City Wildlife #2

I started watching on Netflix this week a documentary film Chasing Coral. Chasing coral to witness its death. Out of sight out of mind is how the documentary describes how most people see under the oceans and seas and they want this to change. The oceans and seas are taking a massive hit from climate change by absorbing the heat trapped in our atmosphere from rising CO2 levels mostly due from burning fossil fuels. If they didn’t our surface temperature would be unbearable. The corals are the first to take the hit with bleaching as sea temperatures rise due to the heat absorption.

The bleaching occurs when the coral dies leaving only a white skeleton behind. Shortly after algae takes over leaving an underwater wispy moss like mound of shapes. If the water coral live in goes up by 2 degrees they die in mass coral bleaching. The fish which live in the coral die, people who depend on the corals are out of work. About 500 million people depend on coral reefs for food and work. I won’t lie, I cried at the corals dying in the time lapses. The magical, mysterious underwater cities gone in a few weeks or even a few days.

It’s not just corals under threat from climate change. All animals, insects, fish, crops are under threat from climate change. Even butterflies you see in the summer to birds you hear singing out. Some will adapt and thrive, others won’t survive. It’s not too late to save those we can. Little acts make a bigger impact. This winter you can set the heating not as high or the air con as low if winter is your summer. Imagine a world without polar bears who have less sea ice every year or a world without penguins, lions, elephants or parrots. It’s morbid, but it’s happening. I’m nerdy and geeky with animals. They make me smile minus the killing they do. Seeing butterflies and dragonflies make me smile, even the mice and rats who sprint across the path in front of me at night while I’m cycling make me smile.

Anyways August wildlife mostly spotted as the zoo, Parc de la Ciutadella or on holiday in Mallorca.

Mallorca sea ducks

Ducks I learnt this year sleep while floating, head tucked under a wing, are semi nocturnal and can swim in both fresh and salt water!

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City Wildlife #1

It’s no surprise on Instagram most accounts I follow are nature based. Lots of animals, rescue centres, shelters and organisations, landscapes, the seas and oceans. I get a little envious of golden misty foggy wood scenes as I grew up in the countryside. However I equally get envious, maybe more of beautiful seas and oceans waves and shorelines. 

Get that itch! Heron

This year when out, more so at the zoo I tried to take less non zoo resident photos otherwise my photos are almost the same repeat each week. I look for the light, parrots, ducks at the park, birds flying, trees, nature cityscapes while trying to avoid taking photos of humans. Sometimes I don’t mind humans in them. If I can I like the focus on nature. She’s the star of this planet. Anyways, wildlife from July at the Barcelona Zoo, at the park: Parc de la Ciutadella , in the city.

Wrong camera speed. Wherever Mama duck went, they went. It was so cute when they started diving with their bums sticking up out the water
I think a crane nesting above an enclosure
I watched him/her land on the leaf and as soon as I said thank you silently for letting me take their photo, it flew away
Ducks at dusk
Zoo cat
Zoo cat

This summer I saw so many butterflies! Colourful ones at the zoo. White ones while running along with dragonflies. A few moths too and hardly any mosquitos!!! I think mosquitos only bite me when they’re desperate however this year the apartment was almost free of them. That doesn’t mean I didn’t escape not being bit by bugs this summer. It’s almost as if the mosquitoes knew and let the other bug have its go. On holiday I got bite by a tick which got infected, ending up in ER as it wasn’t clearing up. The night before going in the skin around it started to swell up. The doctors were closed and I didn’t want to chance it over the weekend. A course of antibiotics cleared it up and I’ll be left once the redness has gone down another white patch of non pigmented skin to join the other assorted bites and cuts white patches.

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Mr D AKA Diesel

Today would have been Mr D’s, aka happy go lucky, ray of sunshine, loves life, Diesel’s 16th birthday. It’s been nearly 10 months since he said his last see you later, joining his brother Mr Aj aka Angleous. Everyday I miss him. I miss both of the them. 

