As Lismore flooded, Danyon Saxe-Wilson awoke to a pool around his mattress and the family’s very insistent white cat, Kimba, pawing at his face, urging him to get up and go.
In the mad scramble out the window, onto a caravan floating by and then back onto his roof – before being rescued by a hero in a tinnie – Danyon, 26, lost track of Kimba.
In the 13 weeks since, Danyon and his family have been searching for a new place to live, processing their trauma and holding out enough hope to keep posting on local lost pet pages about their beloved rescue cat.
And then, on Monday, a small miracle. Someone posted to the social media page that they had spotted a “very friendly” white cat at a car yard in town.
A half a dozen friends and strangers tagged Danyon’s father Gray Wilson asking, “Is this Kimba?”
Gray rushed down, parked in front of the yard, and whistled the same tune he used to call Kimba for dinner.
“He came straight out through the roller door … I saw him, he saw me, and we knew straight away,” Gray said.
“He then proceeded to shout at me as if to say: ‘Where the fuck have you been?’ I was just so stoked. I couldn’t believe it.”
Within minutes Kimba was sound asleep, purring in a basket in Gray’s car.
“You’d be amazed. He was fighting fit. He always hated other cats so he was forever fighting and he had some fresh scars but other than that, he looked fine.
“He loves to hunt mice, so I suspect he was helping with the rodent problem in the Lismore CBD.”
Gray was incredibly grateful to local residents who kept an eye out for his cat, all while dealing with their own challenges.
He wishes cats could talk because he is sure Kimba would have a pretty impressive story to tell.
“How the hell did he survive the second flood?” Gray wonders.
While the family still doesn’t have a place to call home, Gray, his partner, Danyon and fellow cats Neelix and Ra are grateful to be back together.
“I always felt that he was all right – classic hippy stuff – but the question was whether or not I was going to see him again,” Gray said, while Kimba sat atop his lap.
“I might have to rename him Velcro. He’s sticking to me like glue. My beautiful boy.”