Well here he is, my little bundle of joy! As I said in last night's blog, today I went up to Alfoquia to collect my little kitten. He is very tiny with tiger stripes on his head and sides, huge blue eyes and a piece of string for a tail! He has undergone a name change, and instead of Destino, he is to be called Paco. (More about that later) I have it on good authority that Paco is a dimunitive version of the name Francisco or Francis, but how they get from one to the other I have no idea. Anyway, the name suits him. It is easy to call when he goes walk-about, and I have a feeling I will be calling him in quite often. He is only just six weeks old, but already he is quite adventurous. Today he is a bit lonely , and as soon as I open the door he is round my feet, crying for attention. He likes to sit on my shoulder, and when we first got him home, he climbed inside the front of my dress, played with my necklace for a while and then went to sleep there. This afternoon we had a siesta together so now he is ready to play, and I obviously make a good climbing frame. He wants to learn to type, but my last two kittens were good at removing the computer keys, so I shall keep him away from there if I can. He seems to like his bed and the dry food so he is off to a good start, but it's not easy to eat your dinner when the dish it is in is much the same size as you are.
Of course he really needs a companion, and as for the last thirty years or more, I have successfully kept rescued cats along side more special breeds, I have been looking around for something a bit different here. After trawling the internet for days, I had discovered that the main breed out here is Persians, and most breeders live in Madrid or further north. However I eventually found a small scale breeder in Murcia who had a litter of two babies born on 2nd April, that are 'pet quality'. In other words they are not perfect enough for showing. This was exactly what I wanted so I tried phoning him and sending e-mails. Unfortunately his grasp of English is even worse than my grasp of Spanish, so although he understood what I wanted, when I asked him to e-mail me his address, he gave a long answer that I could not fathom, and we both hung up. I sent three e-mails that went unanswered, and spoke to him on the phone again. I now knew a little more about the cats but still didn't know where in Murcia he lived. In the end I admitted defeat and asked my Spanish teacher (Paco!) to ring him for me. From this I learned his address, and that his computer was not working, hence my unanswered e-mails. So we made an appointment to visit him this morning and saw his two beautiful little balls of fluff. So I chose this one, and she will be called Destino. This is not because she is any more special, but being a girl, I felt it suited her more to be Destino and the little boy to be Paco. They will both be treated exactly the same, and I hope they will be good friends. Destino is more likely to stay around the house, while Paco will probably be a wanderer, but they will sleep and eat together. (They will both be nuetered before they become too good friends!) The couple who breed the persians live in what appeared to be quite a small flat with a big dog, (a pit bull crossed with a british bull terrier!), and three big cats, two of which are champion show cats. One of these is Destino's father. Fortunately the man's wife was there today and she spoke a little English, and understood my Spanish, so we got along quite well. Persians are slow to develop so the kitten needs another month with her mother, and I have to wait patiently for a phone call to say I can collect her.
On a completely different subject, today we witnessed another piece of local tradition that we had heard about but not seen up until now. When we got up this morning we saw that the orange grove next door was under water. All agricultural growers have access to a natural water source on a regular basis, and as it happened today, we are assuming this is from May until around September/October, but we don't know the frequency yet. It is done by a system of underground and overground pipes called acequias. Each land owner has a particular day and time when he can turn some stopcocks that direct the water to his land. In a couple of hours the land is completely under water, and then the next farm along the road gets its turn. As the ground next door flooded, some water seeped through the cracks in the walls and through small overflow pipes, onto our side patio, including the small patch of ground where my little lemon tree is, so I moved some of my tubs onto it to soak up the excess. When we came home the air felt warm and damp, and I am sure the orange trees appreciated it.