Dave the cat had been gone for a week. He hated earthquakes and the last we’d seen of him was his fluffed-out tail as he took off down the side of the house in the still second following the shallow 4.2.
We’d had seven days of our eyes tricking us into thinking he was lounging on the top of the goat paddock arch ready to torment the ladies as they came through for milking and seven nights of just maybe hearing his decidedly camp meow. For seven evenings we’d wandered the neighbourhood calling his name (because sound carries better then) and our posters were liberally dotted around our slice of New Brighton.
“Where can he be?” we pointlessly asked each other. Archie, the neighbourhood feline Godfather, made a house-call (much to Mel’s outrage) obviously wondering the same thing. “Is Dave back yet?” was the number one community question.
Then, on Monday morning most of our questions were answered.
Tim lives a block closer to New Brighton than us; our paths cross regularly but he had no idea the grey cat he found moments after it had been fatally hit by a car was ours. All he knew was this obviously loved pet deserved more than to be left in the gutter, so he stopped his day to bury our cat down by the river.
Five days later, Tim went for a stroll on the beach, exiting in our block and discovered one of our posters. He could have phoned or text us, but he chose to knock on the Homestead door. He took us to the place he had buried Dave and very tactfully, mindfully and graciously led us in ensuring that Dave is now resting on the Homestead.
So, our hearts are a little heavy at the moment. We miss Mr Dave and his foibles; his haphazard bathing method and absent-minded meercat impersonation when something caught his undivided attention. The Farmer will never again wake up with that furry grey head next to his on the pillow (not a practise encouraged, we hasten to add) nor play another end of cat curling (again, not encouraged on the grounds of cruelty – grounds which were repeatedly blown out of the water by the “stone” happily returning for delivery after delivery).
We are so very sorry for The Farmer who has lost much more than the rest of us.
But we are also incredibly grateful we live among folk like Tim.