by Kathy Clayworth
My first trip to Anguilla was with my then boyfriend for my birthday. We stayed at Cinnamon Reef Resort with the most wonderful 5 star restaurant.
During our first day we noticed a small cat under a porch. Someone had hung black plastic to protect the cat from the elements.
We were engaged that first night, on the beach, under a full moon. It couldn't have been more romantic.
We got up early the next morning. Jim, my fiance now, went snorkeling and I relaxes on the beach. I put suncreen on my face and shoulders, then went into the water to wash my hands so I could read my book. The engagement ring was a size bigger than I wear and it washed right off my hand into 4 feet of water. I was in shock but knew not to move from that spot. Jim snorkeled his way back to me after about 30 minutes. He thought I was teasing him about my ring but, when he realized I was seriuos, he got a float from the shore and started looking for the ring on the ocean floor. We were both promising God anything if we could just find the ring. After about 10 minutes, he saw just a small sparkle in the sand and scooped up the ring.
That afternoon we found a wonderful beach bar, Trattoria Tramonto, and enjoyed a tropical afternoon. We made a reservation to return that evening for my birthday dinner.
When we returned to the Resort, the little cat came out from under the porch, walked right into our path and fell over. We both knew that we needed to save this cat in exchange for finding the ring. The little calico cat looked like a skeleton with open sores all over her. We got back in our car, with the cat, and went in search of cat food. We kept her in the closet in our room wrapped in a towel, gave her some food and water and really weren't sure she would still be alive when we returned from dinner.
After an incredible dinner, we returned to find the cat responsive and purring. She made it through the night and the next day we found the only vet on the island, Dr Vanderpool. We took the cat there and asked them to do their best to save her. It took them 3 months to get her healthy enough to travel to the U.S. The vet tech, Amy, was wonderful in helping us get the cat to San Francisco where we lived.
We had five wonderful years with Cinnamon, as we named her. She had heart trouble and passed away playing with Jim. We were devastated and decided to take her ashes back to our beloved Anguilla.
We made a reservation at Cinnamon Reef and arrived there around midnight. Juan, the gardner, picked us up at the airport. We told him about the story of our cat. It turned out he was the one who put the plastic up to protect her from the hot sun. He found her and her siblings and was able to find homes for all of them but her. He said he always wondered what happened to her and hoped she had found a good home. He also, told us the Resort was getting ready to close that week and that the restaurant was already closed. We were heart broken as this resort, under Carol and Richard, was so wonderful.
We found CuisinArt Resort and were able to stay there instead. During that trip we had a wonderful dinner at Blanchard's.
The owners of Cinnamon Reef did give us our money back. We returned home with Cinnamon's ashes as we decided not to leave her there after all.
We have not yet returned to Anguilla but we are talking about returning and would like to stay at CuisinArt Resort.
Anguilla holds a special place in our hearts.
Nori's Reply: Your story of Cinnamon, the calico cat is heart warming. I am glad she found you and you both enjoyed 5 years together. I hope you come back to Anguilla soon.
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