Cats. We love cats. We've had them all our lives. When we were splitting our time between the UK and Portugal, our cats traveled with us. They are a part of the family.
Well, that family is growing. Our neighbours have the cutest little girl-cat they call Kika. We didn't know that name when we named her Petalinha, or Petal for short. Every morning she is sitting outside our kitchen door. We feed her any food our two have left from the previous day, and this offering is always gratefully and hungrily accepted. Every day she and Calvos, our youngest, chase each other up the jacaranda tree and across the deck, stalk mice in the orchard, and when she tires of her games with Cal, she sneaks back into the house to see what fresh food is waiting.
And the problem is...? The problem is that our Portuguese neighbours have not had her spayed. When she recently came into season, she spent all her time here, screeching, and not even the bemused, platonic attentions (ours have been neutered) of our two would shut her up. Finally, a stray provided the service she required, and after a few days where Cal would have nothing to do with her, they are again best of friends.
So now the countdown clock is running. We are dreading her deciding that our shed or outdoor living room is a great place to give birth. Our Portuguese is not proficient enough to hold a delicate conversation with her owners about their responsibilities, let alone the need for them to spend their meager income on having her spayed. We would pay, but they are proud and wouldn't accept our offer, I'm sure. So the clock continues to run, she continues to spend more time here, and the little furry twinkles in her Tom's eye continue to grow within her.
Does anyone want a cuddly little kitten?