“Always! The good stories arise at the end …”
On the 23rd of December we reached the city of Lleida in Catalonia. We wanted to work for a few hours in an internet cafe. Entering the old city, I , Tom, was quite mesmerized by exploring the architecture. Look, look! The church over here, and this building …
When we reached the marketplace, you could already see from a distance the little ‘market stall’ with the sign of a white paw on a red background. Before that stall, a man with a Santa hat patroled. He made a good mood with his donation box!
(c) Marta Pou
We asked if he spoke English, but he just shook his head and pointed to the stall, telling us to go to Marta. That guy had been the charming Hugo, who can be very brave, and then again, very shy.
It was actually an amazing talk with Marta! For hours we had a conversation about their work for the shelter ‘Protectora Amics Dels Animals Del Segrià’. That was the beginning of a friendship, right in the middle of Spain’s coldest city.
The next day, we were allowed to visit the shelter, where Hugo and Marta spend every free minute they have apart from the working life. Also, we met the enormously devoted Esther Rocafort. She has been voluntary working in the shelter for seven years. You can tell that the animals are part of her family! We did wonderful interviews with them and wholeheartedly thank you for that!
For the evening we went to eat together with Hugo and Marta, discussing this and that. The three of us were happy as children when finally, Hugo dared to speak English to us! Although he does not speak fluently (but actually understands everything, as we suspect!).
After dinner we went to smoke outside. This was, when the “real” stories were served! The two knew what we were working on and that empowerment only begins when animals have a home, a family and a base of life. So, Marta started telling us about her own cats and showing photos. At some point, Hugo nudged her and said something in Spanish of which I only understood the word ‘agua’. Both laughed and Marta told us about the black cat Huevo and his special connection with Hugo. The man understands the cat very well, even without a word. Both share a very intense relationship. Once, Huevo murmured in front of the bed at two o’clock in the morning. Apparently, to wake the two up. Hugo immediately blurted out: “There is no more water, he is thirsty!” Understandably, Marta did not believe him, because such a thing never happened. He urged her to get up to fill the water bowl and fell back to sleep, grumbling. She got up and what she saw? Huevo was thirsty and not a drop of water was in the bowl. Immediately after drinking the cat rested peacefully.
Many little stories that made us curious …
Also, the black cat determines when it’s time for bed. When the clock turns 1am in the morning, he meows until they go to sleep together. And if not both of them are in the bedroom, Huevo goes a little bit nuts. In his opinion, the two of them belong together: Always! Nevertheless, Marta is hardly able to reach out for Hugo at night, as Huevo always cuddles close to him and likes to lie between them.
This reminded us of someone … well, Jala!
We decided to come back and learn more about their special relationship and spend time with these precious people. So, there will be a sequel to Huevo soon, how he got his funny name and what communication the little big family shares.
We are looking forward to meet you again!
¡Feliz año nuevo!