You know what it’s like, you pop to the garden centre for some herbs and come back with a kitten. A slightly ruffled cream blob with azul eyes and henna toes. Had Brigitte Bardot already popped her clogs, Kitten would be her reincarnation.
Our first attempt to prise Kitten away from a life of little food ‘because the older cats eat it all first’ – and possibly being poisoned by the garden centre’s neighbours (according to a worker there) – had failed.
But we’d already fallen in love with her. We’d seen her mother and checked that Kitten wasn’t too young to leave her.
Moping in a bar dedicated to John Lennon, we imagined her curled up at home. It took ten minutes to return to the garden centre – with €30. The manager said it wasn’t about money, although we’re still unsure why he was so adamant she had to stay. There were several cats around including a new litter living in a decrepit house next door.
His colleague acted as the middle-man / translator and, to our surprise, said we could take her. He wanted no money.
As our eyes welled up and without looking back, we headed down the lane. This beautiful thing held tight to a chest was ours.
The sight of Kitten in our arms didn’t elicit one coo or smile from anyone we passed. Here, cats are just…well, cats. Do the same thing in Dublin or London and people would line up to cuddle her.
Our next task is her slow integration into the lives of our two other cats. It’ll be a breeze…um. At the moment, a bit like Anne Frank, she’s in a secret room away from the other two. Only her miaow will give her away.
© con jamón spain