Do you believe in love at first sight? I definitely do! And no, I’m not even talking about my boyfriend. I love all animals (or at least it will always come to a point of respecting them). When I see an animal, it’s like the day is a little brighter and my heart smiles a million smiles. I find it hard to describe to you what I feel whenever I see a dog sleeping on a driveway somewhere or a cow standing happily in a field, munching on some grass. It makes my day, every time!

Just before we left my boyfriend’s town here in Portugal and were getting ready for 100% vanlife, we stopped in Batalha to do some laundry. There were lots of stray cats around and I always want to give them lots of attention and love. When I walked back from the launderette I saw this lovely cat, eating the cat food that someone put out for the stray cats. I approached him, thinking he would run away, but he didn’t. He looked at me with his droopy eyes and I just fell in love right there! Even though he was old, had a (treatable) eye disease, saliva all over his chin, chipped/half teeth, a very short (twisted) tale, fleas (and most probably worms), his fur was anything but shiny and soft, but still he was the most beautiful cat ever.

I stayed with him for quite a while, sitting in the middle of the pavement. He was so lovely! He put his paw on me, crawled onto my lap and really settled, purring and everything. We just cuddled and I kept kissing his head.

He must have felt awful in his condition, but he was very cuddly and affectionate and I just wanted to bring him with us and make him feel better. I left him though, because I thought ‘what if we take him in the van and he would run off in a place he is not familiar?’ At least now he is in a place where he is familiar, with a source of food and water. I wanted to make it better for him, not worse. This is why I decided that it’s not a good idea.

Anyway, the next day we went back to see him. I wasn’t sure if I would see him again, but when I parked the van, within 5 seconds (literally) I saw him across the street. I rushed over, picked him up and I never wanted to let him go anymore. He is just such a baby! I decided to put him in the van, just to see how he would react. I already tested if he was ok with Nola and he seemed totally fine with her. He is a very relaxed cat, but when I put him in the van he panicked a bit and wanted to get out as fast as he could. I tried twice, but I had to admit that it was going to be too risky. I didn’t know anyone who could look after him in the meantime (there are so many stray cats!), so I had to leave him.

Before I left I sat with him for a long time. I talked to him the whole time. I was telling him how beautiful he is and that he is special, that I felt so sorry that I wasn’t able to give him the life he deserves right now, but that I will try my best to speed up the process of buying land. In the end I promised him that when we have a piece of land, I will drive back to Batalha and I will look for him and treat him like a king.

I know that he is a cat and that he wasn’t going to talk back to me in the same way I talk to him, but there was no doubt about having a conversation with him. I used my voice, but in the end it was the feeling, the body language and the exchange of energy that was speaking. It was so intimate. I really hope he is well and that we are able to buy a piece of land soon, so I can go and get him.

I believe that the universe is sending messages through people and animals. He motivates me so much to try and get the money for the land. Throughout our travels, we met quite a few animals that needed help though and I would love to one day rescue them and bring them home to a forever home, where we can live together with beautiful humans and animals together, in harmony, peace and love. I feel he is a messenger from the universe and he became a mascot. This is why it must have been love at first sight!

My boyfriend and I are saving up as much money as we can, living a cheap lifestyle and working online. To speed up the process I started a crowdfunding. The sooner we have the land, the sooner we can start this beautiful community/small sanctuary. If you can and want to make a donation, I would be so so so grateful and you will always be welcome to stay at our place! Or/And if you can share my crowdfunding I would really appreciate it as well, so we can reach as much people as possible.

Thank you so so much! Sending you lots of love and abundance! X

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