Thursday, June 03, 2004

A bee, a cat, and many ferocious squirrels in between

The 77th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee is under way. Are you glued to your television sets?

Helena and I played in the park this morning. Not only was the playground packed with children from three area daycare centres (all of which, sadly, have discontinued their drop-in programs), but the park at large was surprisingly busy (in a lazy kind of way) for a workday morning of uncertain weather. Who are all these people?

I'm a fairly open-minded person, but it turns out I still have preconceived notions. Some "strange" man came ripping through the playground, directing growling noises at some of the kids. Casually dressed, 30ish, a bit artsy — a guitar and a joint would not have seemed out of place on this fellow. I immediately drew a few feet closer to Helena, keeping a careful eye on this guy's whereabouts. He just kept running back and forth across the sand and yelling gibberish.

As it turns out, Mauricio was in fact associated with one of the daycare groups. Of course men can work in childcare. And yes, men do play differently with children. And that's a good thing. Some kids had been eying him suspiciously, I'd thought. But they regarded the women in charge similarly — I just hadn't noticed.

Here at home, Calvino Cat is keeping awfully close today. He made a break for it yesterday while I was negotiating a sleeping Helena and a bag of groceries through the doorway. Down one floor, in through the slightly ajar door to the unit inhabited by the landlord of this pet-free establishment. Madame Perreira, hairnetted and aproned (is she always scouring floors?), pointed out the front window, and across the balcony of the recently vacated apartment. Calvino's never looked so scared. Somehow, after much scrambling, I pulled off the rescue.

He used to be an outdoor cat, but that was years ago on a quiet street of a much quieter city. Nice to see that at the age of nine he still has the spirit of adventure.
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