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Vale Cato. RIP.

September 2, 2014

Cato DSCN9969The animal that you can get closest to at our place (if you pretend to be looking in the other direction) is the Swamp or Black Wallaby (Wallabia bicolor). Walking at a steady pace can sometimes get you within metres of these beautiful animals. Swamp Wallabies are the only living species of the genus Wallabia. They are solitary creatures coming together only to breed. Each animal has a distinct range that they defend aggressively from other wallabies, as you can tell by their shredded ears. In fact it is this feature by which you can identify individual animals. We have five Swamp Wallabies with ranges on our property. One of these we have named Cato. Those of a certain age may remember Cato Fong, the Chinese man-servant of the Peter Sellers’ character, Inspector Jacques Clouseau in the movie Return of the Pink Panther. Cato used to hide in the Inspector’s house and attack him by surprise, so that the Inspector could keep his martial arts skills honed.

Cato (the Wallaby’s) home range covers our eastern slope and includes the dirt road and the neighbour’s steep gully. As with Cato Fong, our Cato would regularly launch surprise attacks on our car as we made our way up the road, sometimes leaping from the upper road-side bank to land seemingly within inches of our 4WD to then continue across the road and down the gully. We were ever vigilant for Cato’s next raid.

At dusk last week we were walking down our winding and steep road when a car came hurtling around the corner, way too fast for the road conditions let alone the fact there were wallabies and roos grazing on the road side. We managed to jump out of the way and the car continued at a rapid pace around the next bend. As we rounded the bend we found Cato dead in the middle of the road.

I know, given where we live it is probably just a matter of time before we all collect an animal with our cars, even if we are careful. What I don’t understand is how you can hit an animal and not stop to render assistance or worse still leave it lying in the middle of a single lane, steep and winding dirt lane for the next unsuspecting driver to confront as they come driving around the bend.

Vale Cato. You gave us hours of entertainment as we tried to predict where your next attack was coming from. RIP.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Di Foletta permalink
    September 2, 2014 3:51 pm

    Sad story, many people travel too fast, and don’t care what they hit, you see it far too often

  2. Ken permalink
    September 2, 2014 9:33 pm

    Ron. Very sad story. Sad that people drive so fast and care so little. Ken

  3. Estelle Lawrence permalink
    September 3, 2014 8:06 am

    So sorry to hear of Cato’s death he must have been so beautiful my love to you both xx

  4. September 3, 2014 10:17 pm

    I usually like your posts but this one was hard to ‘like’. Sad.

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