There are colonies of wild and semi wild cats in Culebrón. Some probably get occasional food from humans but others live off what they hunt or can scavenge from the big communal bins. A young female tabby realised that the open door to our kitchen, at times, offered access to free food left over by our satiated cats. She was a persistent little cat, despite the water pistol, despite the occasional hosepipe assault, despite the shouts and clapping hands, she kept coming back. Our cats had no real problem with her, an occasional hissing but nothing profound. We are softies. We gave her food, always away from our house, but we did feed her. An easy if unreliable and sometimes contradictory feeding station. She was also human friendly, happy to be stroked.
A couple of weeks ago we decided to take her in. She would have to go to the vet and be checked. If she had something infectious then she was on her own but so long as she was basically fit the sofa and TV awaited alongside three square a day. Uncannily the cat failed to appear mewing on our window sill on the days when I was free to take her to the vet. Until this morning.
"What's her name?," they asked at the reception desk. "I didn't choose this," I replied quickly, "Gertrudis". A couple of animal keepers in the waiting room agreed that it was a nice name. When Cristina, the vet, beckoned us in to the surgery she called the cat by name with a smile on her lips. "Basically fit as a fiddle, obviously she's got worms and fleas but she's a sturdy little cat - nice temperament too". I arranged an appointment for the sterilization next week, paid the very reasonable flu jab and deparastiation (is that a word) charge and we came back home.
So we now look after three tabby cats difficult to tell apart at a glance - Beatriz, Teodoro and Gertrudis.