Crazy Cat Lady Chronicles

The Bus On Putty Road

by Lori Dwyer on April 5, 2013 · 3 comments

You might remember that just before Christmas, my mate Auntie Mickey and I went urban exploring on the Putty Road. One of the more amazing things we discovered was The Bus, and the many rumours that swirled around the life of the lady who lived there, all alone in the strangest place.

One of my awesome readers did some research on the Bus resident and owner. A huge thank you to Mark, who wrote this post.


Mail for Desiree at the bus on Putty Road

Desiree was born in England in 1925. She lost the lower part of a leg in a motorbike accident when young. Sort of unusual for a lady in England back then. Emigrated to Australia in 1953. I think she was a nurse?
 She was on the electoral roll in 1963, but there is nothing after that. We don’t know what she did till the late 70′s or early 80′s when she turned up at Darkey Creek. She must have been in her sixties then. She guarded her place well. The Department of Motor Registry (DMR) workers used to know her back then, and she had some friends around the area who called in. That Austin 1800 car was hers- it was a real money pit. I would say it was burnt in one of the bushfires at some time.

Desiree's abandoned car on Putty Road

I have traveled the Putty Rd for 30 years or so and there was always a light on in the night, and smoke coming from her chimney. She was proud of her garden and kept the little area well. If you looked carefully, just about every square meter is laid with black drip feed pipe. She had a pump, generator, washing machine, etc; so she was set up OK.


She had her veggie-patch and some dogs. I have been through the Putty Road when that area was alight with fire on both sides of the road. She must have fought the bushfires single handed. The DMR or the council tried to evict her for many years and she handed them their arse on a platter every time; one smart lady. I met her briefly once and she was a cranky old lady. Not to talkative at all. 


When I stopped there the bus had been empty for some time. Why they tossed all her stuff out I don’t know. I think a man moved in there for a while but didn’t stay long. All the rubbish at the bus was from him as Desiree kept the place tidy. As I said, she had a lot to put up with. Truck drivers stopping to proposition her for sex. Hoons in cars firing guns over the bus at night. I know someone who called at the bus after she moved and found her diary. Her family back in the UK had been trying to trace her for a fair while. So he sent her diary over to them. I have been in touch with her niece.


When I called in the creek was dry with a stagnant pool, so it must have been tough for her sometimes. I found a damp folder amongst the stuff strewn around with x-rays from 2004 to 2008; she had some problems alright. I know in the end she stood out on the road for 3 hours with her thumb out in the hot sun trying to get a lift into town. How hard would that be for a frail 80 year-old?


Anyway, I would say she just got too ill and went into a nursing home. She was only in there for a short while till she passed away. I am going to go back to the bus soon, and if you just sit on her little cement seat for a while you can imagine how peaceful and nice it must have been. I think this sums her up nicely.


There is a lot to her obscure story and I am trying to find out about her life… one interesting lady.

The bus on Putty Road


The Thing With Cats, Part Two.

by Lori Dwyer on January 23, 2013 · 2 comments

Someone commented on Twitter a few days ago that, just perhaps, TinyTrainTown is very bad juju for cats. The TinyTrainHouse, in particular.

I’m thinking they may have a point.

I guess the easiest way to break this is to say I have both good news, and bad news.

Let’s begin with the good news, shall we…?

You may remember George, bless his little white socks. Just a week or two after losing George– still unable to tell my children the truth, as I still am now, unsure of what good thatt kind of honesty could possibly do– I got one of the most awesome, bizarre, uncannily coincidental emails.

Another one of those coincidental things that happened so perfectly, it doesn’t feel like a coincidence, not really. Not at all.

This email came from a reader of my blog and fellow resident of TinyTrainTown. I think we’ll call her WonderWoman. WonderWoman originally commented on my BookFace page, saying that her family had actually adopted George’s brother from the TinyTrainTown vet a week or so before we took George home. George’s brother’s name was Floyd… and he wasn’t getting on with her older, nearly geriatric other cat at all.

