Sassy cat to be remembered

A WARRACKNABEAL resident cat will be remembered as a community personality with sass and attitude. 

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the vet cat, Juliet passed away recently. 

Veterinarian Dr Brian Clarke first adopted her as a kitten about 13 years ago, where she then made B and C Clarke Vets and Veterinarians Practice her home. 

Dr Clarke described her as having a “one of a kind” personality. 

“She would come in and would spend time smooching me and she would love to sit in your lap with her head on your shoulder. And if someone would come in or if there was any disturbance she was away,” Dr Clarke said. 

“She dictated how much attention she had. If she wanted attention, okay. But if she didn’t, look out.

“She’d give a swat with her paw and that was enough. People often got swatted. It got to the situation where I’d give her one or two pats and that was enough.”

Dr Clarke said Juliet never strayed too far from the clinic, except the one time she jumped into the back of a client’s vehicle. 

“We had a client from the other side of Birchip, he was here with a dog. Juliet got in the back of his ute and didn’t hop out and went home with him,” he said. 

“He wasn’t a cat person at all so he didn’t take much notice of her. When we realised she was missing Lauren (former vet nurse) rang around to see if any one had seen her. 

“We eventually got onto this fella. So Lauren went and picked her up. She was over there for three or four days. She was quite happy to come home, she didn’t get in a vehicle after that.”

Juliet made it clear with all the other cats in the neighbourhood, the corner of Devereux and Woolcock Street was her territory. 

“She made it apparent too, even the hardware cat (Moses), that he wasn’t allowed on her corner,” Dr Clarke said. 

“Moses owns the town, but that corner was the only place he wouldn’t go. Juliet didn’t tolerate him coming across the road.” 

“She adopted that area, she didn’t wander any further. The surgery was her home.”

Juliet, with her lion-like mane was well known to many community members. 

She could often be seen lazing about the front of the practice. 

Veterinarian receptionist Kate Williamson described her as a “Domestic Long hair cat, with attitude,” she laughed. 

Ms Williamson, started working at the clinic in 2008, the year after Dr Clarke adopted her. 

She said Juliet made it a habit of hiding in boxes, often too small for her stature. 

Dr Anthony James, recently purchased the practice and Juliet was subsequently part of the deal, knowing she was unlikely to leave her post. 

“She was a character and I agreed to inherit her with the clinic,” Dr James said. 

“She was the boss of the clinic.” 

He said out of respect he would like to create a “Buddhist contemplation memorial” for her at the clinic, to pay tribute to her passing soul. 

“My plan is to keep her memory alive through a proper memorial rather than just a plaque stuck on the wall,” he said. 

“There’s a famous saying that’s ‘To live in one’s heart is to never die’, that’s a philosophy I tell my kids. I’m hoping a memory like this will be tasteful.” 

A dog at the clinic attacked Juliet, resulting in her death. 

Dr James said the dog is typically a well tempered animal, however didn’t gel well with cats. 

“We had him in the back of the clinic, he got out when he shouldn’t have,” he said. 

“He’s naturally a very friendly dog he’s good with children and with other dogs but he’s got a dislike for cats.  Everyone was absolutely devastated by it; especially Kate and Brian.

“I wanted the clinic to be dog friendly and cat friendly but as the saying goes ‘best made plans with mice and men will soon go asunder’.”