Volume 12 Week 5

Saturday, Sept. 22


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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney





Six months after being rescued from Cuba, Havana is in Nirvana

Just thought I would use this week’s topic to address a subject of tremendous importance... No, not the election. No, not Donald Trump’s bullying tactics. And, no, not the legalization of marijuana and its potential impact on our nation’s productivity. No, the subject I want to address Havana – the cat, not the city.

As many of you may remember, Havana is the tuxedo cat I rescued from Cuba last February.

Above, Havana as he looked when I first found him in Havana, Cuba last January. Below, Havana recently playing in my backyard in Fallingbrook. File photos

I found him while on vacation with a friend in early January. Actually, a young couple were the first to rescue him from the middle of the Malecon in Havana where they found him near death.

My friend spotted them outside La Bodeguita in Old Havana while I was inside Ernest Hemingay’s old haunt, sucking back mojito. Being one of the world’s most passionate cat people, she persuaded me into bringing Havana back to our airbnb room where she managed to nurse him back to health.

We smuggled Havana from the Cuban capital to several other destinations by bus and by taxi trying to find him a home, but couldn’t find a suitable spot to leave him.

Finally, when we arrived in the city of Trinidad, my friend Rodrigo agreed to take Havana, who by then we had dubbed “the luckiest cat in Cuba” for having escaped certain death.

It wasn’t until we arrived back in Canada that I started entertaining the idea of adopting Havana and bringing him back to Canada, which was much easier said than done.

After an adventure that included a two-and-a-half hour side trip to a state veterinarian, a three-day clandestine stay in a Cuban resort, and several strenuous hours in an airport lounge, we made it on to an Air Transat flight back to Ottawa, where “the luckiest cat in Cuba”, was renamed “the luckiest Cuban cat in Canada”.

After a couple of days of self-imposed quarantine in my son’s old room, the first order of business was to introduce Havana to his new brother and sister.

Mia could have hardly cared less about the new addition to the family, but my other cat Jasper hit it off with Havana right away. The two started play fighting as soon as they met, which meant that Jasper wouldn’t harass and tease Mia anymore– a fact which Mia was no doubt over-joyed about if she had the power of human speech.

Since those first days, Havana has fit in to the feline menage au trois perfectly. He and Jasper have become best of friends and Mia has never been happier.

It’s funny, but they have adopted the personalities of my own kids. Mia and Maggie are both very laid back and prefer to be left alone, while Havana and Jasper are inseparable even though they are occasionally at each other’s throats, just like my twin boys Jamie and Dylan.

I sometimes wish I could tap into Havana’s brain just to get an idea of what he must be thinking. It’s been just over six months since he arrived in Canada and so much has changed. He’s grown into a handsome young cat with a backyard with tall grass that he can run and jump in.

When we found him in Old Havana his life expectancy could be measured in weeks, if not days. Now with a new home in Canada he’s happy, healthy and has a full life to look forward. He really is the luckiest Cuban cat in Canada.

(If you wish to comment on this or any other View Point column please write to Fred Sherwin at fsherwin@magma.ca)

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