Profuse apologies as the following ‘dit’ was intended for issue late Sunday evening, so put your clocks back 24 hours, and kindly read on…
I rose with the sun this morning, having taken the sleep of a dead man – a full seven hours straight without so much as an eye flicker; the first time in as many years that was accredited to a lot of back-breaking work outdoors preparing for winter. As the dogs ‘eased springs’ in their ablution yard I prepped a walking breakfast of bacon, bacon, and more bacon – set within two huge doorsteps of bread. Making up a large flask of tea for good measure, I also packed two fig rolls for guilty pleasure, as well as two large bonio’s for the canines. Speaking of ‘guilt.’
The guilt I suffer when fitting the harnesses onto Hannah and Nipper as Gentleman Joss looks on is enormous. I know what Judas Iscariot felt like when he was paid his thirty pieces of silver! Sadly Joss would never be able to keep up, and I explain the same to him each and every time, though I know it only makes me feel better by doing so. At least when we return from each morning jolly, Joss gets a decent plod around the fields at his own speed, unhindered by the two young whirling dervishes. it also allows me to talk to him about our past adventures together, which allows me to mentally hand back the silver a piece at a time.
The morning’s jolly was a decent four miles over hill and through dale, with a leisurely breakfast stop in the bright Autumn sunshine. As it was so quiet I decided on walking the last two miles back along the small country lane that leads through the tiny village close to my humble abode. Strangely enough I came across a scene straight from a Lassie film; a group of villagers were formed into a huddle in the small car park of the village hall (Lassie’s young master ‘Timmy Martin’ was missing, and this was the local search and rescue party!)
Someone from the small gathering handed me an A4 flier with faded ink; ‘MISSING CAT’ (that had a faded picture of the missing ‘black’ cat beneath the bold header) The cat looked dark in places, yet also a reddish pink around the gills and ears, with kidney problem yellow eyes. Magenta can be a cruel ink when it wants to be…
‘MISSING CAT’ Very friendly cat, answers to the name of ‘WALLY’ Missing since 12th October. Please could you check your sheds, garages, barns, etc, etc… Organised search requesting volunteers at the village hall at 10am – 19th October. Oh Bugger! I had now involuntary press-ganged myself into the search and rescue party, which was purely through over-staying at my earlier breakfast stop by fifteen minutes.
Folk around Yorkshire are a priceless quaint lot, who take village life and social responsibilities very serious, under such circumstances they answered the call and rallied around to help out an emotionally worn down elderly lady. For all we knew poor
Timmy Martin ‘Wally’ could have fallen down an old mine shaft, or lay unconscious at the edge of a stream with the water level slowly rising. In fact looking around, I was the only involuntary volunteer with canines – so where the blooming heck was Lassie…? After being presented with designated search areas, our last offered instructions were the owners telephone number, and the fact that ‘Wally’ also responded to the call of ‘Wally Woo-Woo,’ even more so when he was hungry.
My task was to make a detour across several fields to search the old brick and wooden barns that lay semi-derelict. As I plodded on towards my mission I could hear voices echoing in the nearby woodland that sounded like owls calling out to each other. There was no way this side of the black stump that I was going to call out Wally’s dinner name, even though my only escort were the canines Hannah and Nipper.
Speaking of which, when we arrived at the old barns I slipped Nipper’s lead off, and allowed him to sniff search the buildings as he was initially brought up with a couple of cats. My theory being he may be more curious towards Wally’s returned cat wail – should he somehow be trapped within.
Hannah remained on a short lead, as she was given the name Hannah Snell for a reason. (Hannah tends to shoot first with her jaws, and then asks questions – hence the end of the rat problem outside of my humble abode!)
After scouring the barn to no avail, I called the given number to state ‘building clear.’ Only to be informed that ‘Wally’ had been found in the locked Church opposite the village hall, and it would appear that he was none the worse for his seven-day ‘lock in.’ Which made me automatically think that the Church (circa 1135) no longer had a mouse problem, and the holy water in the stone font may well have aided a feline miracle. The Church may well have a feline aromatic toiletry problem in place instead…
All was not lost on my behalf, as I found a treasure trove throughout my search; several pieces of old horse brass, two old Victorian chimney pots, and hand rolled glass window panes. All of which I have since purchased from the farmer at a steal-give away price, and there’s more to be found with full permission granted to boot. ‘Wally Woo-Woo,’ in more ways than one you are a bloody lucky black cat mate… Yours ‘Smugly’ Aye.