Francesca Cassini wondered about death, “What if existence transcends this apparent final frontier that awaits us all? And could a cat hold the answers?” Kahuna is the cat who took Francesca on an amazing journey to his death and beyond.
This is the story of Francesca Cassini’s love affair with cats and her magical relationship with Kahuna – the cat who didn’t die. This book may radically alter your perception of death.
Excerpt from Chapter Four of Kahuna – The Cat Who Didn’t Die by Francesca Cassini
After a five-week bucket list tour of Peru I was drawn to living closer to nature, and somehow magically created a four-month stay in a secluded off-grid yurt throughout the wettest and wildest winter on record in Wales. Could I bring Kahuna here?
No. The farm dog would have had him for breakfast. I cast about for my next home but I discovered that in the Llanidloes area of mid Wales there are very few rental properties. I was offered the interim solution of a teeny weeny fifteen-foot caravan in a friend’s gorgeous four-acre garden, bordering the river Severn. A place with no dog, where rescue hens pottered about. Could I bring Kahuna here? No. The local Tom cat would not have been happy, and it was simply too transient.
I stopped my search for a house or a flat when I realised that living inside a brick building was not going to do it for me anymore. I wanted to live in a space where I could hear the rain, and feel the wind… so either in another yurt or a caravan. And as soon as I came to this decision I found the perfect new home…
A weeny caravan, this time a twenty-footer, not far from where I’d stayed in the yurt. It was set under the eaves of an established woodland climbing up a steep hill, filled with the whispering rustle of leaves and the chanting of a stream which meandered down the slope, filling a number of small ponds along the way. The lowest pond was a mere few feet from the little deck outside the caravan, and the whole two acres was well-fenced. Could I bring Kahuna here? Yes, came the resounding response.
Did I need to worry that on the other side of the five bar gate and fence lived numerous British Bulldogs? Apparently not. The fencing was secure.
So one July weekend, as Wimbledon opened its gates for the Men’s Tennis Final, I collected Kahuna. Richard wondered if my cat would recognise me. ‘Of course’ I replied, astonished to think there was any doubt. Kahuna looked a little askance at me – but I don’t think it was a case of not remembering me, more a case of wondering how long I was visiting for. And then he saw the cat basket. He’d never been a fan of travelling in the car and Richard kindly agreed to come with us so that if Kahuna yowled the entire way, which was what I expected, I had someone to help calm him and alleviate my stress. A five-hour journey would be the longest Kahuna had ever taken, and I hoped the herbal tablet would work its calming magic.
Five hours later, with surprisingly little complaint from Kahuna, we arrived at our tiny new home. I had filled my dinky fridge with fresh roast chicken as it was his favourite food, and within a short space of time he looked quite chilled…
Kahuna paperback on Amazon
Kahuna eBook on Amazon
Excerpt from Chapter Seven of Together We Rock! by Francesca Cassini
Being at Anna’s home and having her incredible support was such a blessing, but my ancestral soil was calling me. I was clear about my passion for living magically in tune with nature and the land – so it was time for me to move on again, this time to a far-from-weeny static caravan on a wild Welsh hillside. Even though it was a wrench leaving the safe haven of Anna’s home I felt I was once again back where I belonged, with the steep and elemental Powys landscape rearing up around me, in a place which I had found effortlessly – as so often happens when my intention is clear. This was home for the time being. This was my caravan, gifted to me by my extraordinarily supportive younger sister, and sited on a park with internet – which was due to be upgraded in the spring. It was time to get all my silvery ducks in a row.
But even before I’d unpacked I learned this was not the safest place for cats; the farmer’s dogs had free rein here and ran as a pack. I didn’t want to test his chances. Then I discovered that the internet was nowhere near good enough, on many days it slept-in or dozed on and off and sometimes it simply pulled a sickie. And my mobile phone hardly worked at all. My vision of my cat running free and me running The Silver Tent from my caravan was not panning out as hoped.
But there is always a way. I am well-practised in handling challenges, and I knew I would find the magic. Kahuna would have to stay in for a while, and only go out with me when the dogs were not in sight. Telephone calls could be made from further up the hill, where signal was available, and the remaining ten interview recordings for the Summit were completed in a variety of places around the area, and even though it was never straightforward, I did it! All in the nick of time. I somehow even managed to squeeze in an interview with the wonderful Virginia McKenna, who played Joy Adamson in the classic film Born Free and went on to found the Born Free Foundation. I had always been a huge fan and was thrilled to have this opportunity…
Together We Rock eBook on Amazon
Illustrated with colour and black and white photographs
The Silver Tent page
Francesca Cassini Website