In the course of a few months, Little Miss Fernandes was turning out to be the most angelic pup we'd ever had. She was so prim and proper that mom sometimes called her (I know this is going to sound ridiculous) her 'best daughter'. She was a hassle-free, sun bathing little Dalmatian, hardly mischievous and extremely sensitive...almost as if she was half-human. In fact, the only mischief Cara had ever been up to was dragging our shiny new Canon digicam along the staircase right up to the terrace once, and stealing the occasional chance to lounge on our sofas when mom wasn't around.
At that time, I found her disposition rather odd, because although I had grown up around sensitive dogs, they had all had an equal measure of mischief and playfulness.
LITTLE MS. SUNSHINE: Cara sunbathing on the parapet
When it came to Cara's companionship, I think it was dad who enjoyed it the most. When on vacation from the U.A.E - where he used to work - he would fancy an evening scotch on the rocks. And although he was more of a solitary drinker, he spoke most to Cara. I still remember eavesdropping on his 'conversation' with her one evening from my bedroom window, and giggling to glory. But that was Cara's gift...being human and humane...and it was my dad who understood it.
Cara did find someone rather unusual as her own best friend...our neighbour's ginger brown cat, Brownie! They did almost everything together, including eating their meals side by side. Brownie, a roadside romeo, would often be missing for days, but Cara would always wait patiently for him to return home. And when he did come back, her vigorously wagging whip-like tail would say it all.
THE MEAL DEAL: Brownie and Cara at lunch
This petite spotty creature lived with us for almost a decade, in the course of which she had had a miscarriage (when she was just over a year old and a pariah had had his way with her) and had to be spayed because mom thought her to be too frail to carry a litter to term. In fact, we hadn't known that she was pregnant until the day of her miscarriage, when her body expelled a black, slimy sac, which she promptly swallowed.
Gradually, like Bingo, she began developing hematoma, and cataract in both her eyes. Her immune system began weakening too because she was getting rather choosy about her meals and would often go an entire day without food. What finally undid her was a common cold, which, over a few months, had spread to her lungs, despite our best efforts to rid her of it.
Cara left us in the first quarter of 2008, just as silently as she had entered into our lives.