There are bad weeks and then there are really bad weeks…

We’re sitting here in our lounge, watching our small cat die. He seemed to be fine one day and then suddenly ill and all the symptoms (which only began yesterday) pointed to tetanus.
Whilst there was no obvious wound, our neighbour’s vegetable garden had been prepared for planting, by ploughing in flowering greens, then covering the land with partially rotted and chopped manure. Finally it was re-ploughed and ready for potatoes.
It looks as though Lisa had been for a walk through there as he stank of it and that’s one of the risk factors for tetanus.
Lisa or HeSheIt as he was known, was a happy little cat. It doesn’t seem long since we were admiring his leaps onto one of the beams in our bedroom, trying to catch those pesky birds nesting outside.
He liked cream. I, on my very low carbohydrate diet got to eat cream and Lisa always cleaned up the last of it.
It hadn’t been an easy life for a kitten as he was half-grown and just feral enough to not want to be touched. If it hadn’t been for my neighbour’s old cat becoming senile and forgetting who he was (the ugliest, grumpiest old tom in the village) and deciding to sleep in our courtyard, Lisa, tagging along with him, desperate to be with another animal, wouldn’t have found us.
Once we picked him up and he stopped panicking, he was ours.
He wasn’t exactly pretty, but he was sweet-natured and playful and good company.

It’s been a pretty tough week all round. A client messed up the payment paperwork, so now the quarterly fee will be a month late arriving. Someone managed to clean our Spanish bank account, with a debit card internet transaction made in China, using a card which has never left our possession and hasn’t been used for any purchases since 2009.
Despite the fact that the purchase was made on the 9th of March, the bank can’t manage to complete their investigation until the 23rd April. Just how difficult is it to check an online purchase? It’s not a vast amount of money, yet it was our financial reserve account, for paying electricity bills and odd bits of cash for emergencies and someone took it. Great.
These aren’t the end-of-the-world emergencies. They are just one more level of worry in a life with very little cash.
I was going to write about a nice afternoon out, where we went to a 12th century church, various nice houses and the huge dam at Pesqueiras. The 12th century church is locked as a rule, but one of the honorary members of the Preguiceiras had borrowed the key. There’s a very beautiful stained glass window, which is a rarity here in the Ribeira Sacra. The Preguiceiras climbed up to the gallery in front of the window and shouted –‘sing, Inglesa, canta!’ So I did and it felt good. I was standing on ancient stones, with carving on them that indicated that a knight was buried beneath, but no one really knows. Those carvings were made 900 years ago and it was a unique moment.

It’s been an odd weekend. Very moving and spiritual, visiting ancient churches, sadness at losing a pet and frustration at how living from a tiny income can make one feel so trapped.
Goodbye Lisa. We had a lot of laughs. You liked a hug, you enjoyed the sun and we gave you a home. We’ll miss you.

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