Paradise for Cats / Rebeca Monzo


I’m not addicted to television, I’m not even an assiduous spectator of the small screen. Rather, I have a kind of monitor, to see the shows, almost all American of course, that I rent at a video stand. The only channel where I sometimes see interesting programs, “all canned” and “by chance made in USA,” is channel 33 which still, thank God, has not been ideologically contaminated.

Just a couple of days ago, in the morning, I was looking for a program that interests me but that I never see because of the schedule, at that time I’m just finishing breakfast, I lock myself in my workshop to listen to music and do some work until 11:00 in the morning, the time I go to the kitchen to “invent” our daily dish. By change I put on an old channel and fell in love with some beautiful cats who just then were being shown on the screen. The program grabbed me and I watched to the end, leaving me an immense desire to go tot Key West, or Cayo Hueso as we call it in Cuba.


I’m a cat person, I confess, I love all animals, except cockroaches and black moths (tataguas), but I have a special weakness for domestic cats. In fact I have two and feed a third. Usually I succumb before their sweet gaze.

The program in question was about the life of these animals in this little paradise, where there is a ratio of four cats per person and not all of them necessarily live in houses: some are shared with humans in hotels and restaurants. All are well fed and receive veterinary care. Some are operated to control reproduction. But what caught my attention, as I am a reader and admirer of Hemingway, is the care and devotion they give to the descendants of his beloved cats,in what was one of his most important residences.

I was captivated by those with six toes, with the effort and dedication to maintain their race and especially with how healthy they look. I think that if I ever visit this beautiful key, where in addition is nicely marked the area closest to our country, “the famous 90 miles,” it will cost me a great deal of effort to resist the temptation to get myself one of these beautiful animals.

Hopefully some day the culture in our country will also contemplate the care of animals and plants, and be known not just for its concerts and ballets. Of course, to get there they would first have to restore all the individual rights and free will of its citizens, lost during these more than fifty years.

23 June 2013