Vivienne Dockerty

Author of Historical Fiction

The Menagerie: How Did We Survive It?

Long John Silver, I am not ...

POSTED BY VIVIENNE DOCKERTY ON 06/07/2015 @ 8:00AM

Our second pet sitting assignment was in a beautiful house overlooking the Gulf of St. Vincent at a place called Hallett Cove. Here lived Jazz the golden Labrador, Mia the little smooth haired cat, a scruffy little fellow we called Kat, a large tank full of exotic fish, a small black parrot and two outside ponds ...

As beautiful as this fellow was, I didn't want him sitting on my shoulder!

As beautiful as this fellow was, I didn't want him sitting on my shoulder!

copyright: petervick167 / 123rf stock photo (licensee)

We knew that this might be a difficult gig, but being a resilient couple we thought that we could manage it. Jazz was a friendly dog who had welcomed us happily. We were shown a very nice ensuite bedroom overlooking a garden full of peaches, apples and bushes of tomatoes, so we felt well pleased.

It was mentioned at our time of interview that Kat would need injections as he was diabetic. Mia needed eye drops and the parrot liked to fly around the room, then sit on your shoulder.

"Long John Silver I am not, so the owner must have seen the look of horror on my face!"

We were also told that Kat might disappear and if he hadn't made an appearance within a couple of days, to telephone the vet. Putting on a brave face, we assured the owner that nothing was a problem, let's face it, where was he going to get other sitters at such short notice?

A few days later, we arrived with our suitcases. My husband hadn't slept, as he was worried sick and so was I. What the hell would we do if the cat went into a coma, the parrot flew out of an open window and Mia, the cat who needed the eye drops, wouldn't stay still?

Still, in for a penny, in for a pound, as the saying goes and we had to do our best as we were committed now.

We cheered ourselves up by taking Jazz for a nice walk around the park, noting that he had a lot of difficulty returning up the hill and to be honest, so did we! Great for losing weight, we thought.

The parrot had gone to a relative. I guess that after my reaction of horror during the interview, the owner obviously thought better of leaving him. So there were just the cats to cope with and looking after the fish was going to be easy.

What a palarva! Kat came running out of the garden as if he knew it was his dinner time. Sitting outside the door nervously, he dashed into the kitchen as soon as his bowl was filled, only stopping to turn and glance in a puzzled way because someone new was feeding and injecting. Whew!

Mia, on the other hand became a nightmare. We found we had to stalk her. She liked to eat outside on a cat perch. Creeping up behind her as she ate her meal, pretending there was no bottle of eye drops in my hand became a twice daily occurrence.

"Hubby would get her in a headlock, whilst I tried to treat her eyes, usually covering myself in the stuff!"

It was a great relief when the owner returned and we could present him with a line of healthy pets for his inspection. Would we do it again? Heck yes, we're booked to go back in February!

Until next time ...

VIVIENNE DOCKERTY



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.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Vivienne-Dockerty/e/B005VGIGKO


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