It's been a rough week for the animal kingdom in Ain Ehel Taya. This morning, I identified the mysterious circle-shaped itchy red patches on my collarbone and rib cage as ringworm, undoubtedly given to me by my streetcat, Petey. According to WebMD, ringworm is not, as I previously thought, a worm, but a fungus, and unfortunately, not the yummy kind. More like the itchy, gross, get it away from me kind. My first course of action: applying liberal amounts of anti-fungal cream, wisely included in our medical kits for sappy do-gooders who can't seem to leave the animals here to suffer in peace, to said itchy patches. Second course of action: ditching the cat. I carried him as far away from my house as I could, and then set him "free". He stood there on a pile of rocks and garbage and watched as I walked away. I haven't seen anything that sad since I watched "The Hurricane" last night (which had me in tears for the better part of the three hour long movie). But before that, not for awhile. Sigh.
This post is so uplifting, isn't? I promise, I'll finish with something silly. Anyway, the day before yesterday, I'm walking down the street and see this kid standing in the middle of the road, staring at something on the ground: a puppy with his eyes barely open. I ask him where its mother is, and he points in the general direction of about half the village. So I ask him whether she's far or not (the only question used in this country to determine location, to which the usual responses "far" or "not far" are frustratingly subjective). He says she's not far, and I pick up the puppy to take back to his mother, naively assuming that she belongs to someone. After a 20 minute trek across the village and up the side of a mountain, we find the mother hiding out among some rocks. She's obviously a stray and won't come anywhere near us. My first course of action: climbing down off the mountain, followed by finding a comfortable looking goat pen in which to deposit the little guy. He's not there anymore. Maybe him and Petey will find each other and make friends. I just hope I don't wind up seeing either one of them dead on the side of the road.
As promised, here's a little something to take the edge off: I discovered a new constellation last night! My evening routine consists of dinner around 8 or 9, followed by a movie/a few episodes of whatever TV show I happen to be addicted to at the moment/reading, followed by facewashing/teeth-brushing/sitting around outside and looking at the stars. During the hot months, I slept outside and became very well acquainted with the phases of the moon, when it rises and sets, and a few easy to discern constellations, such as the Big Dipper. After a while, I realized that the Big Dipper is a pretty boring constellation. Seriously, a spoon? Unfortunately, I know very little about the stars, so I started coming up with my own constellations. My newest discovery: T-Rex. His head is those three stars known as Orion's Belt (I get the belt thing, but I have never been able to see the guy supposedly wearing it). His body extends down and out to the left. That's not a very astronomical way of describing him, but hopefully you'll be able to make him out. 100 UM if you do!