A Wet & Very Soggy Moggy
I knew this was going to be interesting when the owner of a property company called and said, “I really think you need to go to this one yourself Paul, it’s a real problem tenant and the drains have been blocked for three weeks”.
Arriving, I noticed the front door boarded up and the drive between the property and the neighbouring property swimming in sewage. I knocked on the back door – it opened and I was somewhat surprised to be greeted by a rather dishevelled and generously proportioned woman, dressed only in a long tee shirt – whilst holding and stroking a young black pussy.
Bearing in mind what I’d been told about it being a potentially difficult situation, I thought I’d better try humour and said, “Hello, I’m Paul, and I’m here to give you a little late afternoon rodding”. “Really?” she replied, “That’s the best offer I’ve had in months!” We both laughed, the ice was broken and one would have assumed everything would be fine.
She explained that Yorkshire Water’s contractor’s had visited and had looked at the drain but refused to do anything. Before I could get any more information, the old guy from next door came round and proceeded to tell me where the drains run, that he had his own rods, how he regularly checked his drains, that Yorkshire Water were rubbish because their contractor wouldn’t listen to him, and that the drain had been blocked for a month. He then proceeded to tell me what equipment I needed, and how I should do the job…. I said that I would be OK, thanked him for the advice and told him firmly that I’d been doing this for many years and he should leave it to me.
I turned back to the tenant who rolled her eyes at me and said she was going to get dressed; she let the cat go and closed the door. The manhole was at the end of the long rear garden. As I made my way past and through the various amply sized and brightly coloured items of clothing on the washing line, and through the long grass and debris that formed the garden, I realised that I was being followed – by the cat and the neighbour!
I found the manhole, bent down and removed the heavy cast iron lid to reveal the chamber full of sewage, a thin crust on top complete with an imprint of the underside of the lid in the surface. I turned and warned the neighbour to keep clear…. and with that the black cat walked straight onto the crust and sunk into it….
As it started to disappear …. so with one continuous action I swung my gloved hand, under the crust into the sewage and under the belly of the cat and flung the cat out onto the grass!
I picked up the wide eyed and smelly wet cat and ran to the house, just getting there as the now fully clothed tenant opened the door. She let out a worried cry as I held the cat under the outside tap, washed him as best I could, before she took him from me, taking him inside for a shampoo and conditioning.
As I returned to the manhole the neighbour laughed and rather irritatingly said, “I’d have let the bloody cat drown”. I replied, “Well I didn’t”. I then ignored him; got the drain clear and everything cleaned up, and hosed down (including his half of the drive).
I did see the pussy before I left – it looked fine, especially after being blow dried, and as for the neighbour – he was nowhere to be seen!