In the 1930s, newly married Jack and Isla, acquired a common, ordinary, everyday, unpedigreed, plain, black cat.

A few years later, having visited the doctor, a tearful Jack reported to his wife: ‘My lungs are riddled with TB.’  As news of the diagnosis spread most of their friends fled—but not Cat.

Survival, before there were drugs to combat TB, lay in rest, food, faith and luck.  Jack’s chances were slim.  He was soon sent to the Royal Adelaide Hospital’s TB Ward—a shed made of corrugated iron.  While there one of his lungs was collapsed and toxic gold was injected into him.  After six hot—un-airconditioned—summer weeks there Jack returned home to be nursed by Isla.

Cat, sensing that Jack was very ill, lay quietly beside him on the bed.  For hours each day, through six whole seasons, Cat kept Jack company.  Some loyal, courageous, foolhardy friends who visited Jack witnessed Cat’s devotion.  Jack survived.  Eight years later I was born.

Years later, when I was about seven, my Mother cautioned me: ‘Your Father is upset today, Cat has died.’


Peter Adamson
True Story?: 

That is a great story! Sad

That is a great story! Sad about Cat.