too close for comfort

Panic is not an emotion we would choose to experience too often and I have had more than my fair share in the last couple of weeks.

The first time my pulse started racing was in the early hours of a Friday morning a couple of weeks ago. Fortunately my phone was on my bedside table as I was settling down for sleep at around one in the morning when I noticed the screen light up. I took a closer look and saw I had received a text from my daughter. She had lost her voice so couldn’t speak to me. She was extremely poorly and needed help in caring for her two young children and I was able to find a Ryanair flight back to the UK within a few minutes and texted back to say I would be with her before twelve noon that same day. I was due to visit anyway the following week, so I just had an extra week with my gorgeous grandchildren who accepted and welcomed me taking over their daily routine without so much as a second glance.

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I arrived back in Spain last night, fifteen days on, and was just enjoying a lunchtime welcome back drink in the sunshine with some very good friends when we received a phone call from our neighbour. That is, our neighbour who has eight (or possibly more) dogs, some of which ripped our beloved black cat Tibber to pieces almost exactly four years ago. It actually seems much longer ago than this, but I was reminded of the exact date just last week when good old facebook prompted me with an anniversary alert of the photo of poor Tibber that I posted in the still deluded hope that he was just missing and not presumed dead. To give her her due, our neighbour did return Tibber to us (in a sack) having found him in her garden. In her shoes I may well have been tempted to dispose of him without admitting what had happened.

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So today’s phone call stating that our remaining cat Sheba had been attacked by her dogs stirred great panic for David and me. We made an instant exit from the bar, leaving our friends to settle the bill, and I urged David to drive the five minute journey at greater speed, whereas I normally demand he drives more slowly. The car raced up our steep drive, straight past our house to the top of the hill where we were met by our neighbour to show us where the poor cat had crawled after the attack, which she and her daughter had managed to break up. It was in a stone built structure, I presume a dog kennel, far back in the corner and it was hissing and spitting, obviously terrified. I took one look and said instantly ‘that’s not my cat’, but the more I looked at it, the more I wasn’t sure. David took my place and peered into the hole and also couldn’t be sure that it wasn’t our beautiful Sheba in the shadows.

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At this point I had the brainwave of rushing down to our house to see if Sheba was in fact there. I peered through the glass door and was hugely relieved to see her lying resplendent in her normal position on a sheepskin rug on the sofa. Relief was immense and I puffed and panted back up the hill to tell David the good news.

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Of course there is still an injured cat terrified and needing attention, but not my beauty. We offered help in dealing with the situation and returned home to give Sheba a lot of fuss.

To help calm my nerves I took a stroll around my garden accompanied by Sheba to see what had been going on in my absence. Quite a lot apparently – including blossom on the apricot tree…

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About magwood

Trepidatious Traveller - camino blog is about preparing for and walking the Camino de Santiago. Many future pilgrims have found the blog useful and inspiring, and many who have no plans to walk the camino have simply enjoyed the dialogue http://www.magwood.me
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29 Responses to too close for comfort

  1. Katherine Paterson says:

    So pleased your cat was ok, hope the other one wasn’t badly injured. Beautiful photos.

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Katherine. We couldn’t get anywhere near the cat – I would want full body armour on before I attempted to get it out of the hole. I think she will call the vet if it is still there tomorrow.

      Like

  2. Marianne says:

    Glad things worked out for you, Maggie. Hope the other cat is OK.

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  3. Pat & John says:

    So glad that Sheba is safe and well, do hope the injured cat makes a full recovery.
    You have certainly had a stressful time Maggie, hope things calm down from now on.
    Love Pat &John xx

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  4. Did I suggest to you to walk the Israel national trail? I’m sure you will enjoy it. you can see all of it on google street view

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israel_National_Trail

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  5. OzAnnie says:

    I felt your fears. Sounds like you are a good mum to your distant family. Distance didn’t matter.
    The cat , oooh so sad. So relieved you didn’t have to live through a second loss in that violent fashion. Neighbors are honest enough but I do wonder why they need so many dogs. Such a pack!

    Time to relax )walk!
    Annie

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    • magwood says:

      Yes, Annie it was lucky that I was able to get back to the UK so quickly

      The neighbour has a lot of dogs from choice, and a few strays that she can’t turn away. Unfortunately there are four terriers, Spanish Bodegueras, rather like a long legged Jack Russell. It is in their nature to chase and catch whatever they can, particularly when they are in a pack.

