Almost a week later it is still hard to even talk about her, but here is the account of what happened to dearest Vicky.
We were up early on Sunday to take care of as much of the fallen jacaranda as we could. We managed to cut off most of the low-hanging branches but we decided to leave the rest of the tree to dry out for a few weeks. The dry branches would not be as heavy and would be easier to saw off.
After sorting the mess I proceeded to mow the lawns. Having no outside plug I had to use an indoor plug for the extension lead and run it through a window. I left the window open later when I put the lead away because it was so terribly hot. Both of us forgot to close it when we went to bed.
It was fortunate that Lizz was kept prisoner in another part of the house; that's to prevent her from going baby-making. Mary, however, gladly agreed to join Vicky on a nocturnal adventure through the window.
When The One told me the next morning that they'd both escaped I was concerned but I thought they would be back a day or two later, none the worse for the wear. As we opened the kitchen door on my way to work, Mary crept out from under the car and ran inside. Sadly, there was still no sign of Vicky.
It was the normal deranged Monday morning at work and I was glad to hear The One's voice around 10:00am. I knew it was about Vicky but I assumed he was calling to tell me she'd come back. There was no joy in his voice, however. He told me he'd found her cold little body in the veggie garden by the pumpkin vine. There were bite marks on her throat.
I suppose I was in denial but the extreme stress at work gave me little time to think about what The One had told me. When I drove home I still hoped that it had simply been a bad dream but as I pulled into the driveway I saw in The One's sad eyes that it was all real .
We buried her next to Pippin in the rockery, sealing her little grave with a large rock while raw sobs tore through the night.
Hic Iacet Victoria.
At work there was an outbreak of a very virulent gastro-enteritis bug on Monday. Two of them were booked off. On Tuesday evening I also became ill. I went to bed early but fever, nausea and diarrhoea kept me up much of the night. By the next morning I felt a little better but still very weak. Despite that I diligently skulked to work.
By Thursday The One had also contracted the pestilence and stayed in bed all day. By evening he could keep nothing down. I plied him with electrolytes and wiped the perspiration from his face with a cool cloth. He started feeling somewhat better around bedtime; he slept all of Friday and was completely up to speed yesterday afternoon.
I finally had time to take Geoffrey to the salon yesterday. About two months overdue, they even had to shave his ears to get rid of all the matted hair.
I haven't been off on a Saturday for at least three months, but I still had to go in to work after dropping him at The Posh Dog. Even though I'd focused on making sure the quotes didn't get behind when the two ladies were booked off, I was held responsible for the fact that my graphic design jobs were badly behind schedule. Because I had to leave early to fetch Geoffrey again, I brought work home after the boss gave me another earful.
Not long after we returned home the skies grew dark and threatening. After a few drops of rain the clouds opened and a tremendous hailstorm ensued.
After a while the white patches started to resemble snow.
When we inspected the garden this morning, we discovered that it had not escaped intact.
All the pretty flowers are gone, their frail stems crushed by the hailstones.
Not even the potted clivia escaped. It had been doing so well.
I finished most of the work I bought this afternoon. I'm glad I had the time but there was no working in the garden today anyway, it was rainy all day.