Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Last Mexican Cat Dance

GatuBela, one of our old neighbours, is in the 'hood. It's time for her annual fundraiser - the Mexican Cat Dance. Even though GatuBela may have moved away from the neighbourhood last year, it's a definite case of "gone but not forgotten." In fact, we probably see and hear from her more than most of the other folks that actually live on our block.

GatuBela has been organizing her Mexican Cat Dance for a decade now. The funds she raises are used to keep street cats and dogs healthy, help locals spay and neuter pets, offer euthanasia for sick animals and, generally, assist the displaced cats and dogs of Mazatlan's streets.

This is to be the last dance however. GatuBela is spending more and more time in Mexico nowadays and planning the dance in Vancouver has become a little too taxing.

That meant we had to mark the night down in pen on our calendar even though there were other events scheduled for that night. For the last so many years, she's held the Cat Dance at the Casa Verde Restaurant; so, a small batch of neighbours met to have a little dinner beforehand. Boo and I were joined by Mr. D, Red (and a spunky friend who has yet to pick her "nom de blog"), Mr. Principles and Nature Boy.

N.V. Aveleda Casal Garcia - Vinho Verde (DOC Vinho Verde - Portugal)

Seeing how this is a non-vitage wine, it's no surprise to me that I'd already added it to The List. I found it amusing though that, when it was added back at #933, we were at an earlier edition of the Mexican Cat Dance and the accompanying picture is with some of Casa Verde's calamari. Some things are just constants in life I suppose. No sense repeating myself all over again and writing the same blurb about the wine. I think it'll suffice to say that Casal Garcia has been for years - and continues to be - an easy drinking "go to" bargain kind of wine for Latin food and picnics.

1433.  2012 Vila Regia - Douro Vinho Tinto (DOC Douro - Portugal)

Our second wine of the evening is a new addition even though it's apparently the #1 selling Portugese red wine in British Columbia. The Vila Regia may not be a constant pour for us; we were, however, far more predictable with our choice of the restaurant's flaming chorizo. It's a house specialty and I mean, really, could there be a better dinner offering for a gay guy than a flaming sausage?

Vila Regia is one of the brands that is part of the huge Sogrape Vinhos portfolio. The wine's made from some of the most traditional grapes found in Portugal's Douro region: Touriga Nacional, Touriga Franca, Tinta Barocca and Tinta Roriz. Those grapes may not mean much to the average drinker, but anyone who tried a Port - or one of the new Portugese table wines that are starting to become better known in BC markets - has quaffed them. It's marketed as a drink now wine that's easy on the pocket book and, while it's definitely Old World in its profile, it takes a more modern New World take on emphasizing the fruit. I doubt I'd run back to it like I do the Casal Garcia, but it served its purpose and worked nicely with the sausage.

Following dinner, we carried on into the "banquet" room to scope out the silent auction and take in a little cat dancing. Being the old mean guy - who covets lots of dancefloor to work my patented moves - I hadn't noticed that the little guy in the picture had wandered onto the floor to join us and I knocked him flat on his posterior. Many might think that I was trying to take out the competition for the limelight but, really, I was simply trying to teach him that, if you want floor space, you need to keep your elbows up.

Feeling guilty about making the little guy cry, I retreated to the silent auction to spend a little more money than I would have if I hadn't caused the tears.

Boo felt guilty by association and used the accident as an excuse to get me to leave before the big floorshow of the cats dancing their choreographed routine around a Mexican sombrero to the dulcet strains of Donna Summer belting out "Last Dance." I'm not so sure that floorshow actually took place - it is rather hard to choreograph cats after all - but I had suggested to GatuBela that it'd be a marvellous way to end the run of Cat Dances on a high note.

With or without the dancing cats, GatuBela has done a lot of great work in Mazatlan and I'm sure she'll continue to find ways to keep up her good deeds. Buenos Noches Muchachos.

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