Fletch and I celebrated our two year anniversary this past weekend. Two years already! I am as enamored with him as ever and can’t believe how lucky I am to have found such an amazing man who takes me on wild adventures. When he asked me what I wanted for our anniversary, I told him a cat. That may sound a little odd seeing as we’re only staying here temporarily. Who would adopt an animal and then say goodbye to it right away?

There is a wonderful lady here who started taking in all the stray cats and now she runs a sort of cat shelter called The Cat House. With the native Palauans being superstitious against cats and the feral dogs wanting to snack on them, a place like the Cat House really is needed here. We started visiting her and the kitties a few months ago, and now visit frequently to play with them. The lady loves having people over as she does want the cats to be comfortable around people. Then a little while ago she told us that if we wanted to foster one until we left, we could.

So not being one to care all that much about material possessions, and missing having a furry companion running around the house, I told Fletch he could get me a cat for our anniversary. Our first thought was to pick out an adult that would be less likely to be adopted into a forever home. We picked out a deaf calico named Pluto who would always run up to us when we visited and demand all the attention.

This is Pluto, enjoying life at the Cat House.

Friday night I got home from yoga to find Fletch gone. Several minutes later a yowling sound came up the stairs. There was Fletch with Pluto over his shoulder. The poor creature was petrified. She ran straight for under the bed and refused to come out. Fletch and I spent most of the evening trying to coax her out with treats and by petting her and offering her jingly balls. She’d inch out for a minute or two when we were petting her, but the moment physical contact stopped, she was back under the bed. We left her alone for a while to adjust, and then tried the process all over again.

By bed time she had opted for a corner in the closet under the laundry hamper, still refusing to come out for more than a minute at a time. As soon as we fell asleep the yowling began. Fletch was up half the night trying to calm her down until he finally gave up. Then it was my turn to try and quiet her down. I petter her. I left her alone. I offered her food and water which she wouldn’t touch. I tried carrying her to the litter box which she hadn’t used once since arriving. The moment I put her down she let out a long howl which was broken up by her desperate paws running back to the corner. And on and on she yowled until light started to creep through the windows.

All three of use were sleep-deprived, delirious, and traumatized. Fletch and I agreed this was too traumatic for her and drove her back to the Cat House a block away. If it had been to keep her forever, the process might have been worth it, but there was no point in traumatizing her any further and then having to repeat the process when we gave her back in a few months. Poor Pluto. I hope she recovers. In retrospect, maybe we shouldn’t have tried to adopt a cat on Friday the 13th.

Back in bed as the sky became gradually brighter, Fletch and I were so sleep deprived that all we could do was laugh. We laughed until my eyes were crying. Happy anniversary.

We went out diving that day with a group of our friends who had the day off. There had been sightings of thresher sharks lately at Blue Holes, so we headed out that way and had an awesome dive searching for them. Two in our group were less experienced divers so they went with the dive guide, while four of us professionals dropped down to 40 meters in search of threshers. We didn’t find any, but still enjoyed a great dive. There aren’t a lot of opportunities here to dive without a guide, so it’s always a treat to get to do whatever you want.

For dive number two we dropped in over Blue Corner and hooked into the reef and just let the show swirl by all around us. I suppose I've described the crystal blue water and the endless schools of colorful fish and countless sharks enough times by now. Blue Corner never ceases to amaze and delight though. No two dives there are ever the same.

When we got home we passed out for a few hours before dinner.

For dinner Fletch brought me to Palau Pacific Resort. The hostess brought us to a crowded corner of the restaurant and asked if that would be alright. Fletch reminded her that he had a specific reservation, to which the hostess pointed us towards the beach. Uncertain of where to go, we returned to the hostess and asked her where we were supposed to go. Her English was obviously limited to asking how many, because she turned us over to another staff member, who walked us around the resort and over to the dock we had been diving off of earlier. 

Fletch and me on our 2nd anniversary.

At the end of the dock was a lone table for two, and a gorgeous bouquet of bird of paradise and other tropical flowers. We sat and listened to the sound of the ocean lapping at the dock under the light of the moon. It was as blissful a setting as blissful gets. That’s Fletch, able to create something incredibly romantic in a place where there’s not much besides spam and rice to work with. I don’t know how he does it.

Crab served three different ways. 

A server brought us champagne, followed by a first course of crab served three different ways. Alaskan king crab served chilled, mangrove crab in a dumpling, and steamed land crab. I savored every little bite, as food that good is so rare on this island. Next came a little ham quiche, to which Fletch reminded our server that he had requested a pescatarian meal. She apologized and hesitated for a moment, to which I said I didn’t mind picking around the ham. The little bits of quiche were still perfect. Next came a chilled pumpkin soup which made me very happy. It’s spiced pumpkin everything season back home and I had been missing it a little bit. The pumpkin soup gave me my fix.

Then came the main course, and in a moment of deja vu from the year before, two nice steaks were set down in front of us. Two years, two fancy dinners, and both times being served steaks when Fletch had discussed being pescatarian with the chef beforehand. I found it funny. The lady was very apologetic and walked all the way back to the kitchen in the restaurant to ask for a fish to be prepared. The fish that came back in such a rush was a bit greasy, but the lemon aioli and garlic soy sauces that came with it were nice.

Finally, the highlight of the meal was dessert. Three spoonfuls of creme brûlée, one vanilla, one mocha, and one coconut, and a side of house made pistachio ice cream. I love creme brûlée, and eating it always reminds me of the movie Amelie, when she says that one of her favorite things in the world is cracking the caramelized sugar crust on creme brûlée with the back of a teaspoon. There is something delightful about doing just that.

A little while later I gave Fletch his present which was a little notebook I put together with colored paper of travel ideas and information to know about different places. So Fletch gave me a deaf cat and I gave him a notebook.

Happy two years to the most wonderful man I know!