In the early hours of Monday I was woken by the sound of fierce winds whipping around our finca; I could hear the metal chairs rocking on the slightly uneven tiled terrace outside. My first thoughts were for the eight outdoor cats that have adopted us, hoping that they were sheltering somewhere safe and unruffled by the howling winds. Last winter The Boss built them somewhere to shelter – grandly christened by us as The Apartments – but who knows what feral cats get up to during the night?
A few hours later, the wind had eased off and the sun was shining – the start of a week of very good weather for Mallorca in January. Yesterday, the mercury even nudged the 20 degrees Celsius mark. Today, it’s the start of February, which can be the chilliest month here. The first day of the month was pleasantly warm and sunny, but the forecast is for “plunging temperatures” over the next few days.
I digress. I was relieved on Monday morning to see most of the cats waiting outside the front door, as usual, for their breakfast. Jetta, the mother of six of the others, was nowhere to be seen – which isn’t unusual for her. Neither was Shorty, the ginger kitten who came into our lives in August when he took a couple of bites out of The Boss’s finger. This feisty little feline has become a much-loved young cat, game for a cuddle if there’s one going – and always hungry. Since he decided this was to be his home – and the rest of the cats were to be his surrogate family – he’s never missed a meal and calls the loudest of all of the cats for his bowl of food. But on Monday morning, there was no sign of him. The Boss discreetly looked in the lane that passes our finca – two kittens have previously fallen prey to passing traffic – but reported no sighting.
It was only when I saw the old ruin at the end of the field that my heart sank. Having lost the roof a few weeks ago (http://livinginruralmallorca.com/2013/01/12/things-that-go-bump-in-the-night/), the old casita was now minus most of its back wall and part of the side wall – presumably blown down in the early morning winds. My fear was that Shorty might have taken shelter in the old building and been trapped by falling rubble. The property is now too dangerous to consider going inside, but we stood outside and called Shorty’s name to reassure ourselves that he wasn’t still in there alive but trapped.
Monday was a worrying day and I found it hard to concentrate on writing an article with a looming deadline. I went outside frequently, hoping to see that little bundle of ginger naughtiness waiting for something to eat, but no. He didn’t appear for dinner either. I went to bed feeling sad, and a little annoyed with myself for becoming so attached – yet again – to another feral cat.
On Tuesday morning, all was right again with my world. First thing, Shorty was at the front door, miaowing louder than ever for his breakfast. I’d love to know where he was all day Monday . . .