Eigh­teen years ago,

NZ Lifestyle Block - - From The Editor -

I trav­elled to my par­ent’s block for Christ­mas and went home with three kit­tens.

They were com­pletely wild. Their mother was a black cat who was part of an out-of-con­trol colony on a neigh­bour­ing farm. My par­ents trapped and neutered the cats that moved onto their land, even­tu­ally feed­ing a small group of six for years.

Jack, Ge­orge and Darcy were the last kit­tens. They were asleep in a pipe when I hap­pened to spot them. It was a risk – wild kit­tens can be pretty vi­cious and I lit­er­ally have the scars to prove it. But I jammed a hand over ei­ther end and took off run­ning. A cou­ple of days later, ‘ the boys’ were tame and I was buy­ing ev­ery­thing in trip­li­cate.

They lived with me in Welling­ton, and I’d take them with me when I went north. They would sleep for the 620km car trip. A few times they flew Air NZ.

Once at their other ‘home’, they’d go to find their mother (who was now fixed and liv­ing in the small group). They would greet each other with love, bump­ing heads and sleep­ing to­gether.

Ge­orge and Darcy were the ideal cats: snug­gly, af­fec­tion­ate, al­ways sweet. But their brother Jack... wasn’t. He was aloof and re­ally gave at­ti­tude. If he was an­noyed – and he was al­ways an­noyed, it seemed – he would spray urine on some­thing. It tooks years to stop this be­hav­iour and made life pretty stress­ful.

Then one day he met the love of his life. His per­son. It wasn’t me. Af­ter 15-odd years of bad be­hav­iour, you could have knocked me over with a feather. He swooned. He was be­sot­ted. He would wrap him­self around his beloved at any op­por­tu­nity.

Ge­orge died aged 14, Darcy fol­lowed at 16. A cou­ple of weeks ago, we let Jack go too. This very old man is now in the or­chard with his brothers in the plum sec­tion. Ev­ery time the Billing­ton bursts into flower, I’ll re­mem­ber my boys.

The road to my heart is paved with paw prints

Nadene Hall, Edi­tor

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.