Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Rest in peace, Cloudie

When the wind blows gently through the eucalyptus trees, stop and listen, for you hear the spirit of the koala calling to you...

From koalawrangler's gallery.
Dear little Cloud, one of the hospital's longest-serving residents was put to rest on Saturday. She had developed a debilitating respiratory infection, so it was decided that it would be kinder for her to be euthanased. After 13 years as the hospital's most famous resident, she was put to rest in yard 9, where she spent her days with the other old girls.

I didn't really 'know' Cloud that well since I've rarely been assigned to yard 9. Many of the volunteers who have lovingly tended to Cloudie over the years are crushed by her passing. In the short time I've been at the hospital I've begun to understand how a feeling of kinship can develop with these animals; yet, paradoxically, it's simply not a relationship you can have with an animal that isn't domesticated. The logic of this knowledge still doesn't stem the loss. The swell of feeling upon Cloud's death from volunteers, as well as those who have adopted her over the years, is a testament to her sweet nature, but also to human nature; the way we develop feelings of intensity in relationships with animals -- relationships that can only ever be one-sided.

As they say here at the hospital, Cloud is now basking in the sun in that great gumtree in the sky.