I got more than I bargained for during my yearly trip to North Clwyd Animal Rescue to drop off a donation.  Conversation turned to cats and I was led into the cat quarters which housed several small kittens and two bigger young females that had recently arrived.  Owners had left them behind when moving house and although taken into by a neighbour they proved too much of a handful and the Rescue team stepped in.  Having a cat already, I was not keen on two but staff were reluctant to split them and who would be left behind.  Unthinkable!  The decision would be just too traumatic! So I collected them from the vet’s after being spayed and micro-chipped, squeezed them both into my cat basket and headed for home in gently falling snow on 21st December. As soon as I came into the house, I knew there was something wrong.  The rads were cold & an a sinister hissing emanated from the conservatory. Water was over the floor and all the windows were steamed up reminding me of a sauna.  I fled to turn off the mains tap and assumed that the pipes feeding the washing machine that ran along the outside wall had frozen and now thawed out.  Kitty cats were rapidly dispatched to their new nursery quarters and food and water provided from a bottle I kept in the fridge. Nothing to worry about I thought.  The Domestic & General emergency service that I pay handsomely by DD will soon be despatched in the two hour call out promised.  Domestic & General promised such a service but despite several phone calls and much pressing by 10.20pm water still off and nothing would happen until the following day. Domestic & General promised such a service but despite several phone calls and much pressing by 10.20pm water still off and nothing would happen until the following day.  The following day proved equally challenging for the emergency plumber.  This time, despite being told by a cheerful lady i/c call out for Drain Doctor to whom the job had been assigned, that the engineer would be ringing to confirm ETA and the job would be completed shortly, yet further porky pies emanated from the D & Call Centre.  This time, Drain Doctor technicians could not come because of snow.  Can’t I find a local plumber to fix the problem?  Snow had fallen but nothing to stop local traffic in my street from taking to the roads. Having taken the precaution of calling up my “Maintenance Man” to check the external lagging to ensure nothing froze again, he arrived to do just that and fixed the leak at the same time.  I had insurance. It failed. Having had the cold water turned off for 16\17 hrs. I was struggling and thanked the neighbour who topped up a water bottle for me. The citizens of Northern Ireland’s suffering are far worst than my inconvenience and being without water for 8/11 days must  be truly dreadful. Very tough letter has winged its way to my very dud insurance company and compensation is in order.  The new kitty cats have landed on their paws & have settled in well.  Both are plotting to find a way of escaping into the garden. In the nick of time, I dragged Calypso just as she was pushing through the flap. They are not allowed out for 6 weeks & have stitches that need to be removed.   Senior Cat, Coriander is most put out. Life is full of surprises as I feared she would refuse to accept them and they would be attacked.  New cats are in control of both senior cat and the hounds.  good luck to them & I am happy to offer them a new life. To be abandoned either by an owner or the provider of an expensive emergency service is very bad news indeed.

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