Sadly, the buildings along the street are falling down, one by one. There was an almighty crash a couple of months ago as a large section of roof that had been propped up with a long piece of timber succumbed to the weight of recently rained-on clay roof tiles.
Like the rest of the structures along the ruined street, the bridge is delapidated. Where it once had a floor it is now missing planks here and there and the whole thing looks precarious and rotten. When I pass under it I do not linger!
There is a rather sad resident of the bridge at the moment. Remember the ginger male balanced precariously - asleep, on a branch? Well he has moved in to live on the bridge. I'm sorry to say he is a sorry sight. He is very thin and could be on his last legs. The neighbours say he's old, and not from the village, and that he has been in his lofty position for a couple of weeks. I only caught on to this situation the day before I left and realised there was little if anything to be done. If he were more mobile, I would try to trap him and take him to the vet. But according to Josefa he doesn't descend. Below the bridge is where the neighbours feed the cats so if I did set up a trap there hoping that he might descend for delicious tuna or something I would no doubt catch a variety of others.
So what to do? There's no going up to where he is. The structure wouldn't support a human weight and it would likely come tumbling down, it and you.
I went there the day before I left with some canned food in a bowl, and managed to borrow a long ladder which Pedro, one of our neighbours, then used to get some food up to him. The cat did move backwards a bit when we did this. But later when I went to look he was back in his spot - hopefully having eaten something.
He and Frank Sinatra are mortal enemies and I suppose this is a good strategic position to be in to see when Old Blue Eyes is coming along, and perhaps the ginger one makes a furtive descent at night to get some leftovers. He can certainly tell when dinner is served as it happens underneath him! Maybe Frank is so absorbed in being 'top cat' that he has no idea of the watcher above, but I fear the worst for this cat as it gets much colder.
I'll leave you with a very healthy-looking photo of Tortipizza. Her robustness since her teeth were fixed was a highlight during the last visit and maybe that is a positive omen for this latest challenge. The neighbours described her rather bluntly as 'gorda' (fat) and whilst she didn't come to our house as she normally would, I did catch a glimpse of her (running from me!) in the ruined street and she looked great. I guess she might be expected to give us a wider berth than normal considering she had a few weeks before spent two long nights of trepidation and downright bizarreness in a cage in our house listening to the extraordinary goings-on of humans 'at home' ..... weird!