Vivienne Dockerty

Author of Historical Fiction

Oh No! Where's The Puddycat Gone?

What should I tell the owners?


As my regular readers will know, my husband and I spend quite some time in Australia each year. It's great to catch up with our family, but last November we embarked on something quite different ...

As lovely as Misty is, he's so good at hiding!

As lovely as Misty is, he's so good at hiding!

copyright: laksen / 123rf stock photo (licensee)

We signed up for a few gigs with Mindahome Australia, which supplies people to house and pet sit whilst the owner goes on holiday.

"It's quite a leap of faith, on both sides!"

Even though you must supply police checks and references, that doesn't mean that when you get there that the gig is guaranteed. You have to be sure that you have alternative plans if the owner decides not to go away. However, I'd like to tell you a little about our first experience.

Our first placement was in the glorious McLaren Vale wine region - south of Adelaide - and we were to look after a cat. This cat was very handsome. His name was Misty and he was pure white, except for a little black thatch of hair that looked as if he was wearing a hat.

He was an inside cat and we had to be very aware of that fact when we watered the gardens or pegged out the washing, as he had never been outdoors. However, from the minute we had said goodbye to his owners, Misty started to perform vanishing acts.

After a week or so, we thought we had found all his hiding places, as he disappeared behind the curtains, sofas and within the cave of his bed. Also under the table, behind the Christmas tree and one day, after I had opened the inner door to the garage, under the car!

Then one evening, my husband opened one of the top cupboards in the kitchen to get himself a wine glass and we settled down to watch a programme on T.V. After a while I went to check if Misty had finished his dinner, because of the flies that lurk over there I wanted to wash his plate.

There was a little left, so rather than waste it I called for him to come into the kitchen, but there was no Misty! We started to look in all his usual hiding places, but after a while I began to wonder, if whilst bringing in the washing earlier, he had escaped. I was always very careful to close the utility door behind me, though I began to doubt myself.

"By this time my husband was helping me in the search, both beginning to panic as there was no sign of him!"

Would we telephone the owners who had gone abroad for a Christmas break or wait until they returned and confess that we had lost their precious little kitty? Feeling shaky, my husband said he needed a drink and asked if I would like one too?

Of course I did! I was worried sick imagining the owners horror when they returned! Then as he went to the cupboard where the glasses were kept, we heard a low purring sound above our heads and there, sitting on the top shelf amongst the tankards and pint glasses was Misty!

He was staring at us, as if he was wondering what all the fuss was about. He had sat in there for over an hour, not once scratching or meowing to be let out, nor even purring!

As you can imagine, the whisky bottle that we were keeping for Christmas took a hammering that night!

Until next time ...



Next time, I'll tell you all about the menagerie at our next gig!

More about Vivienne Dockerty ...

Since arriving back in the U.K I have enjoyed meeting lots of people at the Author Talks and book signing events that I have been invited to. It has been great connecting with my roots again and listening to other people's stories whilst I have been doing research for my next book.

A big thank you to all the readers who have posted Amazon reviews after they have finished one of my books.


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