All places alike to the cat who walks by herself

Mildred likes to sleep in the fruit bowl at her neighbours' house in Lower Portobello. Photo: John De Waal
Mildred likes to sleep in the fruit bowl at her neighbours' house in Lower Portobello. Photo: John De Waal
Dunedin motorists have been up in arms about road cones for several months now. Christchurch folk, of course, have had to live with tens of thousands of the things threaded along earthquake-munted roads for some years.

The cones, weighing about 5kg, are actually very cleverly designed to spring up and put a dent in the bottom of your car if you chose to accept the invitation of the devil on your shoulder to run them down.

The artistes among us recognise their aesthetic beauty and they have indeed been turned into artworks before now.

Heather Rae, of Mosgiel, says she and her husband have just returned from a Gold Coast holiday.

''Each year at Currumbin Beach they have an exhibition of sculptures called 'Swell'. Some very clever and innovative entries are produced.

''As soon as I spied this one, I immediately thought of the Dunedin City Council and what it could do with the excess of road cones that adorn our streets.

''Something like this could be built in the Octagon and be an added attraction to our thousands of visitors - and also give Robbie Burns something new to look at!''

Mildred and George

John de Waal, of Lower Portobello, shares a story about Mildred.

''We seem to be the second home for a little cat.

Paula Kennedy, of Mornington, says her cat Trixie is a "constant companion'' in the garden. ``She doesn't help much, but likes to supervise.'' The perfect job for a cat. Photo: Paula Kennedy
Paula Kennedy, of Mornington, says her cat Trixie is a "constant companion'' in the garden. ``She doesn't help much, but likes to supervise.'' The perfect job for a cat. Photo: Paula Kennedy

 

''Neighbours a few doors up the road had a cat named George, so they adopted another and called her Mildred.

''All went well until a third kitten was adopted, which put Mildred's nose out of joint. She had come around to say hello occasionally, but from then on has tried to change her allegiance.

''It used to amuse the next-door neighbour, as she'd see my better half walking Millie home in her arms and, 10 minutes later, she'd walk past coming home again with Millie following hot on her heels.

''We caught her a while ago trying to lift the apples out of a fruit basket, so we moved them and she has adopted that as her place to sleep. She goes home again when we're not home, or in the evenings when the neighbours are home from work.''

The night cart

So much feedback from you on what I had assumed would be an awful memory.

Tubby Hopkins says his father ''used to take great delight in telling us the time the nightman, with his horse and dray used for collecting 'the goods', was stopped on the side of the road.

''He was seen to be rummaging through his newly collected load and a passer-by asked what he was doing. He replied that his jacket had fallen off the back of the seat into the load.

''The passer-by said not to worry about it because it was pretty scruffy looking anyway. The nightman replied: 'I know that, but my 

Road cones have been turned into works of art in Christchurch since the earthquakes and also on the Gold Coast, as captured by Heather Rae on a recent holiday. Photo: Heather Rae
Road cones have been turned into works of art in Christchurch since the earthquakes and also on the Gold Coast, as captured by Heather Rae on a recent holiday. Photo: Heather Rae

 

lunch is in the pocket.'''

Another note, from ''Mrs Anonymous'', of Dunedin: ''Many years ago, whilst living in Invercargill, we had the night cart visit weekly.

''One day, whilst home from work, I heard him rattling down the drive. I had never seen him before, so peeped out from behind the blind.

''Imagine my consternation when, the following week, I saw him again, this time serving behind the counter at the local cake shop.

''Afghans anyone?''

Changing times

Marilyn Dunn, of Kaka Point, enjoys reading the ''100 Years Ago'' column on the ODT's editorial page.

''I couldn't help but notice that in the column for October 3, the Farmers union discussed the rabbit pest. A motion was carried urging the government to establish breeding stations for stoats and weasels and supply them to the farmers.

''Then on a recent front page we have the story of making Dunedin predator-free of stoats, weasels etc. What a change around.

''The early immigrants made many mistakes bringing in these pests and especially the gorse, for the fences, that we all have to contend with nowadays.''

 

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