Here’s a wee Azar in the square where he was born.

The reason I know his birthdate is a bit of a long story which started when I kind of adopted a street cat here in Seville. He just turned up one day – gorgeous black thing, long and sleek with amazing green eyes. And very affectionate. I called him Cat (after Holly Golightly’s cat in Breakfast at Tiffany’s) and he ended up also becoming the ‘mascot’ of the bar across the street. I’d buy the food but everybody who worked at the bar would feed him and he was always welcome. Then one day he disappeared and I didn’t see him again for about two weeks – then I found him hanging out in a square not far from here . . . with his pregnant girlfriend! So of course I named her Holly.

Well, Cat was not looking well at this point. I think he’d got into a fight and his eyes were damaged. And although I gave him antibiotics one day he just wasn’t there anymore and I never saw him again.

Meanwhile, I kept going to feed Holly and a few weeks later (on April 7th) she gave birth to six kittens – two tabbys like her, two black ones like Cat and two black ‘n white ones (obviously some other dude’s). I kept on feeding her every day, but after awhile I noticed that one by one the kittens were disappearing – it turned out that someone was killing them off! I remember one day finding a little tabby kitten head in the gutter. And so finally there was just one kitten left – a little black one.

And then one day I found this last survivor with his left front leg all broken and bent and bleeding – obviously the same horrid person had tried to kill him too. Unlike Cat, Holly and the kittens were quite wild street cats and had never let me touch them. So as I couldn’t get near enough to help – and I kept telling myself there was no way no day I could have three cats in my apartment – I reckoned the poor little thing was a goner. But eventually his leg healed (though it remained bent like a hockey stick) .

And well, you guessed it – I finally just couldn’t stand it anymore. I knew he would never survive in the street with only three usable legs, especially as he wouldn’t be able to defend himself. So one day I went and caught him in a box (no small feat) and took him home. And although he and Sunny became best mates immediately it took three months before Azar would let me touch him, though now of course he is the most affectionate thing ever. And with a very appropriate name – it means chance or happenstance in Spanish.

Happy 12th birthday, Azar! I’m so glad we found each other. f_blackcat.gif

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