In recent weeks there’s been growing animosity between one of our cats, a rather rotund and greedy stray named Doughnut that we adopted a few years ago, and Tiger, the fierce German cat next door. Actually to be accurate, Tiger is a large macho Spanish cat whom our benevolent German neighbour adopted as a kitten.
Just before setting off for a brief sojourn in the UK and Paris, I witnessed a particularly nasty spat between the two cats while the rest of our more domesticated brood watched lazily from the sidelines. It appeared that our food obsessed feline had gobbled down the remains of Tiger’s supper left languishing on the porch of his home. A week passed and on my return to Palma airport I was told by my husband that Doughnut hadn’t been around for the last day or so. Later that afternoon our bedraggled cat limped up to the kitchen door and like a victim from a horror movie, revealed a right eye dangling from its socket. Thankfully the local vet had just opened his surgery for the evening and was able to perform an operation to remove the eyeball immediately.
I drove back home with an unconscious and battle weary Doughnut and pondered how since living in rural Majorca, I’ve learnt to cope a whole lot better with animal disasters even though I often feel heavy with sorrow. In the last decade I’ve pulled wounded or drowning hedgehogs from ponds and water tanks, rescued a wild tortoise, and also a stray sheep from a swollen stream, buried two favourite hens savaged by a gennet, and nursed countless mortally wounded field mice, birds and geckos –all victims of roving, merciless felines. In the early days I remember weeping freely in front of our kind and patient vet when my beloved part Siamese cat, Inko, lost both her kittens and nearly died in the process, and again had to swallow hard when my Majorcan neighbour’s puppy was run over by a car. Now that I’m surrounded by animals, I’m much more able to steel myself when horror strikes and get on with the grim task in hand, albeit shedding a rogue tear in the process.
As if the Doughnut saga wasn’t enough, my husband gloomily announced that in my absence all of our hens had inexplicably stopped laying eggs. I plodded around the corral and sought counsel from the hens who remained stubbornly tight lipped until one of them gave me a wink and strutted off to the hen house. Instead of heading for the laying trays, she disappeared behind a small mound of hay where I discovered no fewer than 14 large eggs.
Although our cats live in a dog eat dog world, at least in the hen house there’s currently no evidence of foul play. I’m not counting my chickens, but with any luck Doughnut will soon be fighting fit even though he won’t prove a sight for sore eyes for some time yet.
Please feel free to comment on this article. All comments are moderated, so it will appear after I have checked it. Thanks!
Please sign up here for my monthly e-newsletter.