I was very fortunate to have only `light’ pet sitting duties after my illness. I convalesced in Somerset whilst looking after three cats, twenty-two hens and a cockerel! For most of my stay the weather was glorious and the animals, furry and feathery, were good company.

To take advantage of the late Summer daylight hours my Client was letting her hens out at 6.30 am and so my day began with opening up the coup, feeding and watering the poultry then giving Tubs and Cheesy cats their breakfast all before I’d removed the sleep from my eyes! The cats would often follow me up to the chicken run to taunt the Blue Marans who were reluctant to leave the hen-house.

After a quick cuppa I’d nip up the hill to my next charge’s lodgings. Jerry, an elderly tabby of around eighteen years would often be curled up asleep on the sideboard under the window having scattered various knickknacks in his attempt to get comfortable. Being stone deaf I didn’t want to scare him so resorted to waving an open pouch of cat food under his nose! If that didn’t wake him then I’d gently tap the wooden surface of the sideboard next to his slumbering form in an attempt to rouse him!