July 17, 2012

Another restful night… too bad it was interrupted by howling cats at 5:30am!

Eloise and Arabela have this ‘special’ friendship.  They don’t actually fight with each other, but rather howl.  It starts of with the two of them standing in front of each other, making low growling noises.  As the growling increases, the volume gets louder, and the pitch rises.  After about 5 minutes or so, the howling actually sounds like they are talking, yes, talking to each other!  The problem is, 5:30am is not the time to be screaming at each other.  They have all day (and thankfully, most days I’m not here) to do exactly that.

As this ‘ritual’ accelerates, their fur begins to stand on end, the other cats give them a VERY wide berth, and then sit around watching.  The two of them never lose eyesight of each other.  They slowly walk around in a circle, constantly staring at each other, growling and making noises and moving their mouths in an attempt to talk (or scream) at each other.  In some ways, it is interesting to watch, but equally as annoying.

I haven’t quite figured out what has caused this dissension between them.  A few years ago, when Arabela and Cornelia first came into the house, Eloise treated them like little sisters, or like an aunt.  She looked after them, the three slept together, they played with each other… destined to be good friends.  Now, Eloise and Arabela seem like mortal enemies.  Until I learn to speak Felinese (feline language), I guess I’ll never know.

A great pot of caffeine, catching up on Facebook stuff, checking my email, continuing with hordes of pages of printing, and before I knew it, it was time to head over to Giraffe.  The practice/meeting was set for 12:30.  I was there about 12:00.  Being dressed in long pants, a t-shirt, a dress shirt, shoes and socks in Taiwan weather in the summer, was excruciating!  I needed the extra few minutes to get cooled down, and the sweat mopped off my head!

Our regional office set up the meeting time, so the three students who are still here in Taiwan (May, Elva, and Nadia) were on time.  I had them each do a practice run of their stories.  Marcus is in England right now, attending a Giraffe summer camp.  Last year, he was in the United States.  Lucky (bleep bleep)!  I tried to convince his parents he needed a chaperone while he was there!!  They didn’t go for it, although his dad was slowly being swayed.  Hahaha.

The regional office people showed up around 1pm.  The students each went through their stories, and the regional people had their opinions.  Fair enough.  Some of their ideas are worth trying to help the students to change or enhance, but for the most part, and I do apologize ahead of time, they don’t know the kids as well as we do.  We know their limitations.  We know what is able to be accomplished and what can’t be done.

2pm.  Off to the courthouse.

My lawyer met up with me at reception, and off we went to sign in.  We were told which room we were to attend, and then had a few minutes to chat and for me to [literally] calm down.  Even though I am the instigator of this lawsuit, I am still a bit apprehensive and nervous.  Again, my lawyer assured me that this was normal, and not to be too concerned.

We were to go in first, being the prosecution, and the other people would go in after us, as the defense.  Bear in mind, this is not court.  No decision will be rendered.  This is just a chance for the court to review the documents and testimony and verify the claims of the prosecution, and the defense of the, well, defense.

This whole process, according to my lawyer, should only take about an hour.  As it was, we were with the prosecution for an hour ourselves!  I would assume that part of the reason for the extended time, was due to translation.  The prosecutor would ask the question, the lawyer would translate, I would respond, the lawyer would translate.

The one thing I felt really good about, was that I had all my documentation and other proof with me.  There were documents that were referred to, and I had my copies/originals with me.  Everything.  Including my previous passport, ARCs, contracts… anything that pertained to the case.

After our time, we left the room.  Then, the defense was called in.  Within 5 minutes or so, we were asked to re-enter the room.  I was shown a document, and once verified, we left.  A couple minutes later, we were asked back in.  Another bit of proof requested, I produced it, and asked to step out.  Before finding a seat in the waiting area, we were again called back.  Crazy.  From my aspect, the defense had NOTHING!

This lawsuit was originated in November last year.  Investigations were completed, and we were both notified that we would have to appear in the prosecutors office in June.  That day however, Taiwan was basically closed down due to a typhoon, so we were rescheduled to today.  Therefore, the defense and myself both had 7 and then 8 months to get our paperwork in order.

It appears, like almost everything else in my life, I was prepared – perhaps a little OVERLY prepared, but nonetheless, prepared.  They were not.  At one point, the prosecutor was visibly annoyed with them (the defense), and I whispered to my lawyer, asking what was going on.  She looked at me, put her finger to her mouth, and said, “Shhh.”  Message received.

The transcripts were reviewed by each side (no each others, but our own), corrections done, and signed off and returned to the prosector.  The defense, from what I understand, has been give 3 or 4 weeks to get their ‘shit’ together.

All said and done, I am thrilled beyond comprehension, that I was as prepared as I was.  Every piece of evidence that was shown to me, I was able to back it up.  Every iota of information asked of me, I had an answer, and again, something to prove my point.  They didn’t.

Now, the second waiting period begins.  Will this end up in court?  Unknown at this point.  If this were a Canadian court system, I would expect that one of two things would occur next.  Either the case would continue to a court of law, in which a judgement would be rendered by a judge, or the defense would propose a settlement of sorts.  So, here I go.  Now is my preparation for either option.

That’s it, that’s all… for now!


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