It was very disappointing to discover that the Town hall have discontinued their neutering programme but very pleasing to see that all the cats who were neutered in September are bouncing with health. Luigi was thrilled by how well they now are. He was particularly impressed by the males, who he had needed to be persuaded to do initially. They are no longer fighting and battle-scarred and look the picture of fitness.
Mama Cat playing
Unfortunately, the two rooftop kittens fell ill over winter and although Luigi took them to the vets, only one, now named Ghia, survived-she is still shy but very playful and very much at the centre of the group.
When I went to check on the cats on the rocks at the harbour, I could not find my much loved Eddie. I can only hope that as he was so very friendly and affectionate and going grey, someone had fallen in love with him and taken him home. I still haven’t found out who feeds these cats so have no way of knowing. Lots of bowls of food and water are left among the rocks as if by magic but nobody seems to know who by. The cat who I call Dolly who lived with Eddie still looks very chubby and well and still has her little shelter away from the rocks under the crates and heaps of fishing nets complete with it’s own set of food and water bowls!
I found one of the black cats, Rodrigo lying in the rocks looking very ill indeed, lethargic, runny eyed, sniffly and hardly moving.
I found a couple of polystyrene fish trays and put them down to keep him warm-they are excellent insulation from the damp ground. I put one where he was lying-he seemed happy to lie on it and another under the shelter of a big rock.
Rodrigo on his fish tray
I tied to encourage him to eat but he didn’t seem interested . At this stage I wasn’t sure how friendly he was so I stroked him and when he didn’t bite me, I whisked him into a basket and off to the vet, Amaya. She gave him an antibiotic jab and gave me tablets and eye drops for him. I had to visit several times a day over the next few days to put drops in his eyes and antibiotics in his mouth. He was very tolerant of my ‘manhandling’ and he started to improve. I encouraged him to eat by hand feeding him with spoon which he started to accept.
Karen feeding Rodrigo
During the week, I kept getting fleeting glimpses of a tabby boy who was limping very heavily, the trouble was I kept seeing him at the wrong times and he never seemed to be in the same place twice! He was also very timid and disappeared if you tried to approach him. On the last but one day I saw him near the apartment and went off in hot pursuit, trap in hand. I kept speaking to him calmly and eventually when he was half hidden in a bush, he let me get close enough to lick pilchard off the spoon. Just as he was starting to trust me, a woman came along shouting in Spanish that it was her mother’s garden and what was I doing-of course this scared him off and he went scurrying further into the garden. I had been on the street -not in her garden at all! I was furious and although my Spanish is poor, I can get by! She was being very mean until I told her I was there with the knowledge of the Town Hall-she then became all sweetness and light but it was too late-the poor limping tabby had gone.
I was so annoyed with the woman who started inviting me into her garden after it was too late. I didn’t see him again so missed my chance to catch him.
On the last day, in the park, I noticed two cats who seemed to be friends, a ginger and a tortoiseshell so almost definitely a male and female. I knew there was trouble ahead but it was too late to get them neutered as I had to return to London. Again I left feeling bad about the cats I hadn’t helped and worried about Rodrigo but pleased that the lives of the cats who had been neutered had improved drastically.