Say hello to Mars! 

Fletch and I were saying that the only thing we’re missing here is a cat and then a couple weeks ago we came home from a day of diving and laid down to take a nap. As we were dozing off, our ears started tuning in on some animal’s cry. My first thought was that it sounded just like a baby kitten crying for mama, but the sound just kept going and going and going with no let up. There are some weird birds here that make the same noise over and over again so my next though was maybe it was just a bird. As we laid in bed the sound did not stop so finally we went to investigate. We went downstairs, and then down the hill to where the farm is and all the workers have little shanty shacks set up. Sure enough, on one of the doorsteps there was a kitten in a square foot cage, clinging with its claws to the side and screaming over and over again. We asked a couple of the workers who were walking by whose cat it was. They all replied that it was Pablo’s cat but Pablo wasn’t home. Feeling sorry for the little thing, Fletch went to buy kitten food from the store and I stayed and tried to get it to lick water off of my fingertips.

Dusk fell and the Philippino workers coming home started gathering around to watch me poke my fingers through the cage at the screaming kitten. One sat down and turned on a flashlight. We all sat there with the hungry kitten, until one of the workers said, Why don’t you just take it upstairs? So I asked him to please tell Pablo his kitten was upstairs when he got home. I picked up the little cage with the crying kitten and started walking back up the hill right as Fletch got home with food. We brought the little guy onto the back porch and freed him from the small cage, fed him, and watched with delight as he finally quieted down and started prancing around like a little pony. We guessed he was about five weeks old.

Two hours later, Pablo still hadn’t come to reclaim his kitten, so we reluctantly packed him back up in the little cage and carried him back down the hill. Upon seeing us, Pablo asked us if we wanted to keep the cat. Fletch asked what he was going to do with it. His only response was that a friend who had too many kittens running around had asked him to get rid of it. Not wanting to condemn the kitten to death we carried him back home with us. And that’s how we rescued Mars.

We named him Mars because just the night before, Kyle had been excitedly trying to drag everyone outside to look at Mars. Being out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with no real land mass nearby, the night sky here is unreal. Stars and planets begin to shine at dusk before it is even dark out, and by the time night falls, the constellations are glistening more brightly and defined than you could see them in a planetarium. It’s spectacular. You can see Mars, and Venus, and even Jupiter. The Mars that Kyle was trying to get everyone to go look at though was actually the radio tower. Everyone had a good laugh that night and the next night when we were trying to decide on a good name for our new family member, I immediately said Mars.