I picked up my coffee and headed towards my laptop, through bleary eyes I opened my mail and was excited to see an email from Irish. There was a photo attached which I hurriedly opened to see an old sepia brown/grey and white photograph. There were 4 people in the picture, 2 adults and 2 children. The adults looked quite serious and uncomfortable to be having their photo taken and were male and female. They were dressed very smartly with maybe their ‘Sunday best’ on, the lady was in a dark dress with a white bow at the neck and the gentleman had a suit with a shirt and tie on. There were 2 children standing behind them, both girls, and they both had one hand on the shoulder of the adult in front, and in the other hand one of the girls held a little black and white kitten and the other girl held a small bird.
Irish told me these were some of her ancestors and she would have more information for me about them, the next time we met. I took the opportunity to invite them for a lunch at the Cortijo and a date and time was arranged.
As I studied the photograph in more detail, I realised the black and white kitten in the photograph had exactly the same markings as our cat Picasso and was exactly the same size when he mysteriously arrived at the Cortijo as a kitten.
The Log Store sits at the back of the cortijo, and is a very dusty old building, possibly with Roman origins and was full of logs when we bought the cortijo. The second delivery truck of our furniture had arrived while we were still in England and we had no knowledge what had become of our possessions until we saw everything piled from floor to ceiling (a very high ceiling at that) with our sofas, beds, boxes etc. etc. It was a mess and everything had just been thrown in without any regard to our possessions whatsoever. I was devastated to see such a careless and uncaring attitude to all our worldly goods, however at least it had arrived!
We were still flying backwards and forwards, to and from Spain about every 6 weeks and it was very tiring and stressful flying to and from Spain every 6 weeks. Every time we arrived at the cortijo we faced more problems. The builder we had chosen turned out to be a cowboy and not very trustworthy and the building work seemed to fall further behind schedule each time we arrived.
During one of our regular trips to the cortijo I had to keep going into the Log Store to retrieve box after box for unpacking. A black plastic sheet which covered a sofa moved slightly and made me jump. My imagination told me it was a huge lizard and I froze on the spot. The plastic moved again and this time I heard a delicate little ‘meow’. I bent down and lifted the plastic and there, hiding and scared was the cutest little black and white kitten. A tiny face with black ears, a pink nose surrounded with white fur which ended in a point on his forehead looked up at me and meeowed a few more times. He was so young and scared but came to me willingly and I picked him up – we were immediately friends.
I took him to meet Steven, ‘Meet Picasso’ I said, and we both stroked him. ‘I just found him in the Log Store’.
We welcomed him into our home, gave him food and water and from that day onwards he has been a large part of our life in Spain. Each time we had to return to the UK, we left him with lots of food and just prayed he would still be there when we next returned, and sure enough, every time we arrived he was there waiting for us, in his knowing way, sure of our return again and again.
Today Picasso is Lord of the Manor, he parades around Las Salinas wearing a red bandana, keeping the mice and lizards away – oh and the campo cats and dogs who try to muscle in on his terrotory. A campo cat made good, he listens to everything, checks out everything that is happening and everybody loves him.
Is this a cat coincidence that Picasso is identical to the one in the photo of 80 years ago or is he the reincarnation of the cat that lived here with Irish’s ancestors?