From the Blog

The amazing story of Stretch the cat

As noted in my last article, we spent a day at Echuca, camping and enjoying a 1 hour voyage up and down the river on the “Pride of the Murray” However, there’s another great story that comes out of that day and I thought I’d keep it for an article in itself.

While we were buying our tickets at the Port Authority Centre (pictured) we noticed a cat curled up on a cat bed behind the main counter. A sign above him indicated that he was the office cat and that his name was “Stretch” We had time to kill so we asked the nice young man behind the counter what the story was. This is what he told us.

Stretch came to the wharf about 9 years ago. He was badly injured, undernourished, bedraggled and distressed. The staff contacted WIRES who came and looked at him but said that there wasn’t really anything they could do. One of the staff members took him to the local vet who basically told them the same thing. The cat was really past saving, the kindest thing that they could do was to arrange to have him put down.

However, the staff were not prepared to accept that and asked the vet if they could have a try at saving him. They took him back to the wharf and, over the course of a few weeks, nursed him back to a semblance of health.

While this was happening the staff were actively seeking for Stretch’s owners. While at the vets they had discovered that Stretch had a microchip and an address at a home in Tocumwal, NSW. It’s roughly 100kms between Tocumwal and Echuca so it was a mystery as to how he had covered the distance. A search for his owners was unsuccessful, they no longer lived at that address, so staff assumed that they had simply left town and abandoned the cat and that he had, somehow, made his way, cross country to Echuca and the river.

Further attempts to find Stretch’s owners was unsuccessful so he became the office cat. Nursed back to health and strength, he took up residence in the office and has been the showpiece for the last 9 years.

A good while later, Stretch’s owners were traced but they were no longer in a position to look after him (for whatever reasons I wasn’t told) so his new home was fixed.

So, if you visit Echuca, please drop into the heritage centre, enjoy the excellent artifacts from the port’s fabulous past and say hello to Stretch. If you ask nicely, they’ll even let you pat him.

Thanks for reading, isn’t it nice to have a good story every now and again?