Blog: Travels with my dog: Rats the size of cats 0



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imagine seeing one of these?

Some years back I sold up and moved up North to Queensland. Things did not work out just as planned so I traveled around looking for whatever life had to throw at me,  and would up back on the NSW border, but fate had an interesting adventure lined up for me


imagine seeing one of these?

There was a advert in the local paper – house for rent at reasonable rate for assistance with looking after Quarter horse stud and cattle. Well I decided to phone and see what was offering. After chatting to the owner he asked if I would like to come out and see what was there.  So I pack myself, my sister and my dog into the car and head off.  For those of you who do not know the country let me give you a bit of a run down. We are talking about the area from Brunswick Heads inland to Uki. The roads are steep in places and very very winding, and in places very narrow.


Well we head off and some time later arrive at Uki – which is a small place which consists of a post office/newsagent, general store, and pub new-world book store and bakery and a couple of gemstone – tourist stores.


We follow directions and find ourselves at a large wooden gate. Opening the gate we go down a steep incline to a clear mountain stream at the bottom and a very narrow very old wooden bridge, ok I can do this, so I drive across and up the other side and come to a very large modern house. I follow the road around to the side and park the car.  As I am about to get  out two dogs come up. One was a black and white coolie and the other I am sure is not a dog but a Shetland pony – no it was a dog – just bloody big!  My sister said go they get out they won’t hurt you whilst all the while she had no intention of getting out. My dog – strangely did not bark – so ok if he thought it was ok – it must be.  With some trepidation I get out – to be greeted by wagging tales and big smiles doggy smiles.


To cut a long story short I meet the owners and was told I had the job. It would be for six months. Now I was shown the cabin – and I use the term loosely – it was basically one very large log  cabin – with no inside ceiling just huge wooden logs across the silver foil lining. A kitchen and bathroom were divided off as were two bedrooms, the lounge room had a large open fire, outside was a verandah. The yard was fenced but I would have to put up some chicken wire to make it dog proof for my Jack.


I moved in that week.  The first night I was there I woke to hear the scampering sound of mice running riot across the ceiling. Ok as long as they stayed in the lounge room and not in the bedroom would be ok – anyway Jack is a good micer so all is well (well as good as it is going to get). The owners went away to shows a lot and my job was to feed and look after the horses that remained at home along with about 100 head of cattle which was fine (there is another story to tell at a later date about my trials and tribulations in this regard).


After being there about three weeks I woke one morning to the sound of a helicopter is sounded quite close by – on venturing out the back door I looked across the river and saw a large van, plus helicopter plus several police cars it was not until much later that I found out that this was the ‘annual’ round up by police of marijuana crops that were grown in the hills around me.


That night after a busy day I was just going to sleep when I heard a strange noise outside and Jack started to bark and ran to the door. On opening it I came face to face with a large cat, oh no sorry it was actually a rat – just the size of a cat. It looked at me, I looked at it, Jack looked at both of us. I grabbed Jack and rushed back inside and closed the door. At least it was too big to get inside (I hope). That was the first and last time I actually saw a rat thank goodness.


There will be an addition to this story later and there are some funny, exciting and sad tales to tell about this part of my life.  For now the six months were a fun, interesting and stimulating experience.

Theresa Hollis

Theresa Hollis was born in Portsmouth, England in 1947, she immigrated to Australia with her family in 1951. Theresa has worked in varied professions, including a stint in journalism early in her career, and in the latter years as a self-employed Remedial Massage Therapist. Theresa started writing at an early age, but career, marriage and family came first, it is only now that she has gone back to her first love, writing, 'The Sabbath' is her debut novel. Theresa is divorced with two married daughters; she lives in a small country town in New South Wales in Australia with her much loved Jack Russell dog

  1. This is great, love real life stories, will enjoy reading more. You were brave, I would have been scared of hairy spiders in that roof. We slept in a converted garage on our first trip here, and the ceiling was full of huntsmen as we settled for the night. I did sleep, but it was quite a night.

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