Monday, 29 November 2010


A shorter, less cat-oriented version appears in my Freethinking blog.

The weather has been absolutely horrendous since last Thursday as wave after wave of snow has fallen across the area to pile up enough to make life here distinctly difficult and it's getting worse. I couldn't guess how much snow has fallen since it started but there's at least 6 inches on top of my flat garage roof and this is snow which, part from the top layers, is compressed with at least an inch or two of ice on the bottom.

Today has been the worst so far. This morning I decided to go swimming as common sense had overruled me on Friday. I couldn't take the van as the driver side windscreen wiper was currently lying useless across the dashboard, so I took Susan's car. Now the street is a narrow cul-de-sac and we live halfway up. None of this would have made any difference if the car had been pointed downwards but I had to drive to the top and do a three point turn to get it pointing the right way.

It should have been easy. Instead I got stuck. I tried shoving thick paper under a rear wheel to get extra traction. Didn't work. Probably because the car has front wheel drive, unlike the van which doesn't. Thankfully a couple of neighbours came out and gave me advice and a push. Driving to the Raich Carter Leisure Centre was slow so when I came out, rather than go back the way I came, I headed into town so I knew I'd been driving along passable roads. I had been intending to go to Sainsbury's to pick up donated food and to the post office to post a couple of parcels -one book and a DVD box set I'd sold on Amazon Marketplace. I didn't bother.

When I got back I grovelled to Susan and declared us snowbound. Actually I did walk to the post office later but there's no way I was going to do any driving. On the way there I met Phil, one of our charity's dog rescuers, who'd taken the van believing it might be better in the snow than his car. He'd got stuck and needed a push. No, it wasn't any better than the car.

Some of the cats have been themselves though. Little Bob the black kitten would probably stay out nearly all day if I let him.

At Leechmere trading estate about half a mile away is a chicken processing plant and a stray cat has claimed the place as his territory. One of the workers there got in touch with me a month or so ago as he was worried what might happen to the cat when the weather got bad. I did go round, got within nose-sniffing distance of the cat before it ran off, tried another time with even less success and kept meaning to get round to it again after that. He rang me again last Thursday just before the snow started and this time I got my finger out and rang Jean whom I knew had a cat trap. She was happy to go to the plant straight away so I arranged to meet here there. By the time I arrived the snow was falling thick and fast and it was really horrendous. I waited in the security hut for Jean who turned up ten minutes later with the cat in the trap. Apparently it had just walked straight up to her so that she could pick it up and slip it inside the trap.

The cat has now been in my garage since then. There's no heating but it does have a kind of thick little tent to curl up inside. She's quite friendly and pretty (see below) but her bowels are very loose. Andrea  dropped off some wormer for me (well the cat really) and flea killer. 

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