Madeira Island lies 360 miles west of the African city of Morocco, in the north Atlantic Ocean. Pontinha Island lies just twelve feet from the island of Madeira (well in fact, its now connected to the mainland by a harbour wall!). Nevertheless Pontinha is a true Principality ruled over by a self proclaimed Prince, Ranato II. Pontinha is also ruled over by a whole bunch of friendly cats!
Kitten Blackie greets us on the steps.Photo: Ed
A View from Cat IslandPhoto: Ed
The Cats of Pontinha Island (it seems) were the waifs and strays of Funchal town, but they are now in the protection of the state of Pontinha. They are quite well fed and seemed to be in fairly good health if a little weather beaten by the North Atlantic gales.
Ginger curls around some warm driftwoodPhoto: Ed
We happened on this curious country of cats while taking our summer break. At the bottom of the steps we climbed to the lookout tower, the first of these creatures came into view. A black kitten with a beautiful face and a yawn that would swallow a whale. More cats appeared as we climbed further up the fortified tower.
Once there were pirates...Photo: Ed
On reaching the lookout platform yet more moggies were taking shelter from the sun. One or two stirred to greet us. Perhaps they know that our small contributions would be paying for their meals of fish scraps.
These royal cats need help for foodPhoto: Ed
It is said that as far back in time as 1419 the first voyagers to Madeira took refuge on this tiny outcrop before stepping onto its neighboring island – the Island of Madeira.
One eye on the admirerPhoto: EdSleeping until dusk when the hunt beginsPhoto: EdCut into this natural rock formation are several rooms of the ancient Fort of St. Jose which helped guard Funchal Harbour for at least two centuries. Much of the fort was destroyed in the 19th century when the harbour wall was built. What survived was sold under Royal Charter in 1903 and then became an independent State.Three cats sleep in the afternoon heatPhoto: EdEr, Wot you lookin' atPhoto: EdBlackie Bids us a fond farewellPhoto: EdNight falls on Pontinah and the lookout is assigned his dutyPhoto: Ed
Cat of the Month ~ March 2015
On March 13 (that's tomorrow!), Tiffany Two, the world’s oldest living cat, will turn 27 years old (that's about One hundred and twenty five in our human years), so it's a massive congratulations from us!
The orange-and-black tortoiseshell spends her days sleeping on the staircase at her home in San Diego, California where she lives with two other cats, just a mere nine and a ten years old.
On the eve of Tiffany Two’s birthday, owner Sharron Voorhees, 73, reminisced (to U.S. Time magazine) about the day in 1988 when she saw the cat at a pet shop that was going out of business. It was the same breed as her old cat Tiffany, which died of cancer in the early 70s. She drove home, but couldn’t stop thinking about it, so she went back to the pet store and bought the cat. “I’ve always said that was the best $10 I ever spent,” she told the reporter.
Mrs Voorhees will be throwing a birthday party for Tiffany Two on Saturday, serving up cupcakes with little fish decorations on top, goldfish crackers, liver mousse, plus champagne for the human guests ( "wouldn't mind getting along to that Ed, Yeah Norm and I can guess why" ).
She claims the cat, which barely weighs six pounds, is in good health: “We take our blood pressure medications every day together. She’s probably in better shape than I am.”
But why has this cat lived so long? “Oh gosh, I don’t know,” Mrs Voorhees says. “She has just been so devoted to me. She would drool when I would stroke her. Sometimes I think she just doesn’t want to leave me.”
Happy Birthday Tiffany Two, and may you have many more!