David mentioned to me the other day that I had broken one the cardinal sins of the internet, in that I had mentioned my cats in a post and had not provided pictures of them.

introduced Black Momma and Touriga in my last post. These are the matriarchs of the tribe.  Next in seniority is Fleabag. Fleabag holds a special place in my heart. His mother Touriga sought sanctuary in the house after a particularly loud and vicious fight during my first weeks here. She arrived meowing on the doorstep with this tiny little scrap of a kitten audibly begging to be let in.

He is called Fleabag for the obvious reason — he scrubbed up well — but the name stuck.  Fleabag has one remarkable feature — he has different coloured eyes — one is green one is blue.

He also has a story to tell. At the age of about six months he disappeared. He just vanished one day and we thought he had fallen foul of one of the natural predators that live here. 6 months later were passing a neighbours farm and I saw this ginger and white cat and I remarked it looked like Fleabag. We stopped the car, got out and lo and behold he had different coloured eyes and answered to his name when called.  Poor Fleabag, he had obviously been living rough for six months, his growth was stunted, fur a mess and more fleas. After house nursing and house living he has fully recovered. His physique will always be different because of how he had to live for those lost months.

Next is Shadow another of Tourigas bloodline. He is about six months older than Fleabag and very protective of him.  Fleabag on the left — Shadow on the right:

Two more of Tourigas are next — brother and sister — Salt and Pepper.  Salt is a very soft cuddly and eats everything he can get his paws on. He very much takes after Tourigas brother who was very much a lap cat.  Pepper is very flighty and not nearly so social.  Salt is the ginger at the back – Pepper is the one on the right at the back – Kitty at front is Fizzball who we lost to poisoning last month.

Last, but by no means least, is Lil Miss Infinity aka Lil Madam. She is technically the only house cat.  Her story is quite special too. She came into our lives last September.

I was looking for handfasting ribbons when my search took me to the narrow backstreets in the local town and a small shop which had been owned by the same old lady for nearly 50 years.

While we were rolling up yards of ribbons this beautiful Burmese cat walked out and started weaving in and out of our legs and purring wildly.  This caused quite a commotion between the old lady and her daughter with the old lady vanishing out of the shop into her house.

Several minutes later, she returned with a miniscule black kitten that she placed onto the counter where I was rolling up ribbons. I put out my hands to stroke her and she promptly climbed up into them, purring loudly she then proceeded to go to sleep against me.  More commotion ensued.  Mr P then translated to me. The mother cat always chooses the owners for her kittens — apparently I was the chosen one — would I please accept the kitten?

I double checked with Mr P using my eyes — Yes? No? — given we had quite a houseful of them at the time; he nodded back. I gracefully accept the offer of the kitten in broken Portuguese too much toothy smiling and grins from the ladies of the house and agree to return in two weeks’ time when the kitten is weaned.  We returned to pick her up at the appointed time and offered candy for the adults and pocket-money for the granddaughter as is the Portuguese custom.

We have so much fun with her — she is very “precious” in temperament and has quite a haughty disposition. She is a real mischief and very, very curious which gets her into lots of trouble. Here she is reluctantly sharing THE box with Fleabag!


  1. I am so delighted you took the time to write such a magnificent piece about your cats, Nicola. You gave each of them a background and a history that we can all share.

    Fleabag’s story is a little heartbreaking.

    Lil Miss is a beautiful story. I love the culture and custom and I’m so glad she’s an indoor cat! SMILE!

    It is so much fun to see the “baby” pictures and the “I’m all grown” photos. Sometimes you can’t believe it’s the same cat!

  2. I adore these cat stories so much that I want to post one or two of my own! Thanks Nicola!

  3. It is a pleasure to share them with you. Loosing Fleabag was heartbreaking and I had to work hard to distane myself a bit from the others , as you can imagine there was great joy when he returned. Despite his size – he is incredibly strong and very agile. He is very much the one who takes on all comers in any fights and has seen off many an intruder. He is currently king of the Duvet!

    I may well have another post about cats to come – the two mothers are definitely expecting more kitties and given the dates Tourigas could be due as early as this weem and Balck Mommas about a week later – not to mention the siamese I was offered today.

    1. I’m glad Fleabag is doing better! I like it that he guards the home!

      “King of the Duvet!” — Oh, if only we could all be so lucky! SMILE!

      The Siamese should be a wonderful gift — I hope it all works out. Cats! Cats! Cats!

  4. The Siamese was a rescue kitten, and went to a house with three dogs and two elderly cats. His teenage antics are frowned upon by the two elderly ladies and upset them greatly. He spends most of his time with the smallest and youngest of the dogs at the moment. Hiscurrent owner adores him but is saddened by the upsets he causes iin the household. She offered him to me within ten minutes of meeting me , as he has been neutered we may well take him – we are still discussing.

  5. I’ve never really been a cat person and now I suddenly want one! I couldn’t help laughing at the last picture. Lil Madam looks like a queen who is annoyed at the intrusion to her castle.

  6. Another convert ! That is her to a tee ! She will tolerate visitors for a while but then she goes to sleep on them or otherwise get in their faces!

  7. I am so happy that you have such a big heart for these wonderful little creatures Nicola! I really wish there was more people in the world like you who love animals.

  8. Lovely creatures, all of them. Poison sounds like a terrible way to die. This makes me want to share my old (1999) GoInside piece called Angels in Fur……

  9. Poison is never pleasant and once ingested , there is little time to do nything about it. I am now going to read your article.

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