Weather: Strong winds with hail showers, brighter later and cold
A morning spent at the weekly yoga session (not me, obviously). I wandered down to the Calmac terminal to make some enquiries about travel to the islands. It is very complicated without a car, which is a pity, as a number of people who wish to visit us will need public transport. At the same time, the Ferry, splendidly named the ‘Clansman’ and registered in Glasgow was approaching the pier in Lochmaddy. There is something special about the arrival and departure of ferries to the islands. Often when enquiring about the whereabouts of a newspaper I am told that ‘the ferry didn’t bring them’ There is a mystique that surrounds them. Not everybody shares my enthusiasm for such things, but the arrival of the ferry always suggests exciting possibilities to me, and I am always curious to see who disembarks. Much of the day is spent doing administrative jobs, making phone calls etc. using the old house before we move all of our affairs to the Cottage at Minish. We had a quiet evening at the house.
Both cats went out during the night at various stages. Although Ange has become more adventurous and it staying out for longer periods, Gaby is always the first to go out and the keenest to explore.
A Terrible Day
Weather: Very light winds, hazy sunshine
At 6am Gaby, our cat was outside. We called him, but he did not come. Nicola was worried about him as he always came when whistled or called. We both tried calling for him. At around 7am we decided to go and see if he was OK. We put on some warm clothing and wellington boots and went looking for him, calling as we went. We looked in different directions for maybe half an hour when I came upon him on the road. He had been hit by a car and killed instantly. I picked him up and screamed long and loud I was so upset, it was unbearable and I knew that when Nicola saw him she would be devastated. Judging by his injuries, he must have died instantly. I picked up his body to bring it back to the house. It was still warm and I laid it in the garden whilst Nicola and I collected our thoughts and shared our grief. Gaby has been with Nicola since he was a kitten. He jumped into her bag on the first occasion that they met and they had developed a special bond. She was distraught at the sight of him.
We both understand that many cats are killed in this way but had thought that Gaby would not stray so far as there is lots of ground surrounding the house. He has lived in far more dangerous environments and was aware of the danger of cars. It seems like an irony that here of all places, where cars are rare, and that there is so much space for them to explore, that he was hit by one. He loved this place and never seemed to tire of exploring it. He was beautiful, eager, affectionate and loving cat – his loss is incalculable.
We buried his body in the garden, in view of the front window between two trees. When this tearful event was accomplished, and to break the sadness, we drove to the beach at Balashare, a very beautiful beach, where we chose a suitable stone for his grave. We returned to the cottage and put the marker with a lone daffodil bloom on Gaby’s grave. Ange, our white cat came to greet us. The rest of the day was spent in sadness.