Posting day: Sunday, and, sometimes, maybe, extra bits in between.
Sunday 22nd September 2019
Sylvia, known in the blog as ‘Polymath’, respected and celebrated the lives of all living creatures. If she knew of any animal in distress, she wouldn’t rest until she had rescued it, or, in later years, dispatched me do so!
Thus, I found myself once at the old RSPCA in Barnes Hill at 2.00 a.m. with a spinning squirrel who’d been hit on the head by a car outside her house or, on another occasion, in the dark one night, chasing a frightened baby herring gull round the back streets of Barmouth. It’d fallen from its nest on the flat roof of Barmouth Co-op.
A week later, when it had recuperated in her living room, I was required to teeter on the roof of her van in order to return it to the nest. (Apparently, gulls are one of the few birds who will accept their offspring even if they’ve been away and come back smelling of humans. Its parents came to greet it.)
She carried home Fluffy, a street kitten she found one wet night in the gutter in Rio, Brazil, and when she and her husband returned to Britain, Fluffy came too.
When I accidentally splashed fence paint on a young wood louse, she spent an hour carefully cleaning the tiny insect with minute shreds of damp tissue.
Sadly, Polymath, my friend of fifty-six years, was diagnosed, out of the blue, with a terminal illness just twelve days ago. She died last Thursday.
There were occasions on which I answered a phone call from her on a Wednesday or Sunday evening, and moaned, “I’m tired, and totally uninspired. I’ve only just begun this post, and it’s even boring me. I can’t publish this garbage.”
After admonishing me yet again for leaving post writing until the last minute, she’d invariably say, “It’s not about being inspired. Just get on with it!”
So that’s what I’ll do.
Isis came from the Aeza cat and dog rescue and adoption centre in Aljezur, Portugal. For information about adopting an animal from the centre, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or www.dogwatchuk.co.uk