What was that nursery rhyme again?

It's that time of year when Buddug the cat likes to entertain us all by bringing in small animals to play with. It's maybe the cold that makes them sluggish and easy to catch; or possibly that they're all too busy trying to fatten up before the winter sleep to notice five kilos of not-very-graceful Maine Coon cat creeping up on them before it's too late. Whatever the reason, since getting back to Wales on Monday night, she's brought in at least one a day.

Normally the batteries are quite run down by the time she's finished playing with her toys, but there's usually enough life left in them to give the dogs a little fun. Mortimer in particular enjoys the chase, although his old bones make it hard for him to actually catch anything. Every so often, however, a poor beastie gets its second wind and makes a bid for freedom.

You can tell when this has happened, because Buddug starts to spend a lot of time in the front lobby, staring at the small writing desk there. Escapees almost always end up underneath or behind this, waiting in abject terror for either the big bad fluff and claw to go away or the heart to give out, whichever comes first.

Who? Me?

Sometimes I spoil the fun by hoiking the desk out of the corner, trapping whatever shrew, mouse or (occasionally) small rabbit has been picked out for the evening show, and throwing it out the front door into the neighbour's garden. The lucky ones scamper off into the darkness a bit wiser. I don't know what happens to the unlucky ones.

Last night there was a late performance; it didn't start until well after the ten o'clock news had finished, and by the time I was ready for bed, I really couldn't be arsed fighting with the desk and trying to catch a wee sleekit timorous beastie whatever the panic that might have been in its breast(ie). So I turfed the cat out of the lobby and into the kitchen, meaning to deal with the aftermath in the morning.

Come alarm time, I'd forgotten all about it, of course. And I didn't even remember whilst I was in the shower. But dried off and pulling on my multi-tartan trousers it all came rushing back. As I put my left leg in (and then took it out, sharpish), something wriggled, squeaked, and fell out the bottom onto the floor.

Something looking remarkably like a plump field mouse.

not this one, obviously

Poor thing had somehow made it up the stairs in the dead of night, squeezed its way under the bedroom door and found sanctuary finally in the warmth and interesting smells of my trousers. Being rudely evicted by my foot must have come as something of a surprise. Certainly it was very sleepy; I could pick it up easily. It probably thought it had found the ideal hibernation spot, so dropping it out of the window into the flowerbed below was perhaps a bit cruel.

But there are just some things up with which I will not put.


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