Willow’s Garden Antics, New Cat Job, and Flesh Wounds

It’s hard moving to a new city. I know that might sound silly as the whole premise of the last 8 years of my life has been about moving to new places, but what I know now is that when you’ve decided to stay in one particular place- it’s hard.

The reality is that I have always had one foot out the door.

The freedom of van life is such that anywhere and everywhere is your home. When you’re travelling and things get hard there’s always hope that the next town will be better, and with our campervan as our home, we have always had the freedom to move on at moment’s notice.

Now we are renting a little flat in the inner suburbs of Perth and it’s a big change. Sure, we spent 18 months in Hobart not too long ago, but that was my home town and we had family and friends there.

But there is one thing that has made things easier- I have a new job. Cat Haven is one of Australia’s largest cat shelters with an intake of over 7,500 cats every year. They provide veterinary care and find homes for cats in need from all over Western Australia.

I’m proud to now be a part of this prestigious organisation that has had its roots in Perth since the 1960s. My role as a marketing officer will allow me to have a direct impact on the welfare of cats in need.

The first project I’m working on is building up a volunteer team to assist in our daily social media activities. You might remember that I completed a similar project at Ten Lives Cat Centre in Hobart.

I’m so glad to have this opportunity to once again be a part of an animal welfare organisation. It certainly gives me a great sense of purpose to be able to build a career like this, and it’s come at a time that I would otherwise be feeling a bit lost.

Talking of Ten Lives, Steph and I said goodbye to Willow to fly down to Tassie for 10 days to visit friends and family. Of course, I had to drop into my old work and even got to say hi to some new faces. It was nice to see the progress they had made on their building upgrade project.

Unfortunately, I had a little accident in Hobart.

I was up on a roof cleaning gutters when I sliced my forearm open on the sheet metal. I looked down to see blood dripping everywhere and a nice gash. In days past, I would have bandaged it up myself and driven myself to the hospital – or stuck it back together with some superglue – but I like to think I’m a bit wiser now; I called Dad to help me. After 3.5hrs waiting at the urgent care clinic, I broke a new record of four stitches surpassing the three I got when a surfboard fin hit the back of my head in Coffs Harbour in 2016.

The doctor said I was very lucky as if it was any deeper, I would have been in tendon territory. Anyhow, it’s healing nicely and today I took the stitches out- yes I know, but that newfound wisdom to ask for help when in need only extends so far, and it proved to be a quick job with a pin and some nail scissors.

We are back home in Perth now and Willow was very happy to be picked up from boarding.

The city rumbles in a way that little Hobart does not. I’m so grateful that we have a place to live but oh is it hard to get used to the constant noise. Upstairs our neighbours sound like they are harbouring a flock of flighty kangaroos as they thump and bang at all hours. We are sharing a complex of 72 units which were built long before sound insulation was a thing; and the slamming doors, people yelling in the carpark.

Sometimes, I daydream about those outback nights when the only thing disturbing my sleep was the gentle snores of a little black cat.

Willow loves the courtyard outside out flat, but has some rather peculiar habits. Of course, she has, and always will, love a good dust bath but her latest thing is a whole lot weirder. Whenever I put the hose on she will seek it out and sit right next to it with her tail splashing in the water. You are a strange cat, Willow!

If there is one thing I have learnt over the years it’s that home is where your cat is.

Right now, the three of us are here, together, so that makes it home. Sometimes, as I’m scratching Willow under the chin I sniff the top of her head and that smells like home also, and of course, Steph’s hugs feel like home.

Sure, we could jump in the van and go, and or course, we have plans for new trips at some point, but right now, we need community, and we need to make some friends in this new city.

* * *

Thanks for reading! Below is a snap of Steph, her dad, and Willow. It didn’t quite fit into this post but here it is anyway. Steph’s Dad loves cats and when he visited us Willow always knew that she’d get a treat if she hung around him!

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