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True Story: Maria, la santa de los cats in San Antonio

In San Antonio, it's been raining cats.

Forget the biblical lluvia that's turned our city into an Eden in August. Los gatos , calicos, Cary Grant-tuxedoes, marigold tabbys, long-hair, short-hair, and witchy black ones with motor-purrs. They are raining down to tell us something.

And Maria has seen them in the alleys and streets of el Westside of San Antonio as charcoal bits - burned beyond recognition. She's seen gangmembers run over them in joyrides, so their little tripitas make them laugh. She's seen them poisoned with anti-freeze, and she's found them mewing from trashcans on Zarzamora Street.

Maria, a housekeeper, has rescued more than sixty of them. With her money, and sometimes threatened with rape - or death - for her compassion.

San Antonio has a problem. There are too many of them, the animal shelter is full, and too many waiting for adoption. We are a very poor city. But in this city, the cats are lost, abandoned, as if we don't need raindrops falling on our skin.

To me, they are a sign. They are the canaries of the city.

And we don't want to listen to their sad story.


Photo Credit: Me! I took this photo of Manito and Zarita, two stray kittens, wrestling in my house.

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