Crazy animal week.

This week has been a very animal orientated one.

First of all, it was a spider. Nel and I were watching TV in my room when we noticed something dangling from the cupboard door above the TV. Having seen it was a spider on a web, trying to climb the door, we watched him for several minutes before realising the door front was too smooth and he couldn’t get a grip on it. He kept trying, failing and pain-stakingly climbing his web thread before bungee jumping again. So we did what anyone would do – we rescued him by virtue of me picking up his web thread and taking him to a nearby shelf for a bit of respite. The silly thing was obviously an adrenalin junkee because he promptly bungee jumped again! Then he started climbing back up – before changing his mind and deciding to lower himself to the ground instead. Except that he kept stopping for a rest (or to make more webby stuff, or whatever spiders do!) Well we couldn’t watch TV without knowing he was safe, so we were both down on all fours on the carpet, watching his new activity – abseiling. We even decided he looked like a “Jeremy”, so Jeremy he became. Just when we thought he was almost there, he decided to start climbing back up again! “Noooooo! You’re almost there Jeremy”, we cried. Thankfully, he changed his mind once again, and continued his descent, with the odd rest now and then. When he got to about 3 inches from the ground, he stopped again. And dangled upside down, utterly motionless. Argh! “Jeremy, wake up” You’re nearly there!” We didn’t know if was asleep (do spiders sleep?) or if he had given up, or what. Suddenly he gave a little jerk, and his web thread lengthened and he dropped ground ward – without apparently moving any part of his body. Then he stopped as he gently touched the carpet and casually ambled away to the corner without a care in the world. Phew! Good old Jeremy! πŸ™‚

Next up was a dog. On the way home from work on Tuesday evening, about 200 yards from the house, I noticed a chocolate Labrador trotting happily up the other side of the street, apparently unaccompanied. I watched him for a minute or two as we walked in the same direction, he a fair way ahead of me, and then he decided to cross the road. Without looking, hurrying or even seeming to notice the cars. Not even the one that had to screech to halt, missing him by mere inches! He just looked up with a bemused look and carried nonchalantly on his way. I hurried to grab his collar as he arrived on my side of the road, and he obligingly sat still to let me read his tag, which told me his name was Coco and had a home and a mobile telephone number detailed. Still holding him with one hand, I scrabbled in my bag for my phone and dialed the home number – which was missing a digit! So I called the mobile, and got through to a lady who, since she was at home some miles away, said she’d call her husband who was working nearby and from whom Coco had escaped. I said that in the meantime I’d take him to our garden as it was dog proof, and her husband could call me to arrange to collect the escapee. As I finished the call, the car that had almost hit him pulled into the side road nearby, and had obviously turned round further along and returned to check the dog was OK. The driver came over and started to apologise, saying he’d just walked out in front of her, so I reassured her that he wasn’t my dog and that I had seen how she had done nothing wrong – in fact, she’d done well to stop. I told her his owner had been notified and that I’d keep him safe in the meantime and she went on her way, pleased to know he was safe. I then had to stoop to hold his collar while I took him to our front door (good job it wasn’t too far) and when we were almost there, he slipped the collar! Good job he was a friendly, dopey thing, let me grab the scruff of his neck and put the collar back on him. I opened the front door and called Nel to open the back gate saying I had a dog with me and would explain when he was safely in the back yard! We gave him a drink of water and I told Nel the tale, and then Coco’s owner called to see where we were and I gave him directions to the back gate. He appeared in his van and said that the dog had escaped from his work premises and he’d have to sort it. I relayed what had happened and reassured him that there had been no damage to dog, cars or people, and how obliging and friendly Coco had been for me. No surprise there, the owner said, he’s “soft as clarts.”

On Saturday we had the return of Jeremy, another spider….. and a rat!

Nel spotted movement on the tea chest in my room and declared “It’s Jeremy!” “How do you know it’s him?” I asked. She said that he looked just like Jeremy and when I looked, I agreed that he did. (Yes, I am aware of just how nutty we are! AA Milne’s got nothing on us! In fact if you’ve ever read “Now we are six“, I’m sure you’d agree that Jeremy would be quite at home there.)

I also saved another spider from a watery grave before my shower – though convincing him that he really SHOULD step onto the tissue I was holding was hard work. Did he want his life saved or not? Eventually I won, and I placed him gently on the windowsill to trot off so I could throw the tissue away after my ablutions were complete. Only he’d decided to take a nap instead! I didn’t dare leave him there as someone might put the tissue in the bin with him still snoozing inside – so I hid him, tissue and all, in a drawer. Which reminds me – I better go and see if I can throw that tissue now else I’ll wonder, weeks down the line, why on earth there is a tissue in my contact lens drawer! πŸ˜‰

And finally …… the rat! As soon as I came downstairs for breakfast on Saturday morning, I knew the cats had something cornered in the kitchen and when Zeb wolfed down his breakfast and then sat (in my way) staring under the cooker, I knew where it was. Timmy also took a turn watching, but Zara was off on her post-breakfast prowl, which made me think she was probably responsible for bringing home the new visitor and then lost interest it. Later, Zeb was back at his station, and then he suddenly crept forward so that his nose was pressed up against the glass door of the oven. “Silly boy! What’s so interesting in the oven?” I asked. Then noticed movement. IN the oven! What? I peered in and saw a rodent so ran and called Nel (AKA Rodent girl, since she loves them so much and is a hamster keeper, and a mouse/vole/shrew rescuer.) She came and looked and declared that the mouse, was in fact, a baby rat! A female one! ARGH! I don’t like the thought of ANY rodent running round my kitchen, much less a rat – and a rat IN my oven! (You’re humming the old UB40 song now aren’t you? πŸ˜› ) We debated what to do about it, but eventually realised there really wasn’t much we COULD do! The rat, by this time, had disappeared back down the gas inlet and presumably back under the cooker. If it reappears, Nel will try and catch it and release it back to the wild. Otherwise, I can only hope the cats read their job descriptions and realise their pact to live with humans said they were to catch and kill rodents INSIDE the house to REMOVE them – not that they were to invite them to an all-you-can-eat buffet under the kitchen units! I did have a little dilemma when it got to dinner time as I wanted to use the oven – top-shelf, untouched by rodent paws. But did I dare light it and risk crisping the poor little thing whose only wrongdoing had been not outrunning a cat? In the end, I made a noise opening the door, shook the oven around a bit to try and scare her out of the vicinity, and then held let the gas flow a while before igniting it hopes that the smell might make her run if she hadn’t already. Happily dinner was cooked sans roast rat which was a relief. I may not want her making herself at home in my house, but neither would I wish such a horrific death on any creature.

So….. it’s been an animal packed week in all. Good job I like most of them πŸ™‚

Comments

  1. All is quiet on the Rat front – no idea if she’s still around or not. I expect either renewed feline interest or a horrible stink will let me know either way at some point!
    Jeremy has reappeared though and when last seen was having a rest from his adventures and was sitting quietly pondering on the ceiling. πŸ™‚

  2. Well a week later and I’ve just removed a smelly dead rat from behind the fridge freezer. Cheers, cats! πŸ™

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