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The parade is gone but the cats remain Richard Peña | Sat, Oct 05 2013 12:00 PM

There are few things sadder than that deserted empty lot, or parking area the day after a fete or other type of celebration. I took a brief saunter on the grounds at the Bonnie Brae Center last Sunday and I almost thought that the activities the day prior had been but a dream. What scarcely 24 hours before had been the joyous scene typical of the annual Bonitafest was now back to its normal occupation as a mini- mart, tarmac parking lot.

I suppose that it has always been like this.  We experience our short stay in our equivalent of the Kingdom of Oz and before we know it back we are in our own little Kansas. But, like they say, every good thing must come to its close.

I would suspect that many of us have been in this situation. I recall that not too far from the neighborhood where I was raised there was an empty lot. It was large, maybe a couple of acres, lying empty, void of everything excepting the native plants that would grow anywhere. Most of the latter was that vegetation that is part of the mesquite family.

Every couple of years or so, however, workmen would come in and rid the lot of all vegetation. The kids in the area would rejoice with anticipation as this was an excellent sign. The circus was coming to town.
For a few days this dismal area came to life with the activities and offerings of Barnum and Bailey. We would get to go to the circus at least one time during its stay. Some of the kids in the neighborhood would make the adventure complete by sneaking in. I don’t think that I was of the adventurous type, at least, in those days. My parents were our hosts with paid tickets.  The big tent, housing its many performers, animals and their acts was our magic kingdom, at least, for a day or so.

I recall going back to the site on the next day, viewing the once more empty lot with no evidence of the circus save a bit of hay or rubbish that the crews left behind.  Similar to this was the scene at Bonnie Brae last Sunday as I walked around the grounds now empty of any type of celebration.  The cleanup crews must have worked overtime for there was little, if any, evidence of activity.  Bonitafest 2013, was history.

• • •

There are some folks about who have asked me about my cats.  Readers of this space might recall that a few months ago I became—not by choice, I might add—the reluctant caretaker of a number of cats. Someone had dropped off a couple of females ready to deliver.  Our block, therefore, became a maternity ward, and then the orphanage for a couple of families of jet black felines, all as wild and wooly as newborns can be.

Daughter Margaret and husband Greg had been here at that time and were successful in catching four of these and having them neutered.  The balance was too wild to catch.  Either that or they had opted to remain intact and, hopefully chaste, as long as they were residents of Sweetwater Manor. Quite lately one of these guys, I am happy to report, has taken on the mannerisms that we see in kitty commercials. She, or maybe it is a he, likes to hang around with me as I sit on my outside chair, and has even crawled onto my lap on a couple of occasions. I think she has told her buddies, “Hey, this is the guy who feeds us.  Be good to him.”

It hasn’t worked.  So I have resorted to a drastic decision. I have admonished the brood by threatening to sell them to Barnum and Bailey the next time the circus is in town. That will show them.

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