One of my least favorite Woody Allen movies is “What’s New Pussycat?“. But, boy, the title is catchy; isn’t it? And, ye gods, what a come down for Peter O’Toole from “Lawrence of Arabia”!
However, this is not about that movie. I’m just “borrowing” a title that I really love to update you on what’s new down here in Mexico, pussy gato!
Let’s start with what’s actually new with my own pussy gato, Senor Pepe Zorillo. I had forgotten that many of you are not aware that the famous Pepe Z. turned into the monster that I feared he would be when I adopted him/her. First of all were the gender “issues.” I was told when I adopted “Callie” (named upon adoption by me as Pepe Zorilla) that she was a girl. But not so. Three or four months later, my friends and I discovered that Pepe really IS a boy. (Well, I guess he was until he got his cojones removed.)
I would probably have had a bit more empathy for Pepe’s gender issues and his neutering if he hadn’t tried to kill me on every day of those months between the discovery of his cojones and his loss of them. But the fact was that between trying to bite into a vital vein and doing his damnest to give me a heart attack, the cat was out to kill me. I don’t think I slept more than an hour in a row (can one hour even BE in a row?) for six months.
So a few weeks ago, I finally threw up my hands (while still trying to protect my vitals from the cat) and asked for help, and my friend Sherry responded without irony or condemnation and said, “Get that pussy on Prozac NOW!”.
Now, friends, in my life I have taken an inordinate amount of drugs, mostly of the illegal variety. But for whatever reason, I’ve never taken Prozac, most likely because pretty much everybody who has ever known me, even my lying-through-their-teeth friends, would be hard-pressed to testify that I’ve ever shown many signs of depression.
And, honestly, I couldn’t see how Pepe Zorillo’s need to try to kill me was related to depression. But, what the hell. Probably couldn’t hurt and might help me. One of the nice things about Mexico is that you don’t have to be dragging yourself or your pet to a doctor every time you feel the need for a little somethin’, somethin’. You can just get yourself to the drugstore and buy some pharmaceuticals. And so I did.
People, I’ll admit that it took a while (maybe three weeks) but henceforth my killer cat has become, well, a pussycat. Oh, sure, he’s still nosy (curious) and he’ll do anything to try to sneak up on your food while your head is turned, but it’s now been WEEKS since he’s gone for my jugular! Praise the lord and pass the Prozac to the puss!
* * * * * * *
In other news, I had my 65th birthday a couple of weeks ago. Now that may seem like a non sequitur, but it’s really not. I mean, if I didn’t need to go on Prozac for that, then maybe I never will.
The “ladies”, as my son Steve calls them, and I had my birthday party at my friend Sher’s house. Compared to last year, it was a calm affair. That is to say that I did NOT wear a unicorn horn and have a big rubber scorpion attached to a huge purple pair of granny panties while singing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way.” (And, no, before you ask, I’m not a hermaphrodite or a lesbian. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! I just love that song and what else are you going to sing if you have a unicorn horn??)
But this year’s celebration was pretty subdued….until my friends brought out my birthday cake with 65 freaking LIT candles on it! In the cardboard cake box! WTF were they thinking?? I’ve been smoking for 50 years! Were they really expecting me to blow those suckers out??
But you know what? I almost did it! I swear I wiped out 60 of those flaming little torches of arson in one breath!! Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do.
* * * * * * *
Today I went to the doctor. As a rule, I don’t like doctors. They’re always finding something wrong with you. But this time I had found something wrong with myself, so I brought myself down to Dra. Claudia sans appointment.
Doctor’s appointments are pretty much the exception, not the rule, down here Mexico way. Oh, sure, they’re nice to have, but you’re just as likely to get in to see the doctor without one as with one. The trick, sometimes, is finding the doctor’s office. And that’s kinda the way it played out today.
As I recall from visiting doctors’ offices in the U.S., you look them up in the phone book and get a street name and number. But down my way, we don’t even HAVE phone books for the most part so it’s not quite as simple. On the other hand, somebody you know is likely to have gone to or at least heard of the doctor you’re interested in seeing so you can get some sort of general directions, along with a critique of the physician.
The one I saw today, Dra. Claudia, came with all sorts of recommendations, but without any good instructions on how to find her. “Well, her office is somewhere on that street by the hardware store with the three green parrots.” “I understand that she’s on the calle by the ferreteria called something like ‘Hippy’.” “Her office is upstairs but I don’t think there are any signs about it.” “I heard that she works in Chapala in the mornings and comes to her Jocotepec office at 4PM.” “I don’t know where her office is, but I hear lots of good things about her, so look for lots of patients.”
Those are the kinds of directions you get.
But since I knew that Dra. Claudia is a gynecologist, I figured I would drive over and park in the neighborhood and then look for a lot of women going into a two-story place about the time her office opens. Right?
Well, yeah, kinda. One of the things that I forgot yet again is that couples do a lot of things together here that they don’t do in the U.S. For instance, they accompany one another to the doctor’s office. Almost nobody ever goes alone. Oh, and almost no office ever opens on time.
Nonetheless, at 3:50PM, I’m parked somewhere close to where I think the doctora’s office is. Since I don’t have an appointment, I figure it’s important to get in really early. I’ve been told that she’ll squeeze me in between appointments.
4PM comes and goes and I can’t see any line of women anywhere on the street or any women waiting anywhere. But across the street, at other doctors’ offices, a young woman opens the garage-door type entrance and I scuttle over and ask her if she can tell me where I can find the oficina de Dra. Claudia. “Si,” she replies, “es la puerta proxima a la puerto negro.” Okay! Got it! The door next to the black door across the street!
So I scuttle back across the street and try the door next to the black door. But, alas, it’s locked. This can’t be right, can it? Fortunately a woman is opening up the shop next door and I ask her about Dra. Claudia’s office. Which door is it? She confirms that it really is the door next to the black door, but that the doctora “no hay.”
Now to the good citizens of Joco, “no hay” apparently means one thing. To me, it means many things: “Not there”; “We don’t have it”; “Not available right now”; “Not coming in today.” So which one is it??? But what the heck; I decide to just wait. And I’m so glad that I did.
Eventually Dra. Claudia’s receptionist did show up and even later, so did Dra. Claudia, and I finally got in to see her. I was thrilled to find out that Dra. Claudia speaks perfect English (which makes things so much easier for me, me, me), and I was impressed with the time she spent with me and what she had to say, but here’s the really BIG one. As she sent me on my way, with a referral in hand, I asked her how much I owed her. “Nothing,” she said, “I only gave you a referral. When you return, you can pay me something.”
And, yeah, folks, that was, as I mentioned, in perfect English so it’s not that I didn’t understand. When’s the last time your doctor said that to you?
And, oh, what the heck, here’s the link for the song, since I know that you of a certain age have been humming it since I mentioned it! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VBdSqk78nHw