…..'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.

Merry warned me.  She was right.  This was one wild cat.  When I got near the cage the roaring got even louder.  Jasper truly rocked the neighbourhood when he got going.  He didn't do it often, but when he did, no matter how deep a sleep on that 'braw bricht moolicht nicht', you'd be out of it without any bother.  Which of course would mean every house around would also be full of wakeful, less than pleased, human beings.

Now it felt like needles coming against my eardrums.  What's more it was clear he'd been overusing his voice.  Like an opera singer who had strained.

I reached out and lifted a corner of the towel that covered the cage.  Straight away the claws were poking through.  Thankfully, it was a bird cage and therefore having very narrow-gauged bars, because had be got the whole paw through I may not have had any skin left on the back of my hand.

Lifting the towel further, we finally made eye contact.  The roar stopped

We stared at each other for what felt like 4 billion hours, but was probably only about 30 seconds.  Then he started again, only this time it was directly at me and not at the world in general.  I think it went something like…
"You have NO idea what it was like..."

"Where the **** have you been?!  Have you any idea what I've ^^%%%%% been through?!  Could you not have even tried a (***&%$*() bit harder to find me?!!!" and various other sentiments to that effect.

Merry, watching all this, muttered "He knows you then."  Typical laconic Aussie !

Dropping the towel back over Jasper, I made my regards and farewells to Merry and tentatively picked the cage up by the hanging ring.  What might normally have been a 10-12 minute walk was made in under 5 minutes.  He scared me that much.

Once we got home, I left the cage in the shade of the veranda on the table.  I didn't want Jade putting her nose anywhere near those claws or the relationship may have taken a nasty turn.  She circled the table and did stand up on her hind legs, but couldn't get near the cage.   She barked a bit at first for she couldn’t see Jasper and also he must have smelled somewhat different after his travails.

Jasper quietened quite quickly.  After an hour I lifted the towel off.  He was resting but on the alert.  This time though, he seemed to fully realise who I was and that he was safe again.  No more hiss and spit.  No more yowling.  I put a small amount of food and some milk up beside the cage, then opened the door. (Those of you who had perhaps been thinking budgerigar should now realise we are talking parrot cage.  Plenty room.)  At last I was able to take good measure of his condition.  He was slow to leave the cage, but the lure of his favourite fish meat did the trick.  My beautiful silver boy of nearly 7kgs had become an almost uniform grey of the dull muddy kind and was down to less than 3kgs.  (Confirmed that later when he let me hold him again and we stood on the scales - and no it wasn't because I had put on 4kgs!)

One can only surmise what he had been through and how he'd survived.  Almost certainly it would have been lizards and bugs for food and possibly a mouse or two.  Not enough of them either.  The vet said it was surely due to Jasper's hunting prowess that he had lived at all.  He had to have one tooth extracted which had loosened.  Other than that, apart from weight loss, he was okay.

The emotional damage was there though.  For months he never left the grounds.  He hated when I left home.  When I was home he wanted only to be near me.  Thankfully he also let Jade cuddle and tease and play as before, but it took a while for her to cajole him.  She'd bring a stick and sit patiently, wanting him to take the other end for tug of war.

Never having wanted to share her throwing toys with him before, she'd bring them and drop them in front of Jasper.  Once he got over the first traumatic weeks, he began to show interest in these and Jade had created a new game between them.  As soon as Jasper made his move, she'd grab and toss it away; then wait for him to head towards it and race him.  Then again she'd toss it.  All the way to the back fence, round the tree and down again.   Jasper had the good sense to only go through this routine once on any given day.

So we worked ourselves out.  There was one major change though.  Until that time, Jasper had been very tolerant of joining in bath time.  Jet would get bathed.  Jade would get bathed,  then Jasper's turn.  Then they'd all lie out on the grass together sun-drying.  Now though, clearly due to the dreadful water torture he must have endured, Jasper was no way going to have another bath.  I did manage to get the worst of the yucky off him.  After that though, he ensured his own grooming.

He did let me start brushing him again and doing our nightly massage (flea and tick search - Sydney is bad for these and even proprietary  solutions fell short of their  promises).  But as soon as the sound of water in bucket reached his ears he became invisible.

The trouble was, Jade observed this and from that day forward bath time with Jade became a serious operation, involving more exercise for mum than in a standard walk!

More antics with J's next week, wherein you will read of the monstering of Jade by the bully next door...

Don't forget to visit Bozo and give Puddles a "hello" too!


  1. Oh my goodness, Yam. Poor Jasper! I take this to mean he was missing in action for quite a while.
    Poor you, too.
    And poor Jade. I used to have a cat-and-dog duo who were very close. The cat would insist upon coming along when I walked the dog, or else meet us halfway en route with a smug look on his face. When the dog died, the cat spent weeks looking for "his" dog. I didn't follow him, but I'm sure he went along the walking route quite often during his searches.

  2. Hari Om
    Kay - yes if they form a bond, cat and dog are as close as anything. Keep reading.....

    Mahal - you ol' sukhi you!!


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