The Incredible Adventures of Larry
The four-legged feline who entered our lives (and hearts) in Bali.
Although forbidden by our landlord to keep pets in our villa - a charismatic cat did indeed enter our lives during Our Green Change to Bali. His name was Larry.
Larry belonged to our neighbour, the feline enthusiast/rescuer, Lani (who openly flouted the no-pet rule and somehow got away with it). He was one of three cats she cared for when we arrived at our new home in the village of Nyuh Kuning in Ubud.
Slender, with soft white and ginger fur and misty pale green eyes, Larry kept his distance at first.
But after Lani and her family sadly had to leave Bali quite suddenly, Larry started weaving his way into our hearts and lives (despite being cared for by various new tenants living next door).
Larry would announce his arrival with a regal meeooow and an indulgent stretch as if he were the prince of our little domain. We’d find him sunning himself on our deck chairs, perched on our fence waiting for Taylor to return from school, or curled up on our daybed.
Taylor promptly fell in love, crowning him “King Larry of Bubba Nation”. Having lived in apartments before our move to Bali, she’d had to contend with fish as pets up until then.
She decorated a cosy cardboard sanctuary for him to sleep in, but Larry was a brave adventurer who preferred going jalan jalan (for a walk or wander) at night.
A skilled hunter, Larry was fearless. I witnessed him audaciously size up a monitor lizard twice his size on our red-tiled roof one day. There was a tense momentary standoff before the lizard cautiously clomped away.
I’ll never forget the morning Taylor casually brushed her leg against the rodent he’d ‘gifted’ her. It was concealed in the folds of our day bed sarong. Her screams could be heard in Jakarta. And yet, her love never faded.
So, what happened to Larry after we left Bali?
You’ll have to read Our Green Change to find out.
Not only does the story have a happy ending, but it also involves mystery, intrigue, and a change of identity, and confirms that ancient proverb that cats really do have nine lives.
Larry was originally adopted from Villa Kitty Foundation as a kitten. He started life named Lolita (until they realised she was, in fact, he). Abandoned cats and dogs are a real problem in Bali. Animal rescue organisations like Villa Kitty and BAWA do an incredible job caring for and rehousing stray animals. They survive on donations and the goodwill of volunteers.