My Family and Other Animals (Part 4)
On one occasion, Maslow, our pet cat and furball baby, was having to go to the vet for a general anaesthetic in order to have his teeth cleaned. Consequently he was not allowed food or the liberty of the great outdoors that night. Being the soft parents that we are, with concerns over anaesthetic risks, Maslow was allowed to sleep upstairs….never the best tactic for a restful night, but eventually we all settled down and managed to get some sleep despite the “boy” fidgeting at our feet and the sound of his gentle snoring. It could have been C but I don’t think so. It certainly wasn’t me…….
At 5am in the morning I was awoken by this strange scratching noise. At first I thought it must be Maslow seeking attention but then realised he was still fast asleep at the foot of the bed. I listened again to locate the sound and opened my eyes to see a dark shadow climbing up the bedroom curtains. I leapt (yes, even at my age) out of the bed and switched the light on, which prompted mutterings of complaint from both Maslow and C alike.
I went to the curtains and there, sat on the curtain pole, and looking down at me, was a field mouse. When I made a grab for it, it leapt to the floor and took refuge behind the wardrobe. The big, heavy, immovable wardrobe.
Maslow is a flawed mouser! There then followed a couple of hours of Maslow and I running from corner to corner of the bedroom, in a Benny-Hill-like pursuit, trying to catch the blessed rodent….to no avail. Maslow eventually got bored and went in search of food and liberty……in vain. He couldn’t be fed until after the vet. C and I eventually got bored and decided to shut all other doors except the bedroom and leave a clear path for the mouse to he front door, which we left open. It was very cold……..
Fortunately, Maslow survived the anaesthetic and came home with pearly white gnashers. He has been given some toothpaste to help keep them that way, which he absolutely adores. Also, fortunately, the mouse has not been seen again…..unless he sprouted wings.
I came around quite quickly. I soon located the source of C’s distress. A bat! A furry little vampire mouse on wings, circling our bedroom. I opened the curtains. I opened the two windows, but to no avail. The bat, being blind, could not see it’s way to freedom.
Unlike birds, bats do not fly towards the light.The bat also seemed unable of smelling (do they have a sense of smell?) the fresh air of freedom, nor could his sonar detect the open windows. The bat continued to circle, swooping ever so closely to my head. I don’t like bats. Not when they are so close you can see their teeth. Clearly, this winged rodent was not going to find its own way out.
So, I retrieved a towel from the washing basket, climbed onto the bed, and proceeded to twirl the towel around my head in an attempt to drive the bat towards the open windows, without attempting to hit it of course. Thank goodness, it was not later. If this had been 9 am on a Sunday morning instead of 5, the pony club that passes the house at that time, may have had a bit of a shock if they had looked up to see a 40 year old beardie, fully naked, jumping up and down on the bed, twirling a bath towel around his head……..
Fortunately, after about 20 minutes or so, it worked. I managed to drive the little critter to the right height and eventually, it found the hole, the great outdoors, and, freedom!