Nine Lives

Three times a charm. After several unforced errors, we spent Saturday moving the ball down the field.

Since moving to Spain my modus operandi has been learning by mistake. I identify something I need to accomplish. I research it ad nauseam. Then I proceed, invariably doing it completely wrong. I am chastised, repeatedly in español. Then, after making variations on the same mistake, I find the drop down on an obscure part of the website. And finally, bingo! I’m home free.

This culminated yesterday with getting our newish tow hitch certified by the ITV in Lugo. It only took us two months. Not a personal best. But not last place, either. And now all I need to do is go back to Lugo, after they notify me via SMS, to pick up the vehicle modification certificate. In Spain, modifying a vehicle is a big deal. But I have successfully gone through the entire process.

Now that we worked through that, it was time for another first. A few days ago Señor Sir showed up as I opened the door in the morning. He was limping pretty bad. Unable to put weight on his left back leg. We fed him. Then he curled up and slept for 24 hours. He got up, limped to his bowl, then went back to sleep in front of the fire until bedtime. He meowed to go out, then promptly disappeared for three days. I was very worried about him. Would he ever come back? Wounded, could he defend himself against the neighborhood cats or dogs?

On Saturday’s ice-cold frosty morning I heard a very weak meow. Opening the front door, there was Señor Sir. He limped through the door. And his back left paw was twice the size and covered in blood. I wrapped him in a blanket. Jeff ran to el Chino in Melide and bought a cat carrier. We loaded him in the car for our planned trip to Lugo for our ITV appointment. And after a Google Maps search, found a veterinary hospital was almost next door to the test centre. Señor Sir barely protested in the crate.

The hospital took us in without calling in advance, while we explained that this is not our cat, but he is injured and needs urgent medical attention. The ingles speaking Dr took us back. She shaved his leg and cleaned the scary gaping wound. Then she gave him an injection, bound the injury, and gave us a bunch of meds to take home. He’s now been dewormed and has eye drops for conjunctivitis, to boot. He will be on antibiotics and antiinflamatorios for ten days, which means we will have to keep him inside to guarantee we can administer them on time. His disappearing act won’t work for this. Upon his follow up visit with the Dr, he will be given the usual set of cat vaccinations. Rabies, feline leukemia, etc. We stopped off at a store and bought a litter box so we can make it until after Christmas keeping him inside.

Around here, cats and dogs don’t seem to be pets. They have jobs on a farm. To guard all the inhabitants. Or to kill pests. There are so many feral cats roaming free it’s a wonder that there is a rodent left anywhere in Galicia. They don’t seem to spay or neuter their animals. And vaccinations? It’s not a thing. We know that this cat is supposed to be Marie Carmen’s, along with three other barn cats she has. But he has chosen to come to our house for days at a time. And we have derived so much joy from his antics. I couldn’t stand to watch him suffer. Neither could Jeff. In the midst of Omicron we would not be out and about unless absolutely necessary. This was necesario.

And what did this emergency veterinary visit, complete with meds, cost us? If you are in the US, you’re likely thinking several hundred dollars. Yeah, nope. It was €39 + vat. And a €25 weekend urgencia fee. As I was paying, the Dr asked us the cat’s name.

‘It’s not our cat.’ I reminded her.

She smiled. ‘What do you call him?’

‘Señor Sir, mostly. Sometimes Sir Eats-Alot. But, seriously, he is not our cat.’

‘How long has he been coming to your house?’ She asked.

‘From the first day we arrived.’ Jeff told her. ‘Literally, before they unloaded our moving truck. He ran right up to me. He was small and scrawny. But he adopted us immediately, more than six months ago.’

The vet smiled. ‘If you bring the cat to the hospital when he is injured, and he has come to your house for six months, then Señor Sir is your cat.’

So, our hitch is certified, after the third try went off without a hitch. 😉 I finally achieved certifying a major auto modification in Spain so I can get my food truck. And now we can check How to obtain emergency veterinary services on a weekend in Lugo off the list. And Señor Sir, our new official cat, is asleep on a soft blanket on my chair. Recovering from his serious injury. On the farm, we live to fight another day. Something to celebrate.

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