I’ve got the purr-fect job - working in a vets’ practice

Until earlier this year, Lesley had a rather lovely fake white Christmas tree. It ended up in a skip...               (Shutterstock)

LESLEY KEATING: To fake or not to fake, that is the question

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It’s never too late for a career change. I’m now experiencing a different kind of theatre as I’m working as a receptionist at a veterinary surgery as well as continuing my other roles at the Kings Theatre in Southsea and Ferneham Hall in Fareham.

I’ve been passionate about all creatures great and small since my childhood. My first pet was a rather feisty kitten who was going to be drowned by some vile human, but my kindhearted mum came to the rescue and Rusty was with us for the next 15 years.

It’s wonderful to be included in those early days when owners proudly bring that adorable bundle of fluff into the clinic

Since then a plethora of kitties have been with us, from homeless strays to cute furry faces spotted in petshop windows.

So you can see that working in a vets’ practice that deals solely with felines is kind of ‘purr-fect’ for me!

One of the most enjoyable aspects is the interaction with the owners and their pets and also the variety of the job. There is no such thing as a dull day here.

I hate to see our four-legged friends suffer, so it’s very rewarding to work somewhere that improves animal welfare – and who can resist a cuddle with a mischievous kitten?

It’s wonderful to be included in those early days when owners proudly bring that adorable bundle of fluff into the clinic.

We get to watch their pet grow with its new family, overcoming obstacles and celebrating their success along the way.

The same can be said when a very ill cat comes in and is made well again.

The only downside is, as you might guess, when they have to be put to sleep. It can be heart-wrenching, especially when the patient is a pussy you have got to know well.

It’s very hard to see someone so upset at the loss of their beloved feline friend.

Oddly, ever since I started working at the practice I keep being stalked by strange cats.

It’s happened to me on several occasions now. One moggie even somehow snuck into my car and went halfway down the motorway with me. Luckily I spotted him and returned him safely to his home .

But overall it’s a complete joy to be doing a job that is so fulfilling. I feel like the cat that got the cream.