I know, I know… I believe I did, at one point, say ‘no more cats!’ But really- when the Universe offers to fix a problem so practically, so perfectly… why on earth would you say ‘no’?

I didn’t. I said a silent thank you to Whoever’s In Charge and emailed WonderWoman straight back to tell her that, if she ever needed to re–home Floyd, we would be more than happy to take him in.

And WonderWoman, being awesome, allowed us to do just that.

So that’s how it came to happen that the myself, the Chop, and one more than slightly confused Bump found ourselves at WonderWoman’s house. And returned home with Floyd. Who is the very spitting image of his late brother George, except for the teeny white socks on George’s paws.



WonderWoman is a mum herself and has a handful of WonderKids– to be honest, between her kids and my kids and the running and the yelling I have forgotten how many WonderKids there were. But the oldest WonderKid… I think I’ll remember her forever. Her name is Chloe, and she’s just… beautiful. A tween–aged eleven year old, she was pretty and smart and caring and honest and if my Bump grows up to be anything like her, I will be a very happy mum indeed.

Chloe was Floyd’s rightful owner, and, being the very mature young person she is, she made the decision to allow him to come and live with us and see if her family’s other cat– and Floyd himself– would be happier living apart. There were a few tears shed, and I promised Chloe I would give her baby lots of love, cuddles, good food and a human to annoy in bed every single night.

Floyd and the Chop

Floyd and the Chop

I’m pleased to report to Chloe- and to you, jellybeans- that Floyd is well and truly settled in here. He and DimSum the Godfather are quite good mates– DimSum, while old and crotchety, missed his mate George badly, and is patient and tolerant of even the most annoying of kittens.

Which is a good thing. Because Floyd is the very cat–devil himself. He pounces on unsuspecting soft fleshy feet from behind corners, claws at lounges, slinks in to steal food from your plate when you’re not looking, and uses Dimsum’s long, flicking tail as a plaything.

And we all very, very much adore him.

I don’t know quite how to thank WonderWoman and her family enough for the gift they’ve given us. Floyd fits in so well, it’s like he’s been here all along.

In fact, if you ask the Bump, you would think he has been here all along. Poor child is thoroughly confused by the whole cat-swap, and has to be corrected every time she refers to Floyd as ‘Georgie Peorgie’ (But having said that, I also have to correct her every single time she picks up a banksia seed pod and brings it to me saying “Look mummy, a money bank!!”)


If you follow me on Twitter, you may have seen me lamenting and whinging a few days ago about my cat being missing. On returning from Melbourne, I discovered my house sitter had lost both his sense of sanity and proprietary over the weekend and left the TinyTrainHouse mostly un–sat. Mailbox full, plants un–watered… ‘other’ cat (that’d be DimSum) missing.

I’m so ridiculously accustomed to losing pets, I assumed DimSum was dead. Don’t think I’m just being macabre– he’s twelve years old, and the temperature here hit 48 degrees Celsius (that’s 118 degrees in American) on Friday while I was in Melbourne.

And besides that… there’s that horrible, pitch dark road.

My mum did a quick scan of my yard and a slow drive-by of the Very Dangerous Road. No black, fluffy carcass. Which was nice. But in the back of my mind, I was waiting for a skinny, pitiful, ragged creature to drag himself back home to die, the way Tigger had done years ago.

Which was why it was such a huge relief to hear his familiar loud “Mauuuuu!!!” and the reassuring thump of his bulk climbing the lattice at the front steps.



He refuses to divulge details on where he’s been, or what he’s been up to. He was a bit hungry and a bit thirsty but other than that, no worse off for his adventure. Whatever that adventure was. And he’s resumed his usual position of laying like a huge big fluffy lump on the cool concrete of the backyard, with next doors cat’s occasional sitting a respectful distance away from him on either side, like minions or hand-servants or hench–cats or something.


For the reader who asked the (very reasonable) question of whether my vet would like DimSum to lose a bit of weight, if he’s unhealthy heavy. The answer is, believe it or not- no. He’s actually quite skinny, and getting skinnier as he ages.

He’s just… big.