      Off for a nice walk tomorrow.

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  6. Glad Sheba is okay!

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  7. mary lynch says:

    you have beautiful granddaughters Maggie.xx It was a delight for me to meet you in Cudecaxx

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    • magwood says:

      Ahh Mary, so nice to meet you in person. You have always been so supportive and it was lovely to put a face to your name.
      My oldest ‘granddaughter’ is actually boy. He and his parents love is long blond locks. He is very unbothered that people sometimes mistake him for a girl

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  8. Ouch. Sorry for the loss of your cat four years ago and glad Sheba is okay. Poor hiding kitty too. ❤ ❤ ❤

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Tess, thanks for your concern. The injured cat is apparently on the mend and has eaten and left its hiding place. Let’s hope it keeps clear of the dogs in future.

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  9. Stephen says:

    Sorry you were summoned in emergency fashion, but how lucky your grandchildren are for an intrepid granny. We took care of our granddaughters for a week last fall when our son in law took our daughter to Hawaii for her birthday. He told us his friends were astounded, none of his friends parents would dream of taking care of their own grandkids for a week. We loved it.

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    • magwood says:

      I am lucky that I was able to get back so quickly and I do in fact return to the UK very frequently to visit my family and spend time with the grandchildren. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

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  10. Vjr says:

    I have enjoyed your writing for a while. Recently, I particularly enjoyed your Camino Mozarabe – the video and the day by day details. Am planning to do the same Camino late August this year so, thanks for the details. Meantime, in a few weeks I’m doing additional stages of the Camino Levante, starting in Toledo this time. Keep on with your blog, please!

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    • magwood says:

      Many thanks for your kind comment. I am so glad that you enjoyed the Mozárabe posts and video. Buen camino for your Levante – this is a camino that I know nothing about. Are you planning to walk the Mozárabe alone – or will you have a walking partner?

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      • Vjr says:

        Mozarabe: I’m planning to start alone. You are so lucky having George.
        On the full VdlP I ‘found’ other walkers, one for two weeks and another for 10 days. On the CFrances, surprisingly, I didn’t ‘find’ anyone. Didn’t even see another walker on the section I previously walked of the Camino Levante. Last year I walked the last ~ 180km of the VdlP with a friend. Loved that.
        So, would love a fellow walker for my next trips and hope to ‘find’ one along the way.
        BTW – do you know if there’s snow between Avila & Zamora at present? Online weather reports suggest not. I’m starting in Toledo & from there to Avila looks snow-free. After Avila? I’m unsure.

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      • magwood says:

        Not sure about other areas of Spain, but we have just had a brief fall of icy snow here in the south. It is due to pick up over the next few days though with a promise of warmer temperatures.

        I realise how lucky I was to be able to walk with George and even more so that we got on so well for the best part of three weeks. I’m very happy walking alone, but do appreciate some company at my destination. A friend of mine is starting alone on the Mozárabe on 14 April. I shall walk with her for the first day, but can’t spare any more time as my own camino will be starting a week later.
        Good luck and buen camino – I would love to know how you get on.

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  11. Frances says:

    Good your daughter and cat are all fine. Not great these night time panics!
    Excellent photos, as usual.xx

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  12. Marilyn van Graan says:

    Oh Maggie you should write a book – even something like this is a great read. I am glad for you that your gorgeous fur kid is well and hearty – I don’t know that I could rest easily if I had neighbors dogs like that. Glad that your daughter is better and of course your bonus getting to be with your beautiful little princesses🌺🌻🌹😍

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    • magwood says:

      Thanks Marilyn. Looking forward to meeting up with you in a few weeks.

      My little princesses are actually a prince and princess. Mikey is very fond of his long locks and is totally unfazed when people mistake him for a girl. His confidence is admirable.

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  13. Pam Pitts says:

    I came across your blog as I begin to prepare, think about, plan my first walk. I love love the blog and am so grateful for your willingness to share and all that requires. I am now anxious for your next adventure and wish nothing but great success.

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Thanks Pam, I’m so glad you have enjoyed the blog. Not long now until the next camino – it’s giving many sleepless nights, with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. When are you hoping to walk your camino? The planning is all part of the journey.
      Buen Camino!

      Like

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