The conversation turned to cats … the love of their lives. Val [Rivers] recently inherited two 20 year olds - that’s about 140 years old in human terms - both on their last legs if they could stand up straight. To keep them comfortable while she was at the reunion, Val had an automatic heater set up to protect them from the desert cold of Burra. She also had a series of plastic bags ready for a daily inspection by a kind neighbour. One was for food, another for kitty litter and there were two larger bags should mortality occur to ease the shock and pain of the good neighbour. Just slip them into the bags and let the garbo attend to in their final dispatch.
During Val’s interview for ASOPA she was asked, “And what do you think of ‘self-determination’?” She retorted, “Oh, I’m a very self-determined woman. I never give up.”
Val told us of her wedding mishap. She went ‘South’ to select a fashionable gown and accompanied the precious cargo back to Lae. Val, a devout Catholic, struck up a conversation with a fellow traveller - a nun - who had an identical port. Guess who got the habit and who had the wedding dress? The nun was tracked down in Wewak. But the gown, now stored among Val’s prized collection of period costumes in Burra, arrived the day after the wedding.
[Bill’s full article will be in the November issue of ‘The Mail’]