An omnipresence of cats on a particular tomb in a rural cemetery has set tongues wagging in Santa Cruz de Mompox. This colony of felines made the vault of the Serrano family famous in the area.
The Serrano family is well-known in the historic town of Santa Cruz de Mompox, Colombia, which sits on a river island. Don Victor, the father, was a brilliant surgeon and Alfredo, his charismatic son, died of a heart condition at age 36.
Yet, something else increased the family’s notoriety. Since Alfredo’s premature death in the parking lot of an airport in Bogota, a peculiar phenomenon has occurred on the grave where he rests with his grandparents.
Legend has it that the first cat mysteriously appeared at the funeral of Alfredo. The rapid increase in the number of these creatures was visible within just a few days. They acted as if they were guarding his grave by claiming custody of it.
With the colony’s steady growth over the years, this vault is now home to well over a dozen cats and is rarely empty. Somehow, there is always at least one cat watching over the place.
Tarsicio Martinez, the cemetery grave keeper, told Revista metro:
“Alfredo’s tomb is the sacred chamber of the cats.”
The locals quickly realized the animals rarely visited the other graves in the cemetery, so the gossip started.
To add to the spooky tales, it so happened that the men in The Serrano family are called El Gato (the cat in Spanish). The tradition came from their patriarch Julio Serrano Rojas, who got his friends’ cheeky nickname regarding his hairiness.
Coincidentally, the departed Alfredo Serrano loved felines, according to close friends and family members. Hence, if they were lost and had to sleep on the sidewalk of a neglected street in his hometown of Mompox, he would take them in.
The late man felt a sense of protectiveness towards animals. His father took him hunting when he was a young lad.
Alfredo didn’t enjoy the family sport in the least. He promptly told his father that he disagreed with the custom and believed all species should be allowed to survive as long as possible.
Despite this age-old hunting tradition, the young El Gato was unyielding in his resolve.
Numerous theories, stories, and speculations have emerged in response to the tale of Alfredo Serrano, El Gato, some of which connect him with witchcraft and superstition.
These rumors of a pact with the devil do not faze Alfredo’s father, Don Victor. On the contrary, he considers them as a form of acknowledgment.
A tour guide thinks that with the history of the cats, the people of Mompox created a tale to lend a touch of mystery. In the meantime, the Serrano tomb continues to draw interested visitors.