'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)

Monday is menosukhi day - the one in which I go all sentimental. For a few weeks this means you are sharing my memories of two darling creatures, Jade Dog MacWoof and Jasper Cat MacMeow.

(Left you hanging last week didn't I?  Sorry about that.  Space and time commitments, as they say in the newsprint biz.)

Jasper didn't turn up for breakfast.  Neither was he there waiting for tea when I returned from college that day.  Jade was more than attentively welcoming and once we'd done all our usual meet, greet and eat routine, she varied the pattern.  Instead of heading out for a sniff round the garden, she kept by my side.  Every now and then she'd go and stand by the back door, sniffing the air.  Then return to be at my feet.

At first I wondered if she'd been traumatised by the rat massacre the night before.  I was still shaking, certainly.  However, she did it a number of times at almost equal intervals (approx 40 minutes) and I began to think she was looking for Jasper.

No doubt she would have picked up on my worry, though I was trying to keep a cool head on it.   However, they were constant companions and obviously she was thinking there was something amiss.  Another storm began, so the plan I was formulating regarding a walk/search was knocked on the head. The early storms in Sydney can be quite frightening even on a normal day - but that was about the time that the freak 'mini cyclone' type storm cells started happening on a regular basis.  It had been since the storm two nights previous that we had not seen him.

I rang the vet, in case anyone had reported sighting him.  I rang the pound.  I rang the local fire station (the one to which the truck belonged that had wondered about Jasper's walking with us).  I stood on the back verandah and called and called and called.

Next morning I took a flyer up to the vet for the noticeboard and stuck several up round the neighbourhood - with Jade's assistance of course.

The vet nurse looked a tad pensive when I told her, then she admitted that the police had warned them there was a spate of catnappings going on in the area.  Not just any and every cat (which may have pointed to the local chop-shop… one Vietnamese place in Sydney's South had been closed down due to misrepresentation of "meat product" improperly appropriated a few months prior to this).

No.  This gang were after pure breeds.  Three Siamese, a Burmese and two Silver Tabbies had gone missing in two weeks.  Now as explained in an earlier post, Jasper was a handsome boy and to the untrained eye would look pure Silver Tabby.  I tried not to panic.
"Did you get my best side?  I can wiggle a whisker if you wish."

Jade fretted.

Then I fretted because she fretted. 

So we fretted together.

By day seven the vet advised it was unlikely, had he simply wandered astray, that he would be returning.  The other scenario was just as cruel to think about.  I took Jade for one enormous walk and we double checked all our established paths, nooks and crannies, calling out (by me) sniffing and whuffing (by both of us).  When we got home that Saturday night I snuggled Jade close, telling her we would have to get on with life in Jasper's absence.  For some reason he had been taken from us but we should remember the good times.

I bawled then and Jade licked the tears away.

During the night there was a truly horrifying storm.  I was having palpitations from it, expecting any moment for the roof to be trashed and the walls to crumble.  Jade had snuck up on the bed beside me - the first time I had allowed that in her 16 months.  Of course it signalled the end of THAT discipline!

Next morning our woes were compounded.  Going out to feed Jet and Flint I found them with their toes pointing skyward.  Quite literally.  Jet was 6 and three quarter years old, which is truly ancient in guinea pig terms but Flint was only about 4 years.  The vet told me that they almost certainly suffered stress from the storm and it was likely to be heart attack.  A common thing in the species. 

The top of the yard developed two little mounds with a jasmine cutting planted over them.

It was cathartic as it turned out.  Jade and I made a ceremony for the two 'wee men' and included Jasper in proceedings, in absentia.  Half an hour after this - Sunday afternoon - the telephone rang.

"Hello, I live two streets up from you and have you found your cat? - I spotted the flyer".  Well, no.  Resigned to not doing so, but thank you for caring.

"Is it possible he would be living in the storm drainage system?  You see, I have a culvert in my yard and there's a wild beast in there resembling the photo on your paper.  My son is getting his welding gloves and goggles to try and lift him out."

Can you imagine my heart at that moment?  I nearly joined the 'wee men'!  I was over to the lady's house in 3 minutes flat having yelled at Jade to guard the house until I came back with her big brother.  

A senior lady, Merry was a delight.  Her son had already been and gone, so I never met him to thank him (not a cat man apparently and not happy at mum's request for assistance!)  She had sacrificed an old towel to assist the rescue and they'd got Jasper into an old bird cage.  It seemed that she had been hearing a cat's voice for about three days but only this sunny Sunday, when putting out the laundry, had she looked down and got the surprise of seeing two bright green eyes looking up at her through the culvert grating!

Merry thought (and I had to agree) that Jasper must have been washed down the storm drain in the side road by the railway during the big storm of 8 days previous.  The water would not have spared him and it is likely a miracle he didn't drown.  Having been swept into the system, he may have become disoriented and unable to retrace the path.  Somehow he had turned the right bend to be in Merry's back yard and had not moved from there - clearly working out that he could be found.

I should point out that during all this conversation, I had not yet lifted the towel to look at Jasper.  The roaring and yowling that was going on plus the tearing and biting of the towel cover told me that it might not be the best thing to do quite yet.  Let him settle I thought to myself.  Merry had put on the kettle (as you do in such situations) and we had our getting to know you and session.

Then there was no delaying any more.

...to be continued (I know, I know!  Forgive me…?)

Don't forget to drop over to BOZO and do take a look at what the cats are upto.


  1. Oh, you are TOO cruel to a cat-and-dog person. Such a terrifying tale.

  2. Hari OM
    Kay - Kya karo? It is a long tale and I can remember every detail so that tells you the effect upon me at the time!! Just sharing some of that around between friends now &>

    Mahal - yes. Me too. Gone but not forgotten - they are turning out to be one of the busiest posts! xx


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