Noel has been a friend of C.L.A.W.S for many years. When he got in touch around Christmas 2019 he told me about a little cat that emigrated from Chile to England
"What an amazing story ! It is exactly the sort of story we like to feature on our web site, Facebook page and in our newsletter. Do you think your son and his partner would allow us to do this ?”
The anwser was "Yes” and this is her story
This is the story of how the cat Mona (Little Monkey in Spanish) came to be adopted and emigrated to the UK from Chile.
Tom, my son and his partner Mariella were teaching English in Santiago during 2006 and whilst leaving his flat in the mornings to go to work Tom noticed a small grey cat hovering outside the front door, obviously hungry. On the third day Tom sat down on the step to get a closer look and it immediately jumped into his lap. As it didn't look too well, he took it inside before leaving for work and introduced it to Mariella who gave it some food.
After a couple of days they realised that that its condition was deteriorating and took it to the local vet. Fortunately the vet had a soft spot for cats (Chile is a very dog orientated culture) and, realising that Tom and Mariella had little money, he offered to treat the cat for nothing and provide appropriate medication, if they would care for her, which they agreed to do. Whilst examining Mona the vet discovered that she had been shot in the head by an air gun and he subsequently operated on her to remove the pellet.
They took Mona to their flat, administered the drugs and she rallied and began to improve. When she was well enough they began to clean her up and to their surprise discovered that she was not grey but pure white! (She did return briefly to her original colour when she unsuccessfully attempted to climb up our chimney !)
A few months after Tom and Mariella 'adopted' Mona they began to make arrangements to return to Wales and by this time were unwilling to desert her. However they had to stay on for some extra months to raise the money to fly her back to the UK. They eventually returned having spent all the money they had saved up from teaching on the expensive pre-flight inoculations and quarantine arrangements which were required prior to her being allowed to enter the country.
I have observed, mostly at a distance, the effect that Mona has had on Tom and his wife, Mariella's daily routine and in particular the pleasure she has given to their son Andres. I am aware that one has to be very careful in attributing human characteristics to pets and avoid anthropomorphising their activities. However I have no doubt that Mona (the little monkey), as she was called because she continually climbed up things, is one of the feline world's natural adventurers. All the survival skills she acquired as a street cat in Santiago have remained and have been grafted on to the qualities necessary for the life domestic thus creating a thoroughly unique and intriguing pet - one that continues to amuse and surprise all who come into contact with her.
8th January 2020
We hope that such an article will inspire other people to follow Tom’s example. Ed