Cambrils visit – September 2007

We arrived at Cambrils by car from England via France having hardly seen any signs of feline life to be greeted by a miaow from a very happy and healthy looking Mama Cat. She can be a bit temperamental and will lash out if the fancy takes her but she always seems to remember me and has never taken a swipe at me yet! She seems to sense that I am her friend. I will never forget the time when she had just given birth but came to sit by me and wouldn’t leave my side, all wet and bedraggled and without kittens-something horrible had obviously happened and the kittens were never found.

Mama Cat and Ghia

I know there will be a time when Mama Cat won’t be there but at least she won’t have spent all her time either waddling around pregnant.

On visiting Luigi and the Bodega cats, he told me that Grijetta hasn’t been around for a few weeks since being seen off by her ungrateful daughter, Ghia and her (neutered) boy gang who appear to be at her beck and call and follow her around fawning at her feet! Ghia is such a prima donna now and we call her ‘La Raina’-Spanish for the Queen! It is amazing to see the transformation from the timid kitten born on a roof, with no human contact until I rescued her, into the friendly mischievous show-off that she is now.

Karen and Ghia

Grijetta was always quite independent anyway and I had previously seen her eating at a feeding point round the corner so I think she just reverted to hanging out in her former territory.

Next, it was onto the harbour where my mum, who had arrived a few days earlier, had seen a new grey cat-albeit only a fleeting glance. I was also very keen to see Rodrigo who had been so ill in March and although I had treated him, I was not sure if he would have pulled through. We didn’t see the grey cat but when I called him, Rodrigo came bounding out of the rocks, and apart from a slightly runny eye and a small abscess on his leg, was full of beans and seemed pleased to see me…..I think he remembered me! He is not the most forthcoming of the harbour cats but was more than happy to let me clean his eyes and leg which I did daily and left him looking more shipshape! All the other cats came out and were as friendly as ever and looked really healthy and on excellent form.


On the promenade, there was a lovely, sociable young tabby who was so friendly and affectionate it was very difficult to leave him. He was so thrilled to be stroked that he would make a funny noise, halfway between a snort and a snuffle! He had made his home on the beach on a little grassy patch under some palm trees. I earmarked him for neutering along with a handsome black and white newcomer at Luigi’s and a timid tabby who I felt sure was the limping one I hadn’t been able to trap in March, no longer limping but still timid. I had thrown some bread and veggie paté off the balcony and when I looked down I saw him hungrily munching it so I quickly spread some more paté on bread and rushed down with it. I couldn’t get too close to him but he was more than happy to accept my alternative to cat food. He has such a dear little face but was very frightened.

Tabby with bread and pate

Although I went to the harbour every day, I wasn’t able to find the grey cat until a couple of days before coming back. When I saw him, it was obvious he was suffering from cat-flu and was very lethargic and sneezy with terribly sore, gunged-up, half closed eyes. He was a typical un-neutered, battered up male and he was hissing and growling. Although he was very wary, after about an hour of coaxing, he let me stroke his head still hissing at the same time! When I pulled my hand away it was black and filthy-he had probably been under the weather for quite some time and not cleaning himself.

Eduardo lying down

When I went to the surgery, there was a new vet who told me that the vet who usually did the operations was on holiday. This was a big blow as it meant I couldn’t get any cats neutered including the cats in the park who were growing in number since last time I had spotted them. We decided that rather than further stressing out the grey cat, now called Eduardo, by bringing him into the surgery, I would risk life and limb, (well limb at least!) by attempting to administer a long acting antibiotic injection myself, in situ, at the harbour. When I returned to find him, he was hiding and refused to come out. I was lying flat on the ground with outstretched arm under his hiding place but no amount of cajoling could persuade him out.

Eduardo under the palettes

When I returned later, Eduardo was curled up asleep in a pallet which was awkward but at least I could get to him. Again he was hissing and spitting but I stroked his head until I could calm him down enough for me to tentatively reach for my syringe all the while hopefully giving off an air of confidence which I wasn’t really feeling-it was a very thick needle! The confidence trick worked-I quickly injected him in the scruff of his neck and he didn’t flinch-he even seemed to cast me a grateful look!

Karen giving Eduardo the injection

I cracked open a tin of sardines and he wolfed them down with as much gusto as a poorly cat can manage!

Eduardo and his sardines

I didn’t like to leave him but I did all I could in the circumstances and was keeping my fingers crossed that the injection would continue to do it’s work after I had gone. I had a strong feeling that I would be back to check on him very soon!

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