Once Upon a time, there was a four-year-old boy named Vincent, who received a grey stuffed cat for Christmas. Vincent named it “Chat” and they became very close friends.
One day, the little boy, his mother, his father and his big brothers Leo and Felix went on a boat trip with guumshum Bobby Snowboy and two of his great sons. They were planning to go from Chisasibi to the annual Gathering in Whapmagoostui. Vincent really insisted on taking his stuffed cat with him: he thought Chat would be too sad to stay home alone and he promised to take good care of him. The little boy sat in the boat holding tightly his stuffed friend. It was a beautiful day and all the family enjoyed the trip and saw all kinds of birds: ducks, loons, goose, etc. They got to Cape Jones during the afternoon, but, because it was getting very windy, they decided to camp there for the night.
The next day was still windy so they slept over another night. At the end of the next day, the family went to play hide and seek on the rocks. As always, Vincent took his stuffed cat with him. The next morning, since the weather was not getting better, they decided to go back to Chisasibi. On the boat, they noticed Vincent had lost Chat. The last time he had it with him was when they were playing on the rocks. The cat was certainly hiding somewhere, waiting for his little friend to find him. Vincent was very sad and worried: maybe a bird, a wolf or (who knows?) a polar bear would swallow his stuffed friend! His father was planning to go back with Bobby to Seal River and promised his son he would try to go back to Cape Jones to find Chat. When Fred, the father, finally went back to Cape Jones, he met an Inuit family who was camping there. He told them about the story of the lost cat and went on the rocks to look for it. After searching for a long time, he decided to give up. He finally got back home and announced to Vincent than his stuffed cat was probably lost for ever. Vincent was very disappointed and kept saying many times a day he was missing his friend.
One day, someone told Fred that the stuffed cat had been found and was at someone’s home in Whapmagoostui! From what we understood, the Inuit family had found the cat after Fred had left and they took it back home with them to Umiujak. Soon after, they sent it with someone to Whapmagoostui. The person in Great Whale contacted a relative in Chisasibi by bush radio and this person told us the news! It was incredible! We were amazed by the long journey of the small stuffed cat and very touched by the kindness of all those people.
Fred was planning to go to Whapmagoostui for a summer visit and he thought he would easily find the cat when he was there. But one day, as he was working at the Googooms’ kitchen restaurant in Chisasibi (he is a Chef), some people from Whapmagoostui came to him and gave him the stuffed cat. Fred could not believe it. He was in the rush hour and just had time to take the cat and thank them before going back to work.
The next morning, when Vincent got up, he found Chat standing on the couch, staring at him and waiting for him. Vincent screamed, grabbed it and hugged his lost friend in his little arms. We told him the whole story about all the people who helped to bring his cat back home. Vincent is so happy to have his stuffed friend back! He promises he will never take it on a boat again: only on a car or a plane trip!
Vincent, his brothers Leo and Felix, Fred and I would like to thank every person who helped so kindly to bring “Chat” back home! We are very touched by their generosity and we will always remember and cherish this story.
It has been almost 10 years that we have lived in Chisasibi and we are about to leave soon. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Cree, Inuit and non-native persons who gave us their friendship and with whom we share beautiful memories. Our three sons did their walking out ceremonies and we enjoyed sharing and learning about your rich culture. We are leaving because we have other dreams we want to realize but, for sure, we will come back and we will never forget our friends and their beautiful land. Every culture is rich and unique but above all, we are all members of a big family called: human kind! We wish a bright and beautiful future for all your children and we will keep you deeply in our hearts!
We have a French song saying:
“Ce n’est qu’un au revoir, mes freres, ce n’est qu’un au revoir!”
With love from our family: Ginette Moreau, Frederic Caussan, Leo, Felix, Vincent and Ludivine (their big sister).