We are greeted at our B&B in Geeveston, south-east Tasmania, by Glen, a jovial incomer from Queensland. In deference to the Brisbane blood coursing through his veins he wears shorts, despite the chilly weather. Involuntarily I shiver on his behalf.
Next to a log stove in Glen’s sitting room lies a cat, black and white and evidently content with his lot. Julie bends down to fuss him, offers her hand. He sniffs at it, then turns his head away disdainfully.
“He’s a man’s cat,” explains Glen apologetically.
If truth be told, I rather suspect that for the most part he’s his own cat. It is the way with cats, I think.
We chat with Glen for a while. He’s talkative and friendly. Then he looks me in the eye and says “I hear from Susie that you’re a Platypus Man.”
I’ve been called many things in my life, though few of them are repeatable in polite company. But never a Platypus Man. I roll the words around in my mind, testing them out. The description has a certain ring to it, sounding enigmatic, intriguing even, but in essence positive. In fact it would work as an epitaph: “He was a singular human being, though in the nicest possible way a bit of an oddball. I guess you could say he was a Platypus Man.”
There are worse ways to be remembered.