come, just not for so many hours at the time! Also, my dad had still the same impression of the owner being mad at him, so he didn't want the cat in the house at all. But that little thing grew on him and eventually said "if the owner comes and complains, I'm going to say I didn't know anything and I'll blame it all on you!". We were okay with that.

I particularly loved how he chilled on my damp towel after I took a shower, and how relaxed he seemed while sleeping. Jorge and I had developed this "game", he would follow me into the bathroom and jump right next to the sink. I would put cold water in my hand and he would drink water from it. The feeling of this raspy tongue in my hand tickled but it also melted my heart. This was the closest I had ever been to a cat. Sometimes he would play with me by biting me not very hard, and then he would lick my wrist where he had bit me. I loved that little guy. With all my heart.

Thank you, Tom for this Christmas present you gave
me for the cat. It made both of us really happy.
Last week, Jorge was chilling in the living room with me. He was between napping and staring into space on the couch, while I was watching TV. Suddenly I realized that the neighbors -Jorge's owners- were putting some furniture into 3 different small cars. I panicked because I thought they were going to ring our doorbell and demand their cat (he had been in our house for 3 hours at least). For some reason it didn't hit me that they were moving. So I grabbed Jorge, opened the door and let him out. I surely didn't want to get yelled at.
It didn't dawn on me that that was going to be the last time I would see Jorge. The last time I would feel the weight and warmth of his body in my arms. The last time I would look into those amber eyes.

I still somehow look for his presence outside our door or balcony. Try to keep quiet so I can hear his meows outside my window. Look around in his favourite hiding spots, hoping to find him sitting there or taking a nap. Even though he wasn't mine, he really grew on me. I got attached. Too attached. It's hard not to think about him without tearing up.
I just hope wherever you are, Jorge, you are happy and healthy. Loved and warm. Fed and strong. I surely miss you and I can only hope you remember me, even if I was just a mistress of yours.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

That End-Of-Year Reflection post

2013 has definitely been a very lethargic year for me. At least for my taste. Even though there were some changes done, they weren't even close to where I wanted to be. And I'm not blaming on anything or anybody, I know it was my own damn ass that was sitting on the couch for the whole year. But nobody is too sedentary. Life and circumstances make you learn a lesson or two all the time. So this is the very little (yet permanent) that I have learned:

This was the year that I switched job titles. Same place, just doing different stuff. When I started in pharmacy last February, the only drug name I could say right was ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Advil and Tylenol, pretty much). I knew about Prozac, courtesy of Hollywood, but that was about it. It took its time but now I know 500 times more than I did 10 months ago. I also got to learn about darn people's insurances and private health plans. Who knew there were so many! I also learned how stressful dealing with people's health can be, even from the pharmacy side (can't even imagine what would it be to work at a hospital or doc's office!). Many, MANY nights I had taken work to my dreams, waking up at least 3 times every night from terrible pill-related nightmares. I was THIS close to resign (your health, mental or physical, is always more important than any job or amount of money). But it took a little of perseverance and a lot of stubbornness to keep going forward and get used to my new job. Best part of this is definitely my coworkers, though. Everybody has everyone's back and are willing to go the extra mile for the team. 
Now, pharmacy is definitely not my chosen career. And although it's frustrating having graduated from school 2 years ago and still not be working in the field, I'm enjoying the ride, learning a lot and making new friends in the process.

This was also the year of engagements, pregnancies and babies. Several friends from high school and some from work started their own families. And most of my other high school friends were in disbelief, taking their opinions on Facebook and claiming that having babies or getting married was becoming a "trend". Not that I am judging them but it got me thinking, ya know? 
We are, unfortunately, reaching that age where we settle down, start planning (or not) our future and figuring out our priorities as adults. In other words, we are getting old!! It's hard to believe I graduated from high school 8 years ago!
By this time, all my generation has (hopefully) figured out what they are going to do with their lives. Like I told a friend of mine not too long ago, we have realized our own priorities in life. For some people, their priority is to excel in their professional life, for some other is to have lots of money, and for some others is to start a family.
I can only say, it gets so close to your reality that you start questioning if you should be following those steps too. You know, follow the herd. And when I put myself in their shoes, I found myself feeling scared about the simple thought of bringing a child to the world. The more I think about it, the more scared I get. It's not an easy business. You will be raising a human being. Plus, I still feel like a child myself! So much to achieve, so much to learn. So much liquor to consume...
So I applaud the brave ones that can handle such responsibility. It's definitely admirable.

This was also the year I fell in love with my band. Although we were formed in the summer of 2012, it was this year that I truly got to know my band mates and realized how lucky I was to meet such awesome individuals. I realized how much potential we have and how bad I want this dream to come true. I definitely know 2014 will be a great year for Elysium Echoes, and I can't wait to witness it and be part of it!

So this has been my End-of-Year reflection post. And what would a cheesy end-of-year nostalgia be sans the equally cheesy and extremely cliché resolutions:

To listen more music albums, and not song per song (particularly with metal bands).

To follow a new motto: it can never be too early. Which can also be translated as "fight procrastination".

To make schedules and deadlines for everything. So things can actually get done lol

To work on my voice and self consciousness. 

To use less Facebook.

To take more pictures (with a better camera)

To remember to live at my own pace. Life is not a competition. I shouldn't compare myself to others because our paths were different and got/will get to our objectives at the right time.

This is it! This is the year I literally get my ass off the couch and start doing shit. Can't just sit and watch my life go by. Oh boy, have I learned! I don't want to do this ever again ;-)