It was about 5:30 when I got home with the monkeys. Our neighbors, Dave and Valentina, were waiting at the house to see the monkeys and pick up the small crate they had loaned me for Lolita. (All of our rehab supplies and equipment were being delivered on Saturday with everything else that had been in storage for six months.)
Valentina fed Lolita, and Dave sat down on the floor next to the large plastic dog crate Chiquito had been in for the past 24 hours.
"He looks depressed," Dave said.
"I'm sure he is. He was shoved in a crate and taken from the only home and family he's known."
"What are you going to do with him tonight?" Dave asked.
"He's going to have to stay in the crate, because it will be dark within fifteen minutes. Tomorrow I'll put the crate in the cage and open it in there."
"Poor guy," Dave said. "I'll sleep in the cage with him tonight."
I didn't give Dave a chance to change his mind. While he drove home to get a sleeping bag, I packed a picnic for Chiquito.
Dave returned with a sleeping bag, cushions to put underneath it on the cement floor, a pillow, sheets, a flashlight, and a machete for unwelcome visitors. Then he set up camp, and we put the crate in the cage and locked the door.
"Should I let him out?" Dave asked.
"I don't know how he'll react," I answered honestly. The supplies the movers were delivering on Saturday contained welders gloves, a fencing mask, and a rabies pole specifically for a situation like this one, which could go horribly wrong.
Dave shrugged, leaned over, unlatched the crate door, and retreated quickly. But he wasn't as fast as Chiquito.
A black blur shot out of the cage and threw itself into Dave's arms.
And that's where Chiquito spent the first night.