The Cats made me do it!
I did it again in Colombia. I wormed my way into someone’s home, but the cats made me do it.
They were in a doorway staking their ground.
After they scurried off, curiosity led me through the doorway as I followed two more cats into a large courtyard.
When I saw this beautiful face smiling at me, I knew I was in someone’s home.
“Hola,” I said, as I pointed to my camera to let them know I wanted to take pictures.
The smiling young boy beckoned me to come in. “Yo no habla Español,” I said, “Yo habla Ingles.” This was my standard introductory phrase while traveling in Colombia.
“No hay problema,” his father replied. “Por favor Ingrese.” I took a few steps forward and began photographing the rooster, the cat and a baby chick living in a litter-strewn courtyard.
The bicycle that leaned against the graffiti-covered wall also became my focus because, well, you know, I like bicycles, but in this case I didn’t want to be kicked out because I had a camera.
Then I peered into what looked like a dining room just off the courtyard. I was quite surprised by what I saw. The house was in shambles.
“Cuantos gatos aqui? How many cats here?” I asked, to which they replied in Spanish “twenty-eight.” As I took a photo of the kitten, I realized I was also standing on the edge of someone’s bedroom. But no one seemed to mind. I think they were curious about me. Where did this white woman with the camera come from?
When others appeared in the courtyard, I asked “Puedo tomar un retrato de familia?” because Google Translate says this means “May I take a family portrait?” The mother’s answer? “No hay problema.”
The father seemed to find my visit entertaining, so he suggested I follow him through the door where his wife was standing to see their bedroom. With the others looking on, he spread eagle on the mattress and gave a loud laugh when I suggested he reposition himself in a more appropriate position so I could take his picture.
“Me Ilamo Simon,” he said. “Me Ilamo PaMELa,” I replied.