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Perspective: Be careful what you wish for

Harvey at home 2.jpg
Francisco Solares Larrave
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Leer y escuchar en español

Be careful what you wish for because you may get it. I learned that from experience.

Wanna know?

We have a cat, Mimí, who is not a lap cat, can be moody, does not enjoy petting, and likes us from a distance. That is why I started watching videos of loving, friendly and playful cats, and I wondered if I ever would live with one.

Then came Harvey, a sociable ginger tabby whose owner, a neighbor of ours, could not take him with her when she moved. As his occasional caretakers we were asked if we would adopt him. We could not refuse, of course.

Now Harvey lives with us, and despite his rocky relationship with Mimí, I can say that I got my wish. Life is exciting with him: he jumps on counters, sneaks into closets or cupboards, steals food from the table... We're constantly asking each other "where's Harvey?" because he's always up to no good. But then come the video moments: he meows at me, follows me around, wants to be on my lap, lick my hands, and then fall asleep, purring like a contented tractor.

Well, I got my wish and now I must learn to live with it. That's why the expression I mentioned earlier has now a new meaning to me. So, remember to be careful what you wish for…

A Guatemalan native, he arrived in the United States in the late eighties on a Fulbright Scholarship to do graduate studies in comparative literature at the University of Illinois in Champaign Urbana. He has been teaching Spanish language, literature and culture at NIU since August 2000, and his main research interests are 19th-century Spanish American literature.
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