Good Morning All.
Today they have predicted a lovely sunny day here in Leicestershire, UK. Doesn’t mean much, frankly, because they usually get it wrong. At least they do in my little corner of Leicestershire. I think it has something to do with the fact that this area is built on an ancient volcano site and we are way up with the Gods.
It is a long-standing joke amongst friends and family that as soon as they leave the motorway the weather changes and it is like entering another world. I like that. It appeals to my sense of humour to think that I live in another world – physically as well as mentally I mean!
Talking of other worlds, and vistas beyond perimeters, I can now bring you the inevitable news that Chea broke free from the garden on Friday and went walkabout. Admittedly my mind was temporarily distracted by levelling out a barrow-load of gravel at the time but when I realised that I hadn’t seen her chasing the chucks or attempting to walk on pond-weed for the last ten minutes a warning bell clanged.
I’d noticed her on the top of the old chuck cage and daringly venturing up onto the top of the fence over the last couple of days and had in fact mentioned to Richard that we needed to move the chuck cage. She had always jumped back onto the cage as the drop the other side was over six feet. I knew she had gone. There was an unexplainable eerie emptiness about the garden. I also knew that the neighbours side gate was locked and that they had gone to work.
Erecting a tall fence that keeps out all invaders is great. Erecting a tall fence which prevents your own cat from getting back is a bad move. Eventually, by standing on a chair and resting my chin on the top of the fence, I saw her drifting through the neighbours hedgerow, where Lauren, the dog-groomer lives. Chea has yet to meet a dog!
Waving a ‘treat’ and cooing in loving tones I attempted to encourage her back into my neighbour’s garden. All went well and she appeared next door. Still cooing to her in encouraging tones, telling her what a lovely little girl she was, I held my fast growing annoyance under control – until she decided to flaunt her tabby-hide up the neighbours path, waddling her bum, ignoring me totally and with an air about her that clearly said, ‘bugger off, I’m not coming back.’
I contemplated another hose pipe incident but dismissed it. No point in making her run if there was nowhere to run.
There was one weak link in the fence. A part of it that hadn’t been replaced and still had trellis covered with ivy, so I dropped to my knees, scratching around in the debris, attempting to make a hole large enough for her to get through and stuck my hand through, waving a treat and sweetly sing-songing, ‘Cheee-aaaa. Cheee-aaa. Come on sweetie. Treat. TreeeeATTTT. Come and get THE SODDING TREAT YOU BAG OF SHIT!’
I climbed back onto the chair and she was nowhere in sight. I regrouped my head, my attitude and my temper and realised that there was nothing for it but to attempt to raise the fence panel in its concrete posts, chock it, thereby exposing a gap, crawl through it and fetch the little bugger. After summoning up super-hero strength I raised the panel and chocked it. Through the gap I could see Chea so I found a piece of straw and making ‘quick-quick’ noises ( it’s a cat person thing!) I tricked her back to the gap in the fence. Half dragging the creature through I grabbed her, marched her down to the house, launched her through the door and left her in the kitchen.
Richard dared to ask how my day had been!
Saturday morning, up with the lark, Richard set about dismantling the chuck cage. Then with lump hammer in hand he began smashing his way through the cage base which was a foot of solid concrete. Poor thing – all this with a calcified shoulder.
The sound was deafening as he thwacked the concrete time after time. When the job was two-thirds done he bent to remove a corner which had broken off and stopped. ‘Ah,’ he said.
‘Ah? What’s ah? What is it?’
It’s a mouse,’ he said.
I retreated ten steps. ‘Shit! Is it? Don’t let it run this way.’
We both watched as a little field mouse staggered off, heading towards the rockery. It looked shaken and stirred in equal measures. Richard then picked up the corner of concrete and a little nose, followed by two, blinking, light-sensitive eyes, poked out.
Richard downed tools and said, ‘That’s it! I’m not moving the rest of it now.’
We placed the concrete back, leaving just enough space for the baby to get out and/or for mummy mouse to come back, and we called it a day. At least the baby was old enough to leave the nest. How in God’s name they managed to survive the sound and vibration of the lump hammer is amazing. We both felt like utter shits having caused the poor things such obvious stress but how were we to know they were there? And it was all bloody Chea’s fault. If she hadn’t decided to start using the chuck cage as a way out of Colditz we would never have dismantled it.
Richard checked the mouse site first thing Sunday and the baby had gone and no bodies were found. So now I live with the fact that I have field mice living in the rockery next to the chucks shed. I suppose it is too much to expect Chea to keep down the mice population? Actually, I’m not too sure I would want her to? She still pats at and chases bees. Being the recipient of a wasp sting last week has taught her nothing. In fact, I’m beginning to wonder if she is half as smart as she thinks she is?
Take care my lovelies x