Thursday, 17 December 2009


There is a woman who is splitting up with her husband and is moving in with her mother and she can't keep her four and a half month old kittens because her mother breeds terriers. Fair enough. Carol is full but Tracy at Burnhope will take them.

I set off with the van and there's a chill in the air. The local forecast on the Internet yesterday said snow but appears to have changed its mind. When I pick up the cats from South Hylton down by the river, flakes are beginning to descend. I get a miserly £5.00 donation from the woman's mother and then go to a local minimart to buy some cat food for Tracy. I was going to give her a load of donated stuff from the garage but forgot.  The kittens? Oh they're cute. Here they are. The grey tabby on the right has a stumpy little tail -born that way- her sister's is normal.

So, up on to the moors where snow lies along the sides of the narrow roads and frosts the tops of the hills. I have to wait about 15 minutes for Tracy who is elsewhere busy looking after her mother's horses and is a bit fraught when she arrives. While I wait I wander around and take a couple of photographs. Here's one of a cat I brought to her months ago and no-one seems to want and I really can't understand why.

Tracy has a lot to do so she more or less rushes me out. I pause to stroke a friendly cat which she says is unhomeable. I find out why when I pick it up and have to step the blood flowing from the puncture wounds in the back of my right hand. Tracy tells me she's in debt because of the rescue and is seriously considering packing it all in early next year. It's a shame because she's the only one in her area. Although only half an hour's drive away on good roads, psychologically that's quite a way in a small country like ours.

Snow is starting to fall when I head back but as I descend it gradually stops. Annoyingly on the way back to Durham, I take a wrong turn at a roundabout and spend ten minutes circumnavigating the villages of Pity Me and Framwellgate Moor before ending up where I started. Back in Sunderland I head for Asda and spend £57.68 on 20 tins of catfood for Carol which I'll deliver some time at the weekend. I take advantage of the 3 for £10.00 offer to pick up a decent Jacob's Creek Cabernet-Shiraz.

And it's started to snow.

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