Cats

Dedicated to Picklu (who will always remember Granada and cats) 

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It was September 2006 and we were doing our annual trip.. It happened to be Spain and we decided to couchsurf all over Spain instead of staying in hostels…. This was our first experience of surfing … We have hosted many people in India but never really surfed anywhere… The travellers happened to be myself, my husband Roy and his friend Suprotim…. 3 Indians geared with a backpack and a great sense of adventure…

I had been writing to many people for couches in Spain since April 2006 itself.. This particular surfing experience was in Granada, Andalucia spain…. Our host Yann wrote to us a few weeks before we were meant to be there telling us that he would be traveling, however, it would be perfect to stay at his place as his room mate would receive us…. We were a little skeptical about accepting his hospitality when he wasnt around but decided to go for it as it was too last minute to do anything else…
We reach Granada at the wee hours of the morning.. something like 4 am…. and take a bus to his neighbourhood…. There were 6 bus stops called Sacromonte and Yann had told us to get off at Sacromonte… Ooops… Did I miss something… Winding lanes going up and down with absolutely similar houses with no door numbers and absolutely no street names anywhere… Eerie silence… Is 4 am too early to call someone…. Hmmmmm
We dumped our bags by Bus stop no 4 and waited there for daylight.. My adventurous husband decided to walk through those winding lanes in search for his house… and claims to have seen a lady with a long white dress disappearing into a street corner.. If that was his idea of a 4 am ghost story, it definitely wasnt funny… 5 am and we couldnt wait… it was cold, we were tired… We called our hosts room mate and she was an absolute darling who came down to the bus stop and escorted us back to her place… The story doesnt end there… It actually begins here…
We reach Yanns place and are blown away by how pretty it is… In Granada, they convert caves into houses and leave the natural part of the cave still in built… One small problem… We walk up to the first floor where we are supposed to crash… and who do we see standing in the middle of the room to welcome us….
A CAT….
Did I miss reading that in his profile…
It wasnt just any cat.. It was a really eerie looking cat.. grey in colour.. green eyes… looking straight into my eyes…. If I failed to mention this, I am terrified of wierd looking cats…
I creep to the corner of the room and leave my backpack and the cat follows me…. slowly stealthily…
I go into the shower and the cat waits for me by the door..
I get into bed and the cat jumps on the bed…
I was psyched…. I was terrified…
6 am and I was ready to hit the Alhambra even if I was the only mad traveler to be in the streets of Granada that early in the morning… My husband and his friend thought I was really silly.. but I did not care.. I was the one planning the trip and I called the shots.. they had to tag along with me and leave the place early… But, what was scarier was that night was approaching and the cat was out there… Plans were made about how we would tackle the cat… and we went back home after a long day… Guess what… something that we did not notice in the morning… we noticed at night… Sacromonte is almost like a gypsy neighbourhood with cats in every street corner…
Not normal cats.. black cats, grey cats, green eyes, shining eyes.. just wierd cats…. If I could put a sound attachment here, i can even purr wierdly like the granada cats… Anyway.. we reach home and Mr. First floor cat was promptly waiting to jump on me…. I just couldnt take it anymore..
I was ready to sleep in the bathtub .. hiding in the bath room…
I was even ready to sleep in the balcony (and i remembered all the other cats waiting outside for me)
I was ready to lock the cat out in the balcony … (but was afraid that it would freeze and die and i would be the first CS pet killer)
Well.. after all that debate.. we managed a solution…. and i survived the night… I slept in the ground floor next to the DOG…. The cat was afraid of the dog and I was afraid of the cat…. Finally, a beautiful way to end the wierd cat granada story….
Before I sign out… the reason why CS is so interesting is it gives you an opportunity to face your fears and come out of it… Even if it is a silly fear like the fear of cats) CS also gives you an opportunity to experience a city in a real way… it wouldnt have been the same if i stayed in a comfortable room in a granada hotel.. granada wouldnt have been so special…
There is a part 2 to this story… which has been written by my husband.. trying to understand why the cat was so obsessed with me and did not want to go next to the 2 guys… The hypothesis is that the cat was actually the host, who was under a spell and was trying to communicate with me…. A twist in the tale…. I sure hope Yann is not reading this.. and if you are Yann, its a joke : )
Well, before I start on one more long story and bore you guys…. signing out Meooooow !!!
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