“Today for school we are going to doing something different” my mom said with a big smile on her face Me and my sister, Makena, gave a quick worried glance. oh, great I thought, hopefully this “something different” isn’t going to be boring or weird. Is it going to be involved with math? I hope not. Hopefully it has something to do with animals or nature. “so, have you decided what you’re going to do shay?” my mom asked. I blanked. “Ummm what was the project again?” I said slyly. My sister laughed and said teasingly, “let me guess, Shay didn’t pay attention again!”. I laughed. “That’s not true!” I said in my defense. My mom just gave a little sigh and repeated, “today we are going to pick a cause, like help out with something. “hum… and we can do what every we want?” I said. “whatever you want” she responded.
I thought for a little while. Then an idea clicked in my head. “My cause will be, help save the stray animals on the streets!” I said proudly. My mom gave a delighted smile and said, “I thought that you would want to do that”. “And Makena? What’s your cause going to be?” She almost looked confused. “I don’t know mom. I’ll think of something though” she laughed and looked at mom for a response. My mom said, “okay, just think of one soon.” My mom and my sister started to talk, but I didn’t listen, I was on a mission. I grabbed my lap top and started to research animal shelters in La Paz that I could volunteer at.
After a long time of researching, I didn’t find any animal shelters, I did find some, but I was too young to volunteer. Then an idea came to my head. I rushed over to where my mom and dad were sitting and blurted, “can we just help a dog or cat on the streets? Like take it back to the…”. “No way in the world are we taking a rouge animal back to our boat!” My dad interrupted. My mom gave a nod of agreement and said, “and shay the dog or cat could have ticks and fleas and I don’t want the animals on our boat already to get them and the Mexi street animal might have diseases, and I just don’t want to take the risk” she said. “And we have no room on the boat” my dad peeped in. I gave a long deep sigh, “then how am I going to help?” I whimpered.
Two months later we arrived in El Sid marina, Mazatlán. “Come on Shay, we are going to miss the bus!” I sprinted towards my mom and then my dad gave a little yelp of surprise. “look! It’s an iguana!” He shouted. There in front of my eyes was a big green, orange iguana. “WOW” I gasped. The iguana had big spikes on its back with weird looking feet. Then another iguana by the looks of it looked like a female. She ran to her mate’s side. I gave a delighted chuckle and rushed to my mom. We got on the bus, and began to drive to old town. Old town had a lot of history, and we all wanted to check it out. I sat there looking out the window. We drove past vibrant colored houses. Some older than others. but I was mostly keeping an eye out for rouge animals. When I saw one, I shouted, “dad look a rouge dog! Can we help it?” he gave a sympathetic glance. “I’m sorry Shay, you just can’t help every animal here in Mexico, and plus this is their home.” I sighed and said nothing more. I could tell he was still looking at me, but I didn’t want to look into his dark brown eyes, I didn’t want to show him that I was disappointed or sad. When we got there, we sort of just wandered around. But our first stop was the plaza. It had a lot of trees and fountains with many birds with beautiful little chirps. My mom suddenly broke the silence, “can you guys stay here while I go ask about the carnival? Oh yes, the carnival, third largest carnival in the world, were thousands of people come to see every year. While she was talking to someone about the details of the carnival Makena, dad, and I were huddled around talking. “What’s taking mom so long?” I complained. “I don’t know” my dad said while looking over his shoulder where she was talking. “Can you go talk to…”. “HEY! Look a cat!” my sister blurted out. It didn’t even take a heartbeat before I screamed “WHERE!?!?!?” “over there” she pointed at a little tortoiseshell curled up in a ball. Her muzzle was tinted gray, but she had a beautiful calico coat. I immediately rushed over to help. But I slowly approached her, not wanting to scare her off. “hey little girl” I said soothingly, she slowly opened her eyes half way. They were piercing green. If she didn’t open her eyes, I would have thought she was dead. “DAD!!” I whispered trying not to disturb the sleeping she cat. My dad shook his head, “no shay we can’t rescue her”. Anger boiled inside me. “Why not” I challenged. My dad looked hurt by me snapping at him, it almost looked like he shrunk in size. “Shay… I’m sorry, I really am, but this is its home. It’s like a huge monster…”. “Are you calling me a monster?” tears welling up in my eyes, “I’m going to help this cat! And I’m not leaving until we do. “Shay…” “NO!” I hollered. I got up and ran to where my mom was talking. Mom there’s a cat and I really want to help it and dad said I can’t, but I really want to we can take it to a shelter and help it! I said lightning fast. Wait wait wait, first you interrupted, second of all you talked way too fast for me to understand. “There’s a cat and I want to help it.” I said slowly “I will come and help in a second” and turned to talk to the girl again. I rushed back to the cat. She still was in the exact spot, she still hadn’t moved a muscle. my dad still looked hurt by my rude comment. “Dad I’m sorry I yelled at you, I’m just really tired of you always saying I can’t help rescue an animal. “Thank for apologizing and I promise you will be able to help in some way. And even if you don’t, the world is very lucky to have someone like you.” He said gently. “I can’t…” I was crying to hard to speak. “Please…please” I whimpered while tears where streaming down my face. “Please…” I repeated, I looked down at the frail cat, “how can I leave you….” I whispered/sobbed to the cat. Then my mom came and said, “aww what a cute cat” I wiped the tears of my face and said, “we can bring her to a shelter or or we can bring home and take care of her for now” I looked at her with such sorrow. “no shay” hope drained from my eyes, it was almost as if a part of me cracked. I starred out into the distance, hoping to see something anything that would make me feel better. My mom walked to a guy on the streets and said, “is there any shelter…” I didn’t listen after that. I just kept on looking at the cat, she lifted her head up saliva dribbling from her chin. I just wanted to pick her up and hold her in my arms, I didn’t care if I got some crazy disease I just wanted to comfort her. Then the Mexican guy my mom was talking to walked up to me and said “you don’t need to worry about her, she gets food and water everyday” I sobbed and then tears came again he continued “I would not lye to you” still looking at the cat I said so quietly “farewell cat, I hope you have good health and a good long life ahead of you, I hope you find good owners that will take very good care of you” I had one more minuet of sadness then I slowly got up, my legs began to shake but I got up. I will get through this A few days later, I was still crushed that I had not helped the cat at old town. But I learned a valuable lesson. I imaged someone snatching me from my home, and bring me to a place that was unfamiliar, if I where a sick cat I would be frightened. I was trying very hard to convince myself that it was for the cats good. Then I heard my mom say “shay! I have exiting news to tell you!” “okay… what’s the news” I said enthusiastically. “I found a shelter here in Mazatlán called amigos de los animales! And you can volunteer! A Pure wave happiness flooded over me. “thank you! Thank you! I got up and hugged my mom” “thank you”