My chosen theme is Tenerife, where I have lived for 15 years, and today's letter K prompted me to write about a Canarian cat who chose to live with us soon after we arrived.
We had only been in our apartment for a few months. It was the week before Christmas 2000 and we were expecting a dozen people for Sunday breakfast – our traditional way of starting the season. On the Saturday afternoon, while we were setting out the tables, we spotted a cat and four kittens hiding in a plant-pot on our neighbour’s terrace.
The neighbours were away so we fed the cat, and the next morning we found her on our terrace. It’s quite a jump up from the community garden so she must have carried each kitten in turn. We asked our guests to leave them in peace, and the breakfast party was a great success, helped in no small part by the five feline faces watching our every move..
Over the ensuing few weeks they practically took over the place, and friends would pop round to share a beer and watch the kittens.
Eventually we re-homed the kittens but the mother stayed. We called her Kika and she would follow us to the bar. When other customers arrived with dogs she waited on the pool wall for us to come home.
She became quite a local celebrity when she took exception to one small yappy dog and launched an attack from the bar steps. The dog ran away yelping and she returned to the bar victorious.
When she died last year we were heart-broken. I still come home sometimes expecting her to be here.
There’s a special garden
where cats go when they die,
with vine-wrapped trees for scratching,
soft grass for them to lie,
and holographic mice to chase
for healthy exercise,
and all the fish and cream they need
to live their thousand lives.