Everyday he made me laugh. Whether it was up to no good, answering me back, demanding food, hugs, exploring he was always full of life. I always say he chose me. After moving to Spain we decided to to get AJ a friend. He’d gone from a garden to an apartment, didn’t have next door’s cat to invite over to nap on the sofa. The first Sunday we went to the shelter it was closed due to a festivo. This was to be fate. We went back the following weekend which was around this time of year. He’d only ‘checked in’ the week previous or was just up for adoption. I can’t remember. Thankfully a British girl was volunteering. AJ and I had only been in the country less than 2 month, I spoke hardly any Spanish. P was drawn to a grey tabby in the neutering recover enclosure. She kept hissing and batting any other cat that came to the fence. I thought she’d be too strong a cat for AJ. Even though he came home with blood on him sometimes, shed claws in his head, he was a sweet gentle cat. The volunteer suggested going in the main cat enclosure. 

D in one of his many paper filled boxes

One little black cat about a year old up high on the short pylons kept pawing at me. Head to one side as he did, which he never stopped doing when about to do something naughty or play. I think he thought she looks stupid enough to take me in. The pawing worked. I picked him up, hugged him in my arms and he never stopped purring. That’s how he go his name Diesel for the non stop purring. He knew was he was doing. 20 minutes and €14.20 later, he was off to his new life. He kept putting his paw through the transport box to get my attention. It was also the easiest car journey with him ever. All subsequence car journeys if you went over 70kmph he sang, he needed to pee, he needed the car cool, he needed to be out the box (illegal in Spain, but for your ears, he was), he needed to poo and he let you know loudly. 

Neither of us had a clue how to introduce cats to each other. AJ was more concerned a door was shut. Open it please. D was just happy to be in a house. We left them to it and went out. Thankfully they didn’t fight blood. They never drew blood. I knew they wouldn’t! They’d play fight. Chasing each other through the apartment(s) from the sofa to the bed and back wrestling. Aj hated it if he lost and would want to continue the fight. D walked away. I never knew who was top cat. D would try to get him to play but it was only when AJ wanted to. That didn’t matter. D would happily chase and play with toy mice, balls, play fetch, hunt and jump for feathers and mice on strings. AJ looked down on them. When Aj played on his own you watched in surprise. Catnip time D always wanted AJ’s! 

Brush time. He’d nearly always after a pee, run out the bathroom to crash skid on his scratcher, scratching away in a happy dance

He brought with him cat flu, which aggravated AJ’s born with it strain. While he didn’t have as many vet trips as AJ, he was still expensive. I always wondered why his blood test bills were more than AJ’s. In France they were the same price. Returning to Spain and the same vet, it clicked. If I was there he was cool to have blood tests. If I wasn’t he had to go under. I mentioned this to the vet, he was keen to test the theory out if I was there. He couldn’t believe it was the same cat! D liked his Mama with him at the vets. 

Sundazing. He loved the sun so much his fur would go a reddish brown

Everyday day he made me laugh. Always up to something. He taught himself to pee in the toilet. Later drink from it. He let you know if the litter box wasn’t up to his standard. If he wanted to wake you up, he’d start making noises. Meowing or knocking things off surfaces. If that didn’t work he’s paw at my mouth. I’d wake to a face with large eyes, as if to say I’m hungry, paw pointing to his mouth. He even jumped front paws first to wake me up once. It worked. The hairdryer he hated. I had to wash his fur once attempting to dry it with the hairdryer. I gave up. The next time he saw the hairdryer he swiped it hard and ran off. I didn’t use it much. When I did he gave me side eye and ran away. His first poo he did the day we got him was in the bath. A runny one directly above the plug hole as he didn’t know where the litter box was.

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Mr AJ aka Angelous

Today would have been Mr AJ aka Angelous’s 18th birthday. It’s been a year and 3 months since he crossed the rainbow bridge and you’d think I’d be okay. The tears still flow. I miss that boy. I miss his brother Diesel or D just as equally and as much.

AJ was the runt of the litter but he was a huge cat. 7kg. A colleague at work asked if we’d like a kitten. I was against it as I knew it’d would be a lot of work. P was yes. End of June we picked him up. I think his dad was a rolling stone, all black. His mama was a slender ginger and white cute little thing. He fitted in the palm of my hands coming back in the car. A year later he was massive!

