There has been thirty-five Christmases since Sue and I started taking in wildlife casualties.
Those early days in 1978 were a far cry from the frenetic comings and goings of the modern day Tiggywinkles.
Even at Pemberton Close we were on duty over the Christmas holidays.
It was so different then, so much quieter.
I distinctly remember one Christmas Day when the only casualty was a down and out red-breasted robin.
“D&O” (in Tiggywinkles jargon) soon responded to a little tlc and in no time was up and about raring to go.
Another memorable Christmas was when in the middle of the night, a couple turned up with a massive deer in their boot.
As the husband was a bit worse for wear, to say the least, his wife and I struggled but still managed to manhandle the deer into and onto the floor of our tiny kitchen.
The husband was now in tears.
Then we managed to drag him, the deer not the husband, into our shed. Sue and I finally went off to bed just in case Santa Claus came a-calling.
Nowadays it is almost another world.
People don’t stay at home over Christmas.
They are out and about and that leads to casualties bound for Tiggys.
These, together with our multitude of in-patients means we have to be fully staffed all over the holidays.
The only concession is on Christmas Day itself when, although there are nurses on full time duty, the feeding and cleaning is managed by a skeleton staff backed with our yuletide volunteers.
Mince pies at the ready, the rotas for this Christmas are in place.
All are wondering what will be brought in on Christmas day in the inevitable cardboard box. Perhaps another robin or even Rudolph in the boot of a car.
Merry Christmas from all at Tiggys.