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A Memorial to Chess and to her Friends

© Copyright Geraldine Eustace 2010

It was the patter of little feet when Chess first came to live with us. With Andrew a friend and me. Andrew and I were both unwell in our own way and Chess was a gift to Andrew from me. He wasn’t well enough to train her while she was young so I became her mother. She would run from my bedroom to his and back again every morning. I would allow her to lay beside me in bed with her head on the pillow. She would perch on my shoulder sometimes and I will always remember the day I gave her her first bone to chew. She walked around and round the property with it, head held high and tail up exuding incredible dignity about the fact that she had a bone to chew. One day I caught her in the cake-mixing bowl, she would pull my sox off for me and ruined my best red shoes but she was the reason I would face the day. Many times she would take me walking and help me to cope with the extreme depression from which I was suffering. Andrew always adored her. Sometimes she would carry her favorite teddy around for security and never ripped it to pieces, as this was very special to her. The other toy she loved was ‘squeaky’. A plastic ball, which squeaked when you squeezed it. She always slept beside my bed and guarded me at all times. She was just a beautiful dog and I know I did my best to give her a very happy life. Chess loved Judah my cat and became her mother. She would wait at the door faithfully for her to come home. One day I saw the funniest thing. I looked through the bathroom window and there were Chess and Judah trotting around the yard together side by side (in synchronized steps) as though they were somehow in perfect alignment. I gave her incredible freedoms and always took her running out in the countryside. She would run along beside the car for kilometers. I remember she could reach 40kph. Of course it was quite shocking when she died, to see her become so ill, but she had such a beautiful life and I could never replace her.


I had three little red hens at one stage, they were Isa, Ann and Jane but only Ann has survived. Ann is a constant source of entertainment for me and I have grown to love her dearly. I had stayed at a friends place overnight last week and arriving home and driving into the property I noticed Ann patrolling the grounds, walking up and down the nature strip like a sergeant major or a guard dog, I’m sure she knew I had been scared of something. She digs holes like a dog, climbs trees and tries to outwit me every week by relocating her nest and laying eggs in different places. She even knocks on the door and lets me know when she needs something. She loves to sneak into the house and eat my cat’s food on a regular basis, she’s quick and my cat is terrified of her. Ann is very much the boss and thinks the whole world is free range hence she sneaks out onto the nature strip and enjoys an adventure there. I enjoy the fact that Ann doesn’t live in a cage and have made little cages around my garden beds so she can enjoy her life free-range. Of course, one chook can wreak havoc in your garden but she’s doing her job. Ann always greets me in the morning and really adds to my happiness just by being herself.


Judah was the tiniest little and most adorable kitten I had ever seen, but so feisty. I found her abandoned in a garage half-starved, put her in a box and brounght her home. I was immediately mesmerized by her. I called her bubby when no-one could hear me. I walked around with her in my arms most of the day. She always slept on my pillow and often I would wake up to find her looking at me. The dear little thing she was so frightened when I first took her outside and ran back to me for security before she found her confidence and then I had to remove a board from the house with a crowbar to rescue her from a drain-pipe. She really is a baby to me and precious. She is so grown up now but I will always remember how fascinated I was by her as she grew up. I would marvel at her beauty and one of my friends accused me of Idolatry which it probably was. A tabby she has black fur on the inside of her paws and often rolls over on her back with her legs stuck up in the air and goes to sleep. During the Wintertime proximity to the heater is definitely her territory and she is frequently jealous when I have friends come to visit. She is my constant companion. Occasionally she dribbles on me when I cuddle her as she is just so happy. Always there and constant she is afraid of my little red hen Ann who bullies her at every opportunity. Ann is like a terrorist where Judah is concerned and even sneaks into the house and steals her food whilst Judah watches from a distance and is ready to run and hide at one look from Ann. Judah was a great friend to my late dog Chess who sadly passed away this year. In fact, Chess saved Judah’s life on one occasion. She had been locked in the caravan for about 3 days and it was Chess who let me know where she was. Very like a child Judah ran to me and cried out and cried out she was so relived to be home again. She will torment me sometimes like a prima-donna attacking the ottoman because she wants my attention. She views the computer as competition and the ottoman is just by it. She will lay down and try to claw her way around and round it looking at me all the time to see whether or not I will give her my attention. One day she even caught a mouse and put it in her bowl for later. Judah is a special name for a special cat.