His first 3 years were spent in London. He always wanted to be outside. He worked out how to open the back door climbing on top of the old spin dryer my Mum got me. We had foxes at the end of the garden in an old shed I swear he was friends with. Some nights he wouldn’t come back no matter how much I called for him. The following morning opening the back door, he’d sprint down the path from the shed to walk inside like nothing happened scary that night. I remember one snowy evening looking out from upstairs along the line of terraced garden fences. There was a fox going under the gaps under the fences with AJ hot on his tail jumping them!

I gave up on collars with him. Every other week for about 4 months I was buying one. He’d come back with it missing. I gave up and let him be collarless. The same expression all grown up!

Right from the start he was never a lap cat. He never sat voluntarily on my lap. But that wasn’t to say I was not his. I remember the first evening I knew I was his hoomin. I’d let him in one night and carried on with what I was doing writing my list. He wouldn’t stop pawing at my pen. I looked at him and he had some other cats ‘dead skin’ claw by his eye! He knew who to ask to help! The first time I was ill with him around, he slept by my side when he could have gone out. He once gave me a present of a half alive massive spider all proud. I screamed and he never gave me presents again! 

Well, he did. One brunch he decided the litter tray wasn’t clean and started to scrabble around in the paper recycling. We were WTF’s he doing. A big poo!!! He fell down the toilet too. I was outside in the garden and heard a crash. Thought nothing of it or a slightly wet cat until I went to use the toilet and found water around it. He loved to balance on the x shaped washing line and run along fences. 

He never slept on the bed in London apart from when you were ill or out.  He preferred a chair. He got the 3 year old tom crystals in his bladder. He hid it until it was almost too late. He had to stay in cat hospital for a week. I went to visit him and left a confused cat. But I think he understood. He understood a lot of situations. Mama upset, unhappy or crying, a gentle head butt and walk around me. He did that until his later years when he let D take over. I think he was himself in too much pain which I didn’t see. He was also a cat flu carrier but that didn’t stop him. He had 2 bouts of it came out fine.

His, it’s hot pose

Just before moving to Spain, he made a friend with next doors cat. He’d let her in the house and I’d find them snuggling on the sofa! She use to make a run for it, but I knew he liked her! He had an issue peeing on the hall rug I think a seagrass rug. I don’t know if he was marking his territory or he though the rug was better as litter rug. 

The day the pet courier can to take him for Spain was the worst. The noise he made as the guy put him in the box a cry I’ll never forget. Confusion and a look on his face what you doing to me? I’ve done nothing wrong! We had no time to say goodbye, no it’ll be okay. 2 days later after I arrived in Spain I went to pick him up from the airport. He came in his new big box on the back of a forklift truck like nothing happened! 

He hid for a while in the new place until the boxes arrived from London. He settled as they smelt right. He help me unpack getting in all the boxes. He found hiding places up in the kitchen cupboards from the vacuum. 

I knew he was missing his girlfriend so we decided to get another cat, Mr D! I swear he knew. The night before he sat next to me on the sofa arm by my head. Something he never did. Continue reading “Mr AJ aka Angelous”

January Catch Up

One thing that’s never going to get easier is not having Mr AJ or Mr D, the boys, the cats around. January was the first full month without coming back to a happy face at the door. The first month without looking after a furry being. I’m still not used to being told it’s breakfast or dinner time. No one to keep me or my routine in check. No gentle or knock you over head butts. No purrs, just an empty silence. If I’m honest I feel lost without those 2. I have too much spare time on my hands.

New Years Day sunrise 

A friend asked if I’m enjoying the freedom. I wasn’t sure how to take that. I know she meant well, but they were never a burden. If you’ve never spent part of your life with a cat or dog, you’re missing out on so much. So without pi**ing her off with a blunt f you answer I answered with, a lonelier freedom.

New Years Day Sunset

Most of January was quiet. Spain celebrates King’s Day on the 6th January so things don’t start to get back ‘normal’ until around the 2nd week of January. P asked if I wanted to get away. At first I was hesitant. There might be lots of changes this year (thanks Brexit) and I was concerned about money. Initially I thought of Portugal then cheekily suggested the Big Sur I’ve always wanted to see. Suddenly we found ourselves 2 weeks later on a plane to Continue reading “January Catch Up”