Did Ryan Adams really care about cemetery cat? The Wireless investigates.
A dear little cat called Wednesday Adams lives in a small house at the end of a cul-de-sac on Auckland’s North Shore.
She is black and white, with short legs, a round tummy and a stumpy tail that wags like a dog’s when she’s frisky.
White whiskers frame her green eyes. She meows a lot, enjoys pats and head scratches, but doesn’t like being picked up.
Her owner, a clairvoyant, says Wednesday is a shy cat, but she likes to sit in on readings.
But once upon a time, Wednesday was an internet sensation.
Many of you will have heard of a musician called Ryan Adams. He’s the guy your dad listens to when he’s feeling edgy.
If you are interested in his music, then you will know he is playing in Auckland tonight.
But this is neither a story about Adams’ musical prowess, nor his public spat with New Zealand’s own dad rock god Neil Finn. It’s also not about the time the dude from The Strokes said Adams got him hooked on heroin.
This is a story about a lost, cold and hungry kitten who found a forever home with a North Shore clairvoyant, thanks to Adams and his fans.
It all began in the early hours of July 14, 2015, ahead of Adams’ last performance in Auckland.
He was taking a late night stroll in Grafton Cemetery when he heard the sad cry of a cat.
The source of the noise, sitting among the headstones, was a tuxedo kitten.
Adams bought her food from a Karangahape Rd convenience store. He tweeted her photo, and asked the internet for help.
Please any local cat rescue in Auckland, there's a little black kitten Symonds & Grafton- in Cemetery. Abandoned. pic.twitter.com/EwgILWC0JJ— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) July 13, 2015
Grafton resident Rob Isaac responded.
Rob she's right there by the food bowls- right side of path by a grave- thru the gate by the bathrooms & bus stop https://t.co/wG7xC9lG5q— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) July 13, 2015
But attempts to capture her failed and at 5am, Isaac headed home kittenless.
In the meantime, news of the cat had gone viral via Adams’ 700,000-plus followers, and #cemeterycat was trending on twitter. The story was picked up by media - first in New Zealand, and then across the globe.
After the first attempt to capture cemetery cat failed, a plan b was made involving KFC, tuna and Auckland cat rescue charity Lonely Miaow. But the quest was put on hold after kitty was scared off by some damn kids running around the cemetery.
But in a wonderful turn of events, she was caught the next morning, and taken to the vet by Lonely Miaow staff.
Adams was stoked.
Rob, this rules!!!! You're such a good dude. : ) https://t.co/2XoVvsHXNC— Ryan Adams (@TheRyanAdams) July 15, 2015
Donations from across the globe flooded into Lonely Miaow’s Givealittle page - including $500 from Adams.
The kitten, who was finally named Wednesday Adams, was sent to a foster home where she received tonnes of pats and affection, before she was adopted by Brigid Curran.
“I had no idea who Ryan Adams was,” Curran says. “I wouldn't know him if I fell over him. I had to ask my son who he was. He’s quite popular, obviously.”
We are sitting at a wooden table between the kitchen and living area of her and Wednesday’s home. Sun streams in through the open front door, onto a red mat with WELCOME written in gold letters.
Wednesday sits next to the mat.
Curran has a warm smile. She hands me a pack of tarot cards, and tells me to pick out eight. I lay them down on the table among crystals, books, and a pile of flyers for the Devonport Holistic Fair (“Maybe you could put in your story that this is on next Sunday?”)
Curran says I have to pretend I'm a client, otherwise Wednesday will ignore me. “She likes my mediumship.”
Sure enough, Wednesday comes and sits on the carpet next to my chair, meows, and purrs when I scratched her under the chin.
“When I moved into this house, I decided to get a cat. I’ve always liked having a cat,” Curran says.
She came across the Lonely Miaow website, saw Wednesday’s profile, and loved her.
When Curran went to pick her up from her foster family, she was told the story of the little cat’s brush with fame.
“I thought, ‘well I’ll keep it up,’ so every now and then I send [Adams] a tweet with a video on it.”
At the beginning of this month, I sent an email to Adams’ management, asking for an interview when he got to New Zealand, and pitching the idea of reuniting him with Wednesday.
On Thursday, after 18 days and unanswered emails and voicemessages to countless managers and record labels, Adams’ publicist declines the request.
Deflated, I gave in.
Perhaps, I think to myself, Adams is just another rockstar and Wednesday just another of his women - forgotten after a night of passion.
But all is not lost!
The following morning, on my way back to the office after covering a court trial, I see something wonderful.
It is a man - a vision in double denim.
He wears tight blue jeans, snakeskin boots and a Vans jacket. His black hair is matted.
“Who else would wear double denim on Kitchener St,” I think to myself, “but Ryan Adams.”
I catch up to him.
“Excuse me, Ryan?”
He is texting. He doesn't look up. Maybe he didn’t hear me?
“Hi,” I say. He looks annoyed.
I nervously explain my predicament. He does not appear sympathetic. “I’ve just got off a plane, I think I’m already doing an interview, ask my publicist,” he says as he walks away.
“About Wednesday?” I plead.
And then he is gone.
Had the cat gods brought us together and then torn us apart? Was it Wednesday? Curran had said she might be psychic. Could it be true?
Back at work, I email his publicist.
He doesn't reply.
“You would have thought that was fate,” Curran says later, when I tell her the story.
She says the thought of reuniting the Wednesday and Adams had crossed her mind as well.
Earlier this month, Curran's son had got in touch to say Adams was going to be in the country. He’d wondered if the rocker would want to see Wednesday.
“I thought ‘he can if he wants to’,” Curran says.
“Then I started getting this vision of the two guys who were reunited with the lion, and I thought ‘wouldn’t it be hilarious if Wednesday went flying through the door and leapt up into his arms?’
“She does like men.
"But I’d rather it was Bryan Adams.”