Tuesday 20 August 2019

Carole's animal instinct brings wild things to her door

'If you put a book down for a moment he would eat that. He chews shelves and skirting boards too'

CAROLE WOOD from The Moyne in Enniscorthy laughs at the suggestion that she is Wexford's answer to Doctor Dolittle. But the fact is that the 25 year old has the knack for attracting more than her fair share of small animals.

It seems that strays feel they do not need an invitation before landing on Carole's doorstep, while she is forever being presented with other people's unwanted pets. The current crop of creatures sharing her home includes one chinchilla, two guinea pigs, a small shoal of goldfish and, of course, four felines.

'I attract cats,' she admits going through the roll call. The ginger Horatio arrived unannounced one day at the back door. The black Charlie was another stray. The tabby Alfie accidentally hitched a lift from The Moyne when he looked for warmth under the bonnet of her boyfriend's car. And the mainly white Larry was passed on by a friend.

Carole, who is a recently qualified reiki therapist, spent a formative year as a veterinary assistant in Dublin. She then worked for a while as an assistant at Byrne's pet shop in Enniscorthy's court street where she fielded many a question from customers about animal welfare.

While the quartet of cats commands most of her attention because they simply demand it, the chinchilla – called Pika – is not a personality who can be ignored either. A well fed rodent with a fine set of teeth, he is capable of destroying all round him when released from his cage for exercise.

'He would eat anything,' reports vegetarian Carole who has no intention of converting Pika into a fur coat. 'If you put a book down for a moment he would eat that. He chews shelves and skirting boards too.'

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