Today has been a very difficult day for the Jardinet dels Gats team, especially for the President of the organisaton Mari, and for me who knew you even before the Jardinet came to be. You were always there, on the roof, looking down at all the people passing by…..confident.

When the Jardinet started , you were the first and only there. You were always there but distant, fiery, wild, the model street cat that had managed to survive.

You always looked at us as if you didn’t care or need us, you never came down from the roof to eat, we couldn’t even tempt you with a cat treat. You were like a tiger, proud up there on the roof…your feline gracefulness fascinated me. I always thought that one day you would drop the cat that-doesn’t-owe-anyone-anything pose…..and that one day you would let me stroke you……but it was never that easy. This is what fascinated me the most about you. You showed all the new arrivals in the Jardinet how to climb the trees, like an old man passing on his wisdom. You encouraged them to join you and your little team which I gave the nickname “Los Pandilleros” (The Gang) made up of Mad, Blanky and Tigreton……the only member of the gang that remains is “Mad” but its not the same. Yes, he’s a bit bipolar but now there’s no gang spirit. The others left before you, but you stayed there in the Jardinet, keeping us company everyday and eventually letting us stroke you, even brush you! Old age made you more laid-back, kinder and wiser. Your serenity, distance, your way of asking to be fussed over….stole our hearts.

You weren’t well so we took you to the vets where you won them over, just like you did the entire Jardinet team. We knew there wasn’t much we could do but you went back home anyway.

The whole team fell in love with grumpy Abu who used to hiss whilst showing the only fang that you had left, the sign of a ferocious feline about to attack……you showed your companions cat and humans how they should treat you to gain your respect.

I’m grateful for those last few months that you let us love you and brush you.

When we took you back to the Jardinet, we know that it was for a short time only, but we wanted to take you back to what had always been your home, what had always been the Jardinet dels Gats.

You tried to jump up the tree, three times, then you realised you couldn’t. Soon after you just curled up in the Jardinet, just happy to come back home.

Today, you’re not going back home. You’ve gone forever. We won you over thanks to your love your respect and your heart, in the same way that you won ours.

ABU, we’re going to miss you very much. We’ve learnt a lot from you. We’ll carry on looking after your friends, like you always did, fussing over and helping new arrivals.

In a way Abu you showed Mari and me the Jardinet, your Jardinet, what is now our Jardinet, and what is now the Jardinet of many cats that are rescued, looked after, foster and adopted. And it will always be your home!