Upon her return home from a visit with friends, Kelowna resident Darlene Richard said she knew right away something was off.
“When I came home, I put the key in the door and the door was unlocked,” she said.
As soon as she opened the door, she could see a window in her laundry room had been smashed — an entry point, she says, for thieves.
Richard, who lives on Elliot Avenue just off Richter Street and Sutherland Avenue, said they took the usual things: a laptop, a camera, an iPad, as well as some jewelry, including her late mother’s jewelry on her nightstand.
Also, on her nightstand are three urns that contain the ashes of three cats she has owned. Richard said two of them are in glass urns, with the ashes visible. But the third cat’s ashes are housed in a plane cherrywood box, five inches by three inches in size.
She said the suspected thief might have mistaken it for a jewelry box, which was probably why they took it.
“My cat’s ashes are at the top of the list (I want to get back). I don’t even really care about the rest of the stuff,” she said. “All of that is replaceable with a bit of effort.”
Before the cat’s death, he was referred to affectionately as Old Guy, and Richard said she had him from when she was six years old until she was 27. When he died, she had him cremated because she wanted to have him in her life in some way.
“I’ve had him for 40-something years with me, dead or alive, and it just hurts for him to be taken away.”
“And this time, I don’t know how I’m going to get him back. When he passed away, sure he was gone, but I had his ashes. But now I just don’t have him,” she said.
Currently, Richard said she and her friends are scouring the area looking to see if the wooden urn was left somewhere. She’s also asking whoever took the box to bring it back.
“They don’t even have to come forward. If they can just say where it is, then I can go find it,” she said.
“They can leave it on my doorstep in the middle of the night, I don’t care to go after them. I just want to get the ashes back.”