Paw prints in the sand
photo from Dommie final visit to the ocean Ramadan 2010
We packed all Dommie things into the car. He did not come back into the house the whole day. We looked for him and he was in the laundry room next to the servant quarters at the back of the villa.
He was placed into the orange cat carrier and taken to the car. A blue towel covered that carrier as Riam was still spooked by that orange cat carrier even after 2 years.
The four of us then drove off, reaching Harban village where Omer stayed.
My wife took the carrier into Omer's house. I could not have carried the carrier, not with Riamfada on my shoulder.
Dommie was released and the carrier hidden away. I came into his house with Riamfada. Dommie went around sniffing everywhere. He had been taken to Omer about 4 or 5 times. I could not and do not wish to read back to check. Reading back is getting difficult for me now.
Perhaps he recognised his old smell, or maybe some new smells were there begging to be sniffed at. But Dommie seemed to be at home and curled now and then to Omer and his wife. I was very happy to see him did that, as well as seeing the delight on Omer and his wife.
Dom then meowed at the closed door. My wife told them he wished to be let out. Despite the earlier visits and that Dom came back to the house, I could not help being a bit nervous as you recalled Katie never came back.
I went out with the excuse I needed ciggie. To see Dom jumping and walking on top of the compound wall, and jumping outside. Dom went exploring. I followed him as best as I could with Riamfada to the outside lane. I called him to be given a cursory look and ignored as he went exploring into other people's compound.
The folks there called out to me as they knew me well from my futile attempts to look for Katie. I was glad there remembered me, and Dommie too by name. Needless to say, none of them would ever forget Riamfada on my shoulder even if they could not quite get her name.
Dom went further and hurried faster away when I hurried after him. He got up on a high 8 foot wall, well beyond my ability to peer over unlike the other 5 foot walls. He dropped over the other side.
I resigned myself and went back to Omer house. And saw a bunch of neighbourhood kids. I entertained them with recalls of Riamfada to their delight. They then went on to call more kids as if the circus was in town and the clown was me. Riam had a liking for kids. I liked them too, and knew their goodwill was important for Dommie too. The photos flashed out, of Dommie and us all in the ocean and other places.
My wife and Omer came down from the roof and said Dommie was back again. I was relieved to see Dommie again. Perhaps Dom had a good mental map. Perhaps it was as my wife said she called to him and he turned around in the field and came back.
We went back to the house and Dom seemed to like it there. Now and then, he meowed to be let out. And then later on, he meowed to be let in.
Dusk fell. To see Dom out again, disappearing, and then reappearing was comforting.
Dom got over his distaste for kids unlike his earlier fear of kids earlier on. That these kids did not stone him helped a lot. And I liked to think these kids would not let other kids throw stones at Dommie either as they were amazed at the sight of Dommie in the ocean and likely to spread that on to other kids in the village.
My wife took photos. I think it unlikely I have the heart to go through the photos and post that up.
Dom came in and out of the room. I was gratified to see Dom eating his kitty kibbles. I decided teaching Omer to do kitty mash to be too complicated to attempt. Beside, his fridge and freezer space was even smaller then mine.
Omer accepted 200 OR (2.65 USD = 1 Omani Rial) as my gratitude and to help defrary cost of Dommie. I will be giving him another 100 OR when he come over to our villa on Sunday to take the HD TV and loads of other stuff that was Dommie dowry.
What was given and will be given to Omer will not reward him enough knowing that he and his wife will be looking after Dommie with love.
We had dinner there, a delicious chicken masala with prata, local unleaven wheat bread. If Omer had set up a restaurant, I would be eating there almost everyday. I have never eaten more delicious Arabic food from any other restaurant in Oman than from the kitchen of Omer.
I was gratified to hear meows from the door and Dom sauntered in and went to the side of Omer and his wife like the house belong to him.
We then said our goodbyes.
The time Dommie spend with us enriched us all.
Perhaps like Dommie paw prints in the sand.
Beautiful, delicate and transient. After they are physically gone and washed away, what resided in the memory will remain there forever. And more beautiful and real then a photograph.
Change of flight plan
Winding down in Muscat took a bit more time then I thought. I forgot that after Ramadan, there was a week of public holiday. That affected my winding down plans.
So instead of flying off on 26 Sept 2010, I will now fly off on 3rd Oct 2010.
I knew we were here in Oman on borrowed time since the end of last year. Ever since early this year, I expected I have to leave Oman and all my creatures here. If you have not known about all that and wondered why I cannot take Riamfada with me, please read the following.
Riamfada foraging // 3 days 2 nights at Wadi Bani Awf and ending of this chapter
Closing this chapter//Buwah off Harban with Dommie// Beautiful Wadi Qurai
Dedication // Raining curses on Katie at Al Felaij Dam // Riam in cage at Jabri
Mystic octopus // Snake Tshirt and more hide&seek recalls //Countdown to chapter end
It is painful enough for me as it is. So please read or re-read above before you write to me wondering why I have to leave them. Please do not make it even more painful for me to reply and tell you things I have said above because you had not read that.
An important key in your relationship and understanding your parrot mentality from Tinkerbell Legacy
Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot - Rant 03 (a flighted parrot mentality)
Important old letters on harness
Harness for flighted parrots – To Nick and folks
‘ cargo cult'
'Ramadan & Kitties on beach// Chess -1st Saturday IM Tournament // Tinkerbell Harness for Piper '
Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7
If you like the photos here, they are all taken by my wife and uploaded on my behalf by her.
She has her own sets of photos in her Flickr account here
FREE FLIGHT IS LIFE AND DEATH PLEASE DO NOT TRY THIS YOURSELF UNLESS YOU DO KNOW.
NEVER EVER FREE FLY WITHOUT THE KNOWLEDGE AS THIS CAN LEAD TO LOSS AND DEATH OF YOUR BIRD.
If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust
I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice
For those that through no fault of their own, or otherwise, and had to part painfully and unwillingly from their beastie or birdies, whether in the past, or the present, or in the future, I dedicate the saga of Riamfada that I had wrote , and continue to write to that final handover , to you all.