CHAOSTOCOSMOS

Saturday, 20 September 2008

I haz a kid

cat
more animals

I love goats, which tended to be a good thing when I lived in a valley filled with hundreds of them, had friends who kept goats (and made terrific cheese), but long before that I'd joked a goat would come in handy to keep the weeds down in the garden. Those who laughed at the idea, see dis.

Every day in the late afternoon in Tenerife, you come across herds of goats, but it took lots of walks to meet the goats in a local pen before my daft dog would no longer bark at them (she was no better with horses and a lot worse with other dogs, but that's a whole other story.) Whenever I took her to see the goats, an entourage of cats (her adopted kids) would follow us too.

Betty climbed the 3 meter wire fence to get up close and personal with them and wasn't so certain about meeting goats in person once one chased her all around the perimeter of the field.

But my favourite memory is from the first time Cleo (my little shadow and then queen of the feline troop) came with us. She was not exactly sociable with other critters normally, so it was the more surprising and touching to see her standing up on hind legs at the fence, nose to nose with a goat kid.

My good friend Natalia, who kept goats, made cheese and was usually followed around the valley by her own entourage of cats, died, at the far too young age of only 47, at 7 p.m. on May 3rd, 2001.

How I can still remember so clearly, is because I remember exactly where I was at that very moment: with Holly, rescuing three kittens, two of whom are with me in the UK. Cleo had kidney and liver problems, so I had to end her suffering in 2004. This year, in June, I had to leave Betty (and Mico) behind in Tenerife and had say goodbye to Holly, my beautiful dog and best friend. Too soon and not by choice.

As a result, all of these memories have turned bitter-sweet. I miss so many friends, the other cats, my dog, the goats. I miss the walks, the wild fruit, the nature, the mountains and the fresh air. I miss them all so much it hurts. And in their place is just an emptiness that makes my heart ache beyond anything I can bear.

Pamela is a former accountant, recovering journalist and international cat herder, disabled and chronically sick with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Cervical spondylosis, fluent in three languages; English, Spanish and Rubbish. Mostly writes in the latter. She likes Genealogy, Model Railways and Cats.

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