Cambrils visit – September 2006

I will be going to Cambrils on 25th March to continue with the neutering programme. I am looking forward to seeing how the cats are doing since being sterilised in September 2006…….especially Mama Cat as she was still recuperating when I left!

Sadly, one of the kittens from the last visit has died. I had her neutered early after rescuing her and her sibling from a roof where she had been born. I am a little unsure as to what happened but apparently Luigi took her to the vets as she fell ill and she didn’t come back out. It is very upsetting but at least she didn’t leave behind a litter of kittens and she was fed and looked after by Luigi-her life was too short but it had been a very good one for a street cat. This is her story…

Grisetta chose to give birth on a first floor rooftop- a wise move in some ways but a very bad choice in others….good for safety from traffic etc but difficult for her to get food to the kittens. When we reached Spain in September, Luigi told me that she had 3 kittens 2 or 3 months previously making it the height of summer-it must have been sweltering up there! The rains came down when I got there so trapping them had to be postponed for a few days which was very frustrating. Meanwhile, Luigi supplied Grisetta with lots of easily transportable food items such as frankfurters which she would carry in her mouth, run down the road, up a tree and onto the roof to her impatient but very grateful kittens. We could see onto the roof from our apartment that the black kitten had disappeared. There was no way to get onto the pitched roof from the ground but after some pleading with a receptionist in a hotel, I was able to gain access by climbing out of an unoccupied room and out over the balconies for a look around. I could not find the kitten but realised I needed to get the other kittens down as soon as possible.

Grisetta carrying a frankfurter

It wasn’t a minute too soon as when it stopped raining one of the kittens managed to jump down. We grabbed the trap quickly and put the pilchards in and before not too long had tempted her into the trap then into a basket. The next bit was much harder and took much longer as the other kitten was still on the roof. She was quite distressed and vocal as she wanted to come down to join her family but she was the smallest and couldn’t quite make it. It was not possible to put the trap on the sloping roof so we just had to try to coax her down, bearing in mind she had not been touched by human hand since birth so was terrified! Eventually, she took a flying leap and fortunately, her fall was broken by some bushes. Once down it took even more time to persuade her that there was yummy food in the trap!

Kittens on the rooftop

Once she had gone in and a silent cheer went up we put both kittens in the basket at the back of the trap and made a tunnel by covering the lot with towels and Grisetta being a good mum went in to look for her kittens…..we did a slightly louder cheer then! They stayed the night in the trap but we made them comfortable and they seemed to be grateful to be on solid ground at last. I was able to stroke them all and there were no hisses or scratches…. they seemed so relieved to be on solid ground at last. I decided to have them neutered early as the only other option was to release them and trap them another time and to me, that wasn’t an option as I didn’t know when I could get back. They would also be reluctant to be re-trapped ……once trapped, twice shy!

On my last day I was so upset to hear that someone had seen the black kitten jump down and straight in front of a car a couple of days earlier. It is such a shame that there is only one surviving kitten but she is with Grisetta and again has a very good life compared to other street cats.

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