Gatos y Perros (Cats and Dogs)

I have been told “It never rains in December,” or January or February, for that matter. And yet there I was with a family way up on the mountain and the tin roof started to ping, ping ping. The daughter rushed outside and brought clothes in from the line just as the ping, ping, pinging turned into a steady roar, so loud and furious that we could not hear each other speak. So after a few minutes of arranging a few buckets, they opened the window so I could see the rain coming down in sheets, shrouding the next mountain in a hazy aqua mist. It really was quite beautiful to watch even if we could not talk over the roar.  (Imagine what it might be like living under a waterfall.) I had been considering buying an umbrella for the sun, but after this downpour, I think there is no doubt that an umbrella is on my list of must-haves right up there with a sturdier pair of sandals for navigating the cobblestones.

I am in Mexico a full 6 weeks earlier than last year and I’ve noticed that it is cooler and cloudier; the latter greatly affecting the former, you see. In my previous visit, I marveled at how nearly every day was the same. The sun rose from behind the mountains with only a rosy glow, no clouds to reflect its glory. It traveled across a deep azure blue yet cloudless sky, until it set without much fanfare; only rarely a few clouds provided a canvass for the setting rays to wash with color. This year however, I have seen clouds over the mountains in the morning glowing in hues of pale pink to fuchsia to purple and at night deep tangy reds accenting steely blue cumulus puffs. Of course those clouds are where that sudden downpour came from. Ah the glory of creation!

Dog on stairsThen there are the other kinds of cats and dogs. I am not sure why most Mexican’s buy dogs. Oh there are house dogs (usually Chihuahua or small poodle mix) as pampered as any US pet but most are just mutts that pace the rooftops barking at every noise, person, or vehicle that goes by (and there are many). There is one on a roof not far away that seems to bark incessantly — you’d think it’d grow hoarse, but no, “Bark, bark, bark, bark, breathe; bark, bark, bark, bark,” all day and late into the night.  Dog in street, Taxco, MexicoI am sure dogs deter would be thieves, and perhaps, along with the cats, keep any non-human creatures at bay, but they are not pets here, they are just dogs, not to be paid any mind. Many run wild and wander the streets, stealing garbage, and leaving messy reminders that they have traveled that way. When you walk the streets you definitely have to look up for low hanging building extensions (lights, plant shelves, window guards, even roof tops), ahead and to the sides for traffic (here it is pedestrians beware), and down to watch where you step. It can be exciting some days.

Dogs @ zocolo

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