Shad takes a break in Tenerife

With its dry stony yellow and black terrain, the southern end of the island of Tenerife looks like the planet Mustafar where Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi fought with Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars Episode III.  It marks a pivotal moment when a vulnerable boy corrupted by the evil influences of the Emperor turns on his beloved mentor and falls from grace.  As they duel, light-sabers crackle and buzz with energy while the volcanic landscape around them erupts and scorching lava turns the planet’s crust into a most dangerous battle ground.  Thankfully the only battle I had to face this trip was the one with the fridge door.  Said fridge belongs to two of John’s friends who often invite us over to their apartment by the beach in Golf Sur during the holiday season.  Much as I appreciate the invite, I do wish they would do something about securing feline friendly access to snacks and refreshments which includes having a fridge door that I can open with my paws.  Luckily my rumbling purr and ‘come hither’ eyes have the desired effect and I am usually able to get my sticky mitts on something tasty and revitalising in between naps.


This year’s trip to Tenerife was more exciting than usual following reports in the media of the island’s volcano Mount Teide getting ready to explode after a series of mini-quakes in the autumn.  Apparently seismologists recorded 98 micro-quakes sparking rumours that a mega-tsunami could hit the Atlantic Ocean if Mount Teide, the highest point on Spanish territory, decided to blow.  It was later confirmed that the movements were due to low intensity tectonic shifts rather than up-swelling magma and my concerns about ending up like Obi-Wan, fighting for his life on a bit of hot floating rock, were put to rest.  In fact, the mountain was very well behaved during our trip and looked especially beautiful draped in a white veil of snow.  We drove up the mountain side and stopped at a viewing point for John to take pictures while I watched a funny-looking tan-brown sausage dog scurrying round and round a snowman that his family had made.  He looked like a hyper-active Eewok (Star Wars fans will recognise this reference) but apparently it was his first time in snow so he had every right to be over-excited.

Shad feels poorly on his holidays

I’d like to start by wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2016.  Some people see in the New Year with a bang (noisy little blighters), others prefer to see the New Year in with decorum.  This year I saw it in with cystitis!  Not something I would recommend!  Sorry if that’s a little too much information for some people but all of us have bodily functions and I, even with my physical prowess, am no exception.  Don’t laugh at the physical prowess bit, I’m naturally optimistic!


It all started when John took me to my auntie’s house for a few days while he went to Tenerife to stay with some friends.  My auntie’s house consists of John’s daughter and her family.  She is a lovely lady who looks after me well and I have been to stay there a number of times before without any problems.  But this time I got stressed which I think was a consequence of being around the energetic miniature human that appeared a few months ago and missing my best bud and partner in crime John.  I’ll spare you the details of my clinical symptoms but anyone who’s had a kidney infection will know exactly how I felt.  I kept going in and out of the litter tray, yowling and desperately trying to spend a penny, and I had a few accidents which is most embarrassing.


John was very worried about me when he got the call from his daughter to say that I was not well and a trip to the vet ensued.  £90 later I was given antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and the difference was amazing.  Oh the joys of being able to perform one’s ablutions without discomfort!  I am very grateful to my auntie for looking after me but I was pleased to get home to familiar surroundings where the dulcet tones of my brilliant dad helped sooth my troubles.  Although his tones were not so dulcet when he got the vet’s bill!


I thought I’d cheer him up by sharing a few of his photos from Tenerife, Spain’s largest Canary Island situated 200 miles off the West coast of Africa.  It is dominated by a volcano called Mount Teide and covered in a reddish-brown rocky landscape dotted with pale green bushes, like the backdrop to Clash of the Titans from 1981.  While John visited a beautiful volcanic island with his pals surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean under a warm 20°c sun, I sat on the windowsill staring at the relentless pouring rain getting treats from my auntie while I nursed my hind-quarters!  So whatever you do this New Year, stay hydrated, try not to get stressed and enjoy the simple pleasures in your life.