In 2001 my late husband and I decided to return to our home in Canada after living five glorious years in Perth, Western Australia. During our stay in Perth, we acquired one four legged three pawed dog, a cross-eyed cat and a tortie with an attitude.

 birdwatching lily

The only way I would agree to having animals there, knowing we would some day return home, was if we could bring them home with us. In hindsight I think I would not have had animals (and what a sad house that would have been) because the trip was so arduous for our fur babies. They flew from Perth to Singapore, Singapore to London and from London to Toronto. That meant a few ups and downs and while they were well cared for at these stops, what I found when I picked them up in Toronto was that they were very traumatized by the noise level of tow motors etc. 

At any rate Bree, the Kelpi dog recognized my voice right away as did little Clara the cross-eyed cat. Lily, the attitudinal tortie, was traumatized the most. After "claiming" them at imports we all settled in for the 2 hour drive to our temporary residence. I kept the kitties in the room where I was staying but then my hostess suggested I let them out of the room to roam the house. This worked well until day 4 when all of a sudden Lily was no where to be found. We searched the house high and low. This was a very old house, I might add, with plenty of places to hide. My biggest worry was that she had gotten outside as both kitties are indoor cats.

I was devastated to have lost her and when my husband and I spoke (he was still in Australia) I had to tell him that HIS cat had disappeared. When my husband arrived a few weeks later, Lily still had not shown up and I had left the temporary residence (without Lily) to help us settle in to our own home.

My husband and I toured the area and looked everywhere for her. It was farm country and we stopped and asked people and even walked some of their landscape calling out for her. We called the local radio station and had it announced, called the shelters in the area and still nothing.

We had moved from a little apartment into our own home by the time I got the call from the lady where I had originally stayed. She said "You will never guess who has shown up?" While our friend had not "seen" Lily ... she had seen paw impressions all over the bed I had slept in.

We dashed over there right away and called "Lily" and out she came, a shadow of her former self but Lily just the same. Needless to say she was warmly welcomed as we scooped her up and headed for home. This call came six weeks to the day that Lily had disappeared. We don't know where she had gone but we do know that the night she decided to disappear, she came and licked the lady whose home we were staying in as well as myself. Now Lily had never in all the time she had lived with us ever licked anyone but it is as though she wanted to say her goodbyes. We will never know of course and I can only tell you that now (after yet another move) she purrs and licks every day.

Incidentally, there was no quarantine required upon our return as Australia remains rabies free. We just had to ensure that all of the required injections were given.

All 3 fur babies remain with me today.

Judith Murphy (Canada)

One Cat is Company

"One cat is company.
Two cats are a conspiracy. 
Three cats is an attempted takeover.
Four or more cats is a complete coup!"

Shona Steele (Australia)

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