Last night I had a reminder of the brutality of nature at rather too-close quarters.
I’d settled down for the evening and was about to “Netflix and chill”. My place is situated right amongst the ricefields and I’m used to the sounds of nature. In fact, the multi-layered orchestra of crickets, birds, ducks, frogs, geckos, cows and pigs has become a comforting background blanket of noise that helps me to relax of an evening. After moving from the close-quartered living space of central Barcelona, I was happy to substitute the noises of shouty old ladies, flushing toilets and TVs turned up too loud, for the more natural sounds of local wildlife.
However, I wasn’t quite prepared for the sounds of nature to come crashing into my house! The collision – which rattled my windows – was preceded by the unmistakeable screeching of a kitty in trouble, the barking of dogs and the uprooting of vegetation. I jumped up out of my seat and threw back the curtains to see three dogs mauling a cat. I hammered on the window to try and scare them away but they only attempted to retreat, dragging the bloodied cat with them. I opened the window at this point and threw all manner of expletives at the bloodthirsty hounds (although I’m not sure they took “sons-of-bitches” to be quite as insulting as it was intended), at which point they backed off, leaving the poor kitty bleeding and meowing pathetically on the grass. I grabbed a tea towel, for no other reason than I didn’t want to go into the night unarmed, and went out to see what I could do to help. The cat was alive but unable to move, I wanted to take it away from potential further attacks and so I wrapped it in the tea towel and brought it inside. After a few moments of trying to locate a vet, I quickly realised the cat was on its last breaths and so I made it as comfortable as possible, stroked it gently and, when it eventually stopped moving, I sadly laid it to rest in the ricefields, knowing at least that it had spent its last moments being comforted and stroked, rather than being pulled apart by angry dogs.
When I got up the next morning, I opened my curtains to see the cat perched on the wall directly above where I had laid the body the night before. The cat blinked at me and then ran off. I stood there open-mouthed, certain that the cat had made a Jesus-like recovery overnight and was waiting there to say thank you. Sadly, when I went to check the ricefield, the body was where I had left it. The other cat had just been a similar-looking moggie, probably wondering why his mate was taking a catnap in the rice fields when there were mice to be caught.
The body was picked up later that day and taken to wherever dead animals are disposed of. However, I can’t help it when I open the curtains of a morning, I still half-expect cat-Jesus to be sitting on the wall watching me.