When I was leaving the mountain casita (it became uninhabitable due to lack of water, which, this time could not be fixed without a more serious outlay of money and effort) to go back to my old apartment in an Aguada Villa, I faced a "Sophie's choice" light, of a kind.
The owner of the Aguada villa, who lives on its upper floor, is allergic to many things, and he believes he is allergic to cats, because when I was living here he needed to double his allergy medication. So I was very welcomed back (it was meant so, honestly, I am being spoiled rotten with freshly picked fruit since I came back), but.... with only two cats. While I have four now - at least for most of the year. Ursula wants Fortuno (who was hers) and Sweetie (if she may, Sweetie is a better mouse hunter) to live in the casita with her, when she stays here - about 4-5 months a year.
So, what could I do? Look for a place where I could have them all and in the meantime take two and leave two behind with the same pet sitter who took (good) care of them, when I was in Atlanta 6 weeks.
But, which two to take, and which two leave behind? Logically, this choice wasn't difficult, either.
Rascal and Missy are both old, declawed, both not well suited to cope with possible dangers lurking in the jungle (or rather with the dogs in the barrio down the mountain). Both of them LOST substantial amount of weight when I was gone.
Perhaps not because they missed me as much as they missed canned food twice a day. Briony, who agreed gracefully to pet sit them, was visiting them, feeding canned food, playing, petting, only every other day, while rest of the time they had to subsist on dry cat food and fresh water.
Sweetie and Fortuno, both cat teenagers now, agile, quick as a lightning, with sharp claws and teeth, and hunters, both GAINED weight while I was away. They roam the hill, make excursions to the barrio, entertain each other and seem happy there. So I decided to take Missy and Rascal with me and leave Sweetie and Fortuno in Briony's care for a little longer.
But emotionally it was NOT an easy choice. Especially when Sweetie and Fortuno followed me down to the barrio and my car (they always do, every time I go anywhere, it's their "see you soon" routine) when I was carrying the other two in their carriers. And then, as I finished stowing Missy and Rascal in and was about to leave, Sweetie gave me THAT LOOK, that look on the photo above: " are you leaving me behind"??? Just look at that little cat face! You'll see!
So I am happy I found a place where I can - come September - have all the menagerie together, napping on a large balcony, looking at the life going on down (three floors down!) on the beach. And tomorrow I am going back to casita, to finish packing and spend some time with Sweetie and Tuno, telling them that soon, very soon, we shall all be together again!