A year had passed since I had returned from that trip in Dubai where absolutely everything went wrong.
Fuelled by the cat-saga which I experienced in Dubai, I had become obsessed with photographing cats. My parents couldn’t keep my hands off their snazzy Sony digital camera so for my birthday they gave me the best gift – my own bright pink Sony Cybershot digital camera!
I loved it. It was the newer model of their camera so was actually even better.
There was no stopping me now.
My weekends and evenings after school were spent snapping away with my camera. I started off by bothering my own felines with my continuous camera snaps but soon graduated to taking photos of every single cat I saw whilst on regular walks round my local area.
Sure, I was weird and different, unlike any other 13 year olds, but I was having the time of my life.
When the Easter holidays finally arrived, I couldn’t wait to hop on a plane and take my camera with me to the Caribbean.
Our home for the next 10 days was a beautiful private villa within a complex called ‘Sugar Hill’ on the island of Barbados.
The estate was across the road from the platinum coastline and perched on a hill with beautiful views of the turquoise ocean.
Our private villa was kitted with our own private plunge-pool but just a short stroll to the communal building brought us to a much larger, shared pool.
The highlight for me, however, was the fact that there were two resident cats which I could hang out with.
One day we made the short journey from our gorgeous villa down to Glitter Bay Resort which was nestled on a beautiful stretch of golden sand with the ocean lapping just metres away.
The afternoon sun shone down brilliantly and there was a feeling of utter bliss and tranquillity as we lazed around on the beach and swam in the warm Caribbean ocean.
Just then a small, thin cat stepped onto the beach. Based on its small size, it was a kitten, perhaps only a couple of months old.
The kitten was white with ginger and grey splodges and it took slow, feeble steps, its trembling paws sinking into the thick mounds of golden sand.
Suddenly, the kitten collapsed onto its side.
Spectators immediately rushed to the kitten’s rescue. It lay in the sand, its chest slowly rising and falling and its blue eyes struggling to focus.
A towel was fetched and the tiny kitten was placed on the towel, on a woman’s knee, in the shade of a beach umbrella.
We tried to get the kitten to drink some water but the poor mite was struggling to lift its head.
Meanwhile, someone else had been trying to get hold of a vet. However they wouldn’t be here for around an hour.
The kitten was one of several strays which based themselves at Glitter Bay Resort. During our adventures round the complex, we found another kitten (in better condition) which looked around the same age. It was possible they were from the same litter.
We found some cat poop near the spot where the kitten had first emerged. It was laden with worms. The cat’s skinny, weak state had suddenly become clear. The poor thing had worms.
Worms are parasites which live in their host’s intestines. An animal with worms will experience a series of side effects including weakness, diarrhoea, sickness and weight loss.
We managed to get the small kitten to lap up some water which seemed to give it enough strength to make it until the vet finally arrived.
I felt a knot of anticipation as the little kitten was placed in a carry-case. It stared through the bars with round, tired eyes. As the crate was lifted and loaded into the vet’s van, I silently prayed that the poor kitten would make it through.
News came a few days later.
The little kitten, now named Glitter after Glitter Bay Resort where she (yes Glitter was a female) was found, had been making a wonderful recovery in the capable hands of the vets.
Glitter had actually been adopted by friends of one of the people who was part of the rescue team and once she was well enough, she was going to go and live with them in her forever home.
It was a wonderful end to the story!
And so, slow Caribbean lift commenced for us. It was filled with sun, fantastic food and even a spot of deep-sea fishing.
A perfect 10 days in paradise.