One of the best ways of dealing with grief and the passing of someone beloved (whether that be a friend, family member, or pet) is to think about the good times.
There are plenty of funny and amusing stories Noel and I could tell you about our cheeky cat Phoebe, who we sadly had to put to sleep on Monday after a short illness, pictured above in one of her more mischievous moods, but one that keeps sticking out in my mind is an earthquake story we have about her.
Now, an earthquake like the 22 February 2011 quake that struck Christchurch, causing heavy damage and quite a few casualties is not something to laugh at. But even in the darkest moments, there is light, humanity, and humour.
We’d returned home to find our house thankfully in one piece but stuff was down everywhere. Jenah and Levi were scared (and rightfully so) while Phoebe had that attitude of “meh” that she always seemed to have. Sissy was hiding, spread out flat under the couch, and that took us a while to find her, fearing (at first) that she was under a pile of suitcases or other larger objects down around the place.
While we had water, electricity, internet, and pretty much everything but phones, we knew that it might not last, so Noel and I took measures to safeguard ourselves as much as we could. Noel filled the bathtub up with hot water from the water cylinder (as we knew that had been boiled and contained no contaminants) to a moderately deep level, but not deep enough to have a large aftershock slosh the water all over the place. He closed the door and walked away from our emergency water supply. (I had been prepared enough to buy bottled water a few weeks previously, just in case.)
Our friends Dave and Shaun and Emma and Phil came to stay with us as Emma and Phil had lost many of their services to their apartment, and Dave and Shaun wanted to be with other people. It was a very safe feeling to be all together in one place.
The next day, somehow the bathroom door was left open. None of us really thought much about it as we were still dealing with the trauma from the day before. Phoebe and Sissy were somewhere in the house, as they normally were; we’d assumed they were sleeping on our bed or in the sun or something.
Suddenly, we heard a splash. All of us looked at one another — a splash? — and then it dawned on us that the bathroom door was open…
Out came a soaked Phoebe. She didn’t seem angry or upset, but she did have this look of, “Oh, by the way, the water in the bathtub hasn’t evaporated yet. Just checking.”
Normally, Sissy is the water-obsessed cat, but obviously curiosity got the better of Phoebe and she fell into the tub.
Needless to say, we all found it pretty funny, but we ended up using all that water for non-drinking purposes!
Below, here’s a clip of the Wolf from Shrek. This is the same attitude Phoebe always seemed to have, and a nonchalant “What?” became the catch phrase Noel and I would use for some of her rather “meh” looks.