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Paula Wynne

Pinned 3 years 2 months ago onto Living in Spain

Freddie's Coronavirus Story

Summer 2019 has been the most eventful and traumatic summer we've had since living in Spain. So much happened, some good, but a lot of sadness surrounded us for the best part of summer, which seemed to leak away with all the animal hospital visits, cleaning cat litters, feeding kittens and looking after a desperately ill little boy.

It started off good with the release of my medieval thriller, Elixa, but the week before one of our cats, (a beautiful black stray with stunning green eyes who just rocks up for food every few days) turned up at midnight.

Sooty Poisoned

We may not have seen Sooty but as we were heading to bed, we saw him at the door. My husband went outside to give Sooty a treat of salami but poor Sooty was frothing at the mouth and struggling to breathe. We rushed him to animal hospital an hour away and spent the early hours with him. A few days later we fetched him and found out his diagnosis was that he was most likely poisoned by some kind of herbicide.

Socks Dead

A week later, on the same day that Elixa launched and I sat watching become an Amazon bestseller, we found one of our cats dead on the dirt track behind our house. Socks looked like she had been poisoned with the same frothing at the mouth. We were devastated and traumatized by what could have happened to her. We asked the landowner who owns the private reserve where we live, and he was adamant that nobody would put any poison down on his land.

Daisy Missing

If that wasn't shocking enough, another one of our cats, Daisy, who loved to wander, never came home. And still has not come home. To this day I wonder if she had the same fate that poor little Socks had.

The hurt and sadness left us bereft and empty.

Mission Kitten Rescue

Which led us to rescue two cat families.

One was wild and had been dumped at our local bins. We homed the mother and two kittens after having them neutered. One that we wanted to keep and tame because he looked like Daisy was found one morning hanging limply over the water bowl. He could hardly move, and we rushed him to the vet, but he died when we got there.

The other cat family we rescued were domesticated but living in a cage in a goat farm after their owner left for Holland. We homed the mother and had intended to home the kittens.

Tiger Found Dead

Another tragedy struck! Another of our original cats (we used to have 4) stopped eating and went missing soon after the rescue. We were dipping one hot day, and my husband was about to dive in the deep end, when he spotted Tiger's body. She must have caught a cat virus, and we hadn't realized she was ill. Poor little thing hadn't been able to tell us that she was sick and poorly. Soon after, we were to find out that she had probably picked up a cat virus, possibly from the wild ones we had rescued.

Freddie Breaks Free

Then, a day later, one of the domestic kittens, Freddie (named after Freddie Mercury because he kept climbing the cage, and we just thought of the song "I want to break free") became ill a couple of days after we brought them home.

To cut a very long story short, he picked up the cat virus too, which ravaged his little body. He became a bag of bones and spent the next six weeks in and out of hospital.

Freddie was infected with a cat strain of the Coronavirus. We were assured by the vets at the various animal hospitals where Freddie was admitted that the virus was not contagious to humans and only cats could be affected. With this news we were panicked and went on a frenzy to get all the cats and kittens vaccinated. That took several trips to the vet, and plenty of Euros too!

Freddie's mum and sisters rejected him because he smelled of medicine and sickness, so we took him to bed with us. I couldn't sleep because it was having a newborn baby again. Each time he moved my eyes lurched open to see if he was okay. He was constantly restless and fidgeting due to the discomfort and pain from the virus, so he kept crawling into my neck to cuddle. Poor little thing probably knew he was at death's door.

For a few days, Ken and I took turns sleeping on the sofa with Freddie, until he slept in his basket beside our bed. We were all walking around with bags under our eyes, not only Freddie.

Finally, about four weeks later, when Freddie had just started to eat again, he began to vomit up his food. Yet another visit to the animal hospital and the vet, who examined him, said his intestine had gone inside another part of his intestine. She said he needed an immediate operation. I burst into tears, crying that he wouldn't survive as he was so weak and fragile, but she said if he didn't have it, he would die anyway.

By now, we were so attached to him, that the thought of losing him, after the loss of our other cats, was too much to bear. It seemed like the nightmare was never ending!

Thankfully, she called a few hours later to say he had survived, and we could collect him a few days later. We had to feed him on freshly cooked fish and chicken. Needless to say, Freddie is now a fussy cat and is nicknamed 'Cashmere' and 'Silky' because his fur is softer than both cashmere and silk. If you ever want to have a show cat that will win prizes for the softest fur, feed it like we fed Freddie! Roast chicken, raw minced chicken and freshly cooked fish!

Freddie was sweet and loving from the beginning, and is now a devoted little boy full of fun and mischief. He is also nicknamed 'Fighter Fred' because of how he fought for his little life, and now because he leaps onto his sisters at every opportunity, pouncing and having loads of play-fights and rough-housing.

All in, Freddie cost a bomb in medical bills, but he is worth every bit of the thousands we spent on him!

He is an adorable little cat, and we are very thankful he fought so hard to stay with us. We're honoured to have him as part of our family ~ Ken and I and our Springer Spaniel, Dexter, plus all 8 cats!

Freddie In Pictures

Here's Freddie's story in snippet...

Freddie ~ I want to break free! He became my favourite from this moment.

The skeletal state Freddie quickly became ~ compared to his sister, Frieda, behind him. He wasn't cleaning himself because he was so weak and fragile from the virus.


Freddie looked more like a rat or bat and was just a bag of bones, weighing only a kilogram with patches of his fur missing.

Kissing and cuddling Freddie before his operation.


Freddie asleep after his stitches had been removed.


The first time Freddie started cleaning himself we were so happy!



Freddie playing in the garden with Toes, who was named that because he has piano toes.



Freddie loves it when we come home with shopping. He loves playing in the shopping bags.

He is a shopping bag full of joy!

Freddie decided to take up yoga but then got sidetracked with chewing the mat.


Freddie loves to sit behind us like a cushion.


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Living In Spain

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