Photo: Ipswich Musical Theatre Company artistic director Brenda Ryan with a photo of Judge Judy high on her favourite set from Les Miserables rehearsal taken on September 2017.
Judge Judy has lived at The Old Courthouse for 15 years. She’s sat on stage during a performance. She’s curled up in the front row. But where is she now?

Judge Judy is not just a cat, but an Ipswich icon and anyone who has had anything to do with The Old Courthouse would have met her.

Even though it’s not a traditional residence, The Old Courthouse has very much been her home.

Rather than just having one human companion, she had many. But two of her carers were particularly special to her.

Brenda Ryan is the artistic director of the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company and Ken Mundt, president of The Old Courthouse Association and president of the Ipswich Musical Theatre Company.

Brenda would come every night with Judy’s favourite meal, fresh hot chicken.

On the odd occasion Brenda couldn’t make it, Ken stepped in to ensure she got her favourite dinner and bowl of milk.

For the past 13 days however, Judy’s bowl has remained full of water.

Her chicken dinner untouched.

Her favourite spot on the chair, empty.

Brenda and Ken have pounding the pavement calling her name. They have put up posters all around The Old Courthouse and CBD. They have visited the pound every day. They have placed advertisements in the newspaper.

They are heartbroken and desperate for any news of Judge Judy.

Brenda and Ken are appealing to anyone in the community who may have seen Judge Judy.

She was last seen at The Old Court House on Thursday the 4th of January when she heartily ate her dinner.

They are particularly interested in speaking to the person who left a battery operated drill on the table on the verandah.

It was there on the Thursday then gone on Friday, so this person may have been the last person to see Judy.

If you have any information, please call Brenda on 3281 5752 or Ken on 0419 786 407.

The Old Courthouse was built in 1859 and was constructed by the New South Wales government, prior to the separation of Queensland. She has seen some interesting souls pass though her doors in its 159 years standing on the corner of Roderick and East Street.

Crims, cops, judges, public meetings, events, shows, artists, singers and a grey tabby cat. This cat has bought something special to the lives of those who spent time with her.

“She is well known and loved, she endeared herself to so many people,” Brenda said.

“In 15 years, she has never missed a rehearsal.

“During a performance one night Sophie Salvesani took to the stage to perform an operetta and Judy moved on too and sat down beside her. All through the performance she noticed snickers from the audience and it wasn’t until she took her bow that she saw Judy sitting down next to her gown,” Brenda said.

“When we put on Songs That Won The War, it was an afternoon devonshire tea. When the people went out for tea and came back for the performance, Judy had stolen the seat in the front row near the aisle. When I offered to move her for the lady, she said no, leave her curled up there and she found somewhere else to sit.

“Judy loves music. I can’t stop thinking of a song my grandfather used to sing me:

But the cat came back, he couldn’t stay no long-er,
Yes the cat came back de very next day,
the cat came back—thought she were a goner,
But the cat came back for it wouldn’t stay away.”

Are you a cat person too?

Almost 30 percent of Australian homes have a cat.
Cats are wonderful companions and are a popular pet choice.
Highly adaptable and flexible, cats fit into domestic life easily.

*Cats are no longer required to be registered with Ipswich City Council.
*If you wish to keep more than two cats, you must apply to Ipswich City Council for a permit.
*You can keep up to two cats on your property without the need for a permit or up to four cats on land 2,000m² or more.
*A kitten is considered a cat at three months of age.

For more information you can read about cat owner obligations here.

community matters