Stray cats under ute canopy prevent man from working

An out-of-work plumber on unemployment benefits claims he cannot accept a job due to the family of cats living in his ute.

Chris Ranger, 37, was fired from his last job eight months ago and now refuses to accept employment as he does not want to disturb the family of cats.

The custom aluminium tray on his ute had been left open for several months when it was not being used, and a stray cat has since used the space to raise a litter of kittens.

“There is actually an effective shelter to be found in aluminium trays, in Melbourne stray cats are known to seek out dark, sheltered environments in which to birth,” said Ranger.

The ginger cat, who he has named Scruffy, bore eight kittens who are now four weeks old.

Ranger refuses to move Scruffy and her kittens when they are at such a young age. Cats may abandon their kittens if they are handled by a human. Ranger plans to let the family of cats live under the aluminium tray for as long as they need.

He has adopted Scruffy and places food and water under the ute canopy every morning and night.

Ranger’s prospective employer, Bob Ascot, is understanding of the situation and says that Ranger is welcome to commence work at a later date when the family of cats moves on.

“He is clearly a very compassionate guy, and I value that in a person,” said Ascot.

“I have never heard of cats living in aluminum ute tool boxes in Melbourne, but I am not surprised,” he said. “No pressure on Chris to move the cats on before they are ready.”

Despite the agreement reached between Ranger and his future employer, his unemployment benefits are being withheld as he is now classified as being unemployed by choice.

Ranger plans on bringing the kittens to the local no-kill shelter when they are old enough to be moved.

Growing a new life

I’ve lived in a beautiful farm house for the last ten years. I really enjoy waking up each day to sweeping views. Sitting out on my decking and eating dinner watching the livestock is quite stunning. I found out not too long ago that I was with child. I’m never nervous but also in a way excited by the prospect of carrying a child. The doctors tells me that I’m about 4 months into the journey. There is a slight problem through. You see my partner and my parents have never gotten along. My parents don’t agree with our union, my father has never gone into detail as to why that is the case. I have a feeling it’s about the garden, my family has dedicated professional gardeners who are experts in the field. My father is getting on in years, I don’t want him outside trying to dig up the yard at his age. My partner turned down his offer and my father has been grumpy with us since. I hope the news of a new baby will change his mood. At his age he shouldn’t be out in the hot sun planting canna lilies anymore. My partner has tried to mend bridges but it hasn’t gone well, at least my mother is a fan. I know for certain that in our new property I want professional garden landscaping.

A relative of mine suggested we have a walk around and see the other garden landscaping in our suburb to get ideas. I love the farm we live in now, there is plenty of space for a good garden. Our new home has to have a good garden. I spend a great deal of time outdoors. It would be nice to sit in my own garden enjoying a good book and a cup of tea amongst the fuchsias. I have several design ideas of my own on how garden should function. I’m confident that the garden landscapers will have suggestions on how best to utilise the space we have. It will be lovely watching the baby grow up as the garden expands. I honestly can not wait to be a mother.

The Big Party Venue

I only vaguely remember my first birthday party. I don’t mean my first birthday party, like…when I was one. No one really remembers things like that, although funnily enough there are celebrations anyway. To be honest with you it seems a bit pointless to spend all this time and money on a party that the kid isn’t even going to remember.

My parents didn’t do the whole party thing until we were old enough to remember it, which was, like…five? I can’t remember how many candles there were, but I had some friends over from playgroup, blew out the candles, ate cake and just ran around. You know, as kids do: making their own entertainment.

That’s what kids USED to do, anyway. Blame inflation, blame the Prime Minister, blame the hole in the ozone layer, but whatever the reason, everything has to be bigger and better now. There are places in Melbourne, kids birthday party venues, and that’s all they do. I’ve got nothing against them as such. They seem really fun. But I guess I just look at them and wonder what it would’ve been like if that industry had been super big back when I was young and my parents were into taking the kids out to venues for big celebrations. Imagine the cake you get in those places. It’d have to be big, right? You can’t take a kid out to somewhere like that and give them a small birthday cake. It’d look really small because the room is so big. The table is also big. Everything looks small on those huge tables, unless the thing sitting on them is huge enough that you don’t notice.

Maybe one day I’ll have kids, and I’ll be faced with this decision. To hire a kids birthday party venue or not? I’m sure Melbourne’s birthday party venues are up to scratch, thanks to inflation, the Prime Minister and kids getting higher standards for their celebrations. Maybe I should just give in and have a celebration.

A garden of delights

The atmosphere as you walk into the main dining lounge is absolutely electric. The hanging lights, textured walls and overhanging foliage create a parallel universe that surrounds and encompasses anyone who enters. I am often skeptical of highly atmospheric restaurants as it can often be a clever way of detracting from the average food. I was impressed but I was aware nothing had passed my lips yet. On the way to the table we passed through an amazing stone archway that looked like an old world relic that had been restored. The archway was covered with climbing roses, transforming it into a gateway to magical lands. Plants and flowers twisted their way through the cracks in the stone and beautiful colourful petals elegantly littered the facade.

I had just about recovered from the archway when my eyes were drawn to even more beautiful foliage on the back wall. It wasn’t really a wall at all, it was a living structure. Flowering shrubs acted as a border around what can only be described as a vertical garden. Spring and summer flowering perennials were popping out all over the place, it was divinely magical. We finally made it to the table after ogling all the decoration and the menu does not disappoint. It follows a slight mystical trend, lots of plant based foods and all the dishes are served with a corresponding flower arrangement that can also be eaten. It give me so many ideas for my garden at home. I was even taking notes on my phone throughout the evening and sneaking photos whenever nobody else was watching. The food turned out to be even better than their already exemplary reputation would have you believe.  I was so thoroughly impressed with the entire evening that I have devoted a whole different section to discussing the drinks, which are a fruity delight with a pinch of colour.

Irregular Ice Skating Companions

My book, ‘Exercising With Your Pet’ has taken off like I never thought it would. Everyone in the Club wants a copy! They’ve all told their friends, their friends have told all their friends and the Melbourne pet community has promoted it to number one on the Purr-Fect Book List. Now Catrina is suggesting that we have Club-wide daily exercise routines as part of shared activities. Perfect!

I’d better get to work on my next one. Drawing from my former experience as an ice skating instructor, I’d like to go a step further and suggest ice skating…with your pet! It can be done, as Jessabelle my cat can attest. It took a while to find her four skates that’d fit, and honestly it’s a real adjustment period. She certainly didn’t want to strap them on and come on the ice with me. But it was my job, the half of my world that wasn’t Jessabelle, and so I wanted to combine those two halves. Over a short period of about three years, she grew used to the experience and we began to teach together.

I can tell you, people who arrived to learn how to ice skate were put to shame when they saw that a cat was better at the practice than them, and they worked extra hard to be as good as Jessabelle. She was furry motivation for everyone, and also motivation to come to class because she’s just so darn adorable.

So, this book. I want it to be accessible, obviously. There are some very elderly people here who don’t have much of an interest in learning to ice skate, so I have to cater for my audience. You also can’t rule out the possibility that your cat could be super keen to get out on the ice, but they’ve never been given the opportunity, so it’s important to test your feline or canine friend for enthusiasm.  Learning how to ice skate shouldn’t be rushed. That’ll be my first sentence of the book. This is exciting times for pet lovers who like to stay in shape.