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Medicinal cats

June 30, 2010
by

Sucre: It is while conjugating the verb tener (to have) in our Spanish classes that we learn the curious tale of Bolivian cat therapy.

We're keeping him away from Bertha

Demonstrating perfect use of the past and present tense, Nick says: “At our hostel there was a mother cat who had five kittens, but now she only has four kittens.”

“Oh dear,” responds our teacher, Bertha. “What happened to the kitten?”

A lady came and took it away for a pet – or maybe she’s eaten it, I joke.

Last week there were 5

“Yes, maybe,” says Bertha, thoughtfully. “I ate cat once.”

¡Como! You ate a kitten? Is that normal in Bolivia?

“Not kitten. Cat,” Bertha clarifies.

Now there are only 4 (plus mum)

It turns out that Bertha’s uncle was ill with varicose veins and so he consulted a witch for advice. The remedy prescribed was one black cat, roasted. Bertha’s aunt duly procured the cat, put it in the oven with potatoes and roasted it.

Was it your pet? “Oh no, we didn’t have a black cat. It was someone else’s pet, I think. She found it in the street.”

Bertha and her sisters were invited for lunch that day and “we ate the cat. It tastes like rabbit.”

And the varicose veins? “Oh yes, completely cured after he ate the cat.”

Nick treats infected kitten eyes

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Attila's wife permalink
    July 1, 2010 8:06 am

    beautiful but unfortunately it seems succulent kittens – maybe it’s time to come home !
    Fantastic photos of waterfalls and the TERRIFIC TOUCANS on Nick’s photo stream. I’m sure some of .these amazing pics can be sold to National Geographic

    • Gaia permalink*
      July 2, 2010 2:45 pm

      Only 3 kittens now! Somebody must be having kitten kebabs…

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