Thursday, 10 May 2018

Cats of Mallorca

Our fattie catties are approaching old age, sleeping plenty and looking a little haggard around the edges. Spring sunshine encourages them outside for a roll on the warm terracotta tiles and a mooch around the garden. They have plenty of cat spots on our mountain hideaway in Mallorca, places to snooze, in between gecko hunting and keeping the locals out of our property. I think they are pleased with their move abroad, having fitted in well to the customs and differences on the island, although I doubt they have learnt the language or got used to the foreign food - I wonder if they remember their Sussex beginnings.

And then there's the strays in our lives. They all live down the stables. There's Podge who turned up without a tail and full of tapeworms, there's Hairy Cat and Flash. There's the black and white one who is an irreguar but welcome visitor. Lavender who died. And our favourites - Teegy Babes and Jazzy Poo. They all hear the sound of my loud deisal engine and come running, demanding food before school and almost tame to cuddle.

Podge without a tail

Tiger Lily / Teegy Babes

Jasmine / Jazzy Poo

And because we feed them they have settled into the yard as though it's their own - despite the owners minor protestations. I therefore felt it was my responsibility to spay the girls and castrate the boys - if I could catch them. Teegy Babes was tamed by my youngest daughter who spent the entire summer with a piece of straw, playing with the curious kitten, slowly gaining her trust until they were the best of friends. The others were wild - but liked food.

The morning of the operation was upon us - the kids were apprehensive, the cat cages ready, the meat for enticing and some good thick gloves for me. Like a ninja cat catcher I got the two girls and shoved them unceremoniously into the cages and flung them into the back of the car - them yowling and leaping around their prisons with furious indignity. I did feel a bit bad, maybe they would have liked to have been cat - mamas. And off we drove.

"Mummy, the cat is out of its cage!" squealed the eldest.

I peaked a look in the mirror and the grey kitten was sitting on the back seat before flying around the car and landing on the dashboard. Indicators, mirror, break, pulled over - hazard lights on. Calm down kids please, Mummy needs to think here. Cat piss was going to happen any time soon. I hauled my stiff old body onto the back seat and prepared the cat cage for the second time that morning. By luck, Jazzy Poo was sitting, terrified, on the drivers head rest. Preparing the kids for some cat screaming and bleeding arms, I leapt on the kitten and hurled it into the upturned cage and locked it for sure this time.

All before dropping the kids off at school.

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