Paddy: a ten-year-old owl belonging to Cathy Mungall-Baldwin
Cathy said: “I bought Paddy from the Oxford University shop in Guildford Grove. I saw him in the window and realised I wasn’t moving on without him. He helped me get through my PhD thesis by looking cute and cuddling me in my flat. I am a researcher and have lived and worked in the USA and Australia, so he’s lived in both countries. I travel regularly for work and he is quite popular at security as he is often found in my bag by the officers who like to check him out. Paddy has also been to India, Iceland and various other countries. I once left him at a cousin’s in Melbourne Australia by mistake, and my repeated requests to post him back were ignored, as their toddler loved him so much and wasn’t keen to relinquish him. It took a flight to Melbourne to prize him away and bring him home with me (from Sydney, where I was living at the time, not the UK thankfully!) He is a favourite with my friends’ children, and has left many heart-broken when I’ve refused to hand him over for adoption. He also makes even serious academics smile a bit when he has sat on my desk at work in various jobs. He has a look-alike relation who lives in the waiting room of the hydrotherapy pool at the Astlie Ainslie Hospital in Edinburgh. Paddy has been to visit and he amuses fellow patients when they sit together. He will be with me till the end 😉 He is my alter ego and suits my sense of sillyness/childness which doesn’t need much of an excuse for an airing, even though I am 43 and work in overseas aid and health research. I am very lucky in having a large imagination and being able to balance academic work with a healthy sense of creativity and sillyness. Paddy is the perfect vehicle for expressing that! I still have lots of toys from my childhood and they all live in my flat. I never saw the need to send them away, poor things.
Paddy is snowy white, but sometimes gets a little grey, so he likes visiting the toy hospital for surface cleaning and a wash and brush-out.
He’s all mine, hands off. Hoot hoot!”