Across the lane from our cottage home, an old cane field slopes up the mountain, and hidden in the tall grass are cows and their calves. Yesterday we got to pet the biggest cow, and Maria had her first cow kiss... A full swipe of the bovine's tongue over Maria's outstretched hand!
As soon as we puttered into Kukuihaele, we decided to count dogs. Dogs in the lane. Dogs at the side of the road. Dogs loping along, or shading themselves under shady places. Poi dogs, with no distinct pedigree, but no lack of character.
In three days the count is at thirty-three. We saw one puppy in the Honoka'a market, only a little bigger than a malasada and even sweeter looking. But our favorite pup has been the one from next door, who runs to meet us, and has some funny features in common with a kitty we are missing... All those polka-spots, and the kink at the tip of the tail!
Last night, Maria and pup were running and playing in the back yard. The puppy mirroring Maria's pace, and turns and even the way she dropped onto the grass when she needed to catch her breath. Their game lasted through dusk.
We have snorkeled with tropical fish, and saw a macaw riding the top of a car in the Fourth of July parade. We had sea turtles swim up to our feet. We have stopped, more than a few times for chickens crossing roads! And pheasant, and nene geese, and turkeys, too.
We've seen lots of goats, and sheep. And of course, cows. I love the cows. Their calls, from cane fields, from high up in the hidden valleys, across the lane, are one of those things I am certain to miss. A lot.
I've never had as much luck seeing, chatting, photographing, and simply hanging out with geckos as I have enjoyed on this trip. One lives by the kitchen sink, and while I wash up, I watch the pretty fellow, or the horses in the neighbor's field, or Maria and Pup, or the ocean. Dishes, with these view choices, are not really such a chore. A gecko in the home is good luck... It's done wonders for us!
Store cats, neighbor cats, fickle, and shy cats, and affectionate, visiting cats... We've met them all. Do you think our own cats will know? Do Chango, Benjamin and Mister Foo miss us, as much as we miss them? We wish our goats and chickens, bunnies and kitties were here, where cows are across the lane and Maui is an island we see from the kitchen door. I think we would all feel happily at home here.