THE KINDNESS of a local amateur artist is helping a Holme Valley couple get over the distressing murder of their cat.

Pearl and Brian Duckett, of Holmbridge, were distraught when their black and white pet Woody was found dead on June 1.

A neighbour had discovered him lying on a boulder in nearby Woodhouse Lane Quarry. He had been shot through the head.

But when former teacher and keen amateur artist Shirley Waddington read the story in the Examiner, she decided to create a lasting memory of Woody for the Ducketts.

Shirley, 60, of Kirkburton, painted a pastel portrait of him from the photograph in our newspaper and then contacted us to ask if Mrs Duckett would like to accept the painting.

Shirley, who used to be in charge of the autism unit at Moldgreen Community Primary School, is a member of Huddersfield Art Society and Emley Art Group.

She said: “Woody was the same colour as our cat Sam. He was 14 when he died and I remember how upset we all were – and that was when he had died of natural causes.

“I felt so upset that somebody could be so cruel. I really felt for the family. It was an awful thing to happen, so I thought I would try and restore their faith in human nature.”

Mr and Mrs Duckett were delighted to accept the painting, which now hangs in pride of the place in the kitchen.

Pearl, 65, said: “It is a lovely picture, it’s just like Woody.

“It is so kind of Shirley to have thought about us, we are overwhelmed by the gesture and would like to thank her very much.

“I have hung the painting in the kitchen so I can see it all the time.

“It is nice to know there are some kind people out there who really care.”

Pearl and Brian have just adopted a malnourished 15-month-old cat from a cat rescue centre at Penistone.

“She will never replace Woody, he was special. Although she is still thin, she is now fit and healthy and has settled in wonderfully.”