Tuesday, July 3, 2012

A blast from the past

Then just this morning,  in walked Pepito. Or to be fair he was dragged in, in a massively over-sized travel crate. Weighing in at a thoroughly reprehensible 9.24kg, he has come for some much-needed dental work.

Pepito (despite his size) is a cat, but not just any old cat. Pepito and I have a bit of shared history.

He was adopted by his current owner many years ago from an animal welfare refuge in Rabat, Morocco, right down on the Boulevard de l'Ocean, where the Atlantic waves crash on the jagged rock formations as intrepid fisherman try to avoid being swept away to an uncertain watery fate and the sun blazes down 320 days a year..

Back in the 1990's, I spent 4 years of my life in Morocco, working for the Society for the Protection of Animals in North Africa and spent many of my days working in that self same refuge.

I was responsible for a chain of charity funded veterinary clinics across the country, and my job was to tour the clinics, training and supervising the local staff, providing equipment and supplies, identifying possible sites for new clinics and helping supervise their construction.

As a result, I spent many hours in that self same refuge in Rabat, helping treat sick & injured horses, mules and donkeys, operating on cats and dogs and planning how we could best improve the facilities on our limited resources.

The idea that Pepito was just another lost and helpless cat in North Africa, who somehow found his way to a animal sanctuary - unlikely enough in itself, given the territory, that somehow he managed to persuade a passing visitor that he was the one for her, and that he and she should then follow a very varied trajectory to bring them eventually to a clinic in central London...

Small world.

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