” I never want to see him again” the vet said to me, when I went to pick him up. Ginger had stayed a full week in the vet hospital, following his operation. ” I have never seen a wilder cat” she said, relieved that I was taking him away, for good.
They say that for each one, there is at least one other soul in the world, that loves and accepts him: I was that one soul for him!
Ginger came into my life, in the summerhouse, as a grown-up cat already. From the moment he arrived, he was determined to become the lion of “my jungle”, using all the force that nature had given him. He therefore did not allow the other cats of the neighbourhood to come any close to me and never left my site and side. At first, I ignored him thinking that I should let nature take its course, although I have to admit that I made sure he had sufficient food and water.
In the beginning, he often attacked my feet- without any apparent reason, it seemed to me. I realized that his aggressiveness had nothing to do with me. It was the remain of how he was brought up as a stray cat. Gradually, we started building trust toward each other. He became my protector. He always sat next to where I was, taking a posture similar to the one of those lion statues that guard the old roman empire buildings. He was ready to observe and attack anyone that would come my way. Eventually, his attacks towards me, consisted of wrapping his claws around my feet, in a fast manner, avoiding to put his nails in my flesh.
And so, little by little, I wanted the best for my Ginger and started bying him special treats. I would feed him, daily, ham pieces, directly in his mouth. I also bought him a hairbrush, when he expressed the need to be caressed. This brush became a crucial code of communication between us: whenever he saw me holding it, he would come running! He simply adored to feel it on his fur – not his whiskers though which he kept at a distance for the brush not to catch them!
During the last weeks, Ginger had shown signs of pain in his mouth which intensified; he had difficulty eating and more and more he run away shouting. I decided to take him to the vet, although I knew that this would be a big challenge. It was a huge task to put a lion in a cage! So, I asked my mother, who has a lot of experience with cats, to come to the summer house for help. The plan was not to feed him for a day and to place some food inside the cage the following morning, as bait. That morning, I used the hairbrush to make him approach the cage. He looked at it reluctantly but then he turned and looked at me straight in the eyes, with the usual look of full trust. Then, he entered the cage to get the food I had placed inside, at the very end of it. I closed the door behind him. That’s when the trust broke between us irreversibly!
I placed the cage on the back seats of my car. My mother was holding it while Ginger was shouting with the wildest voice. He was making great efforts to open the door. After I drove for some 15 kilometres to reach the vet, I prepared myself to take the cage out of the car and bring it to the vet’s premises. My mother told me that the cage door was open. We made several attempts to close it, but the door corners were impossible to stabilize and stay still. There can be many maybes on what exactly happened and what not, but what importance do they now have? My Ginger proved stronger … he got out, jumped off and disappeared in front of my eyes…