Crooked House

A country life in France

December Reflections 4: Red

Nature is red in tooth and claw and nobody knows this better than a person that shares their life with cats…

At 4 am today there was a thud, followed closely by another thud, and another. It sounded curiously like a rather fat cat pouncing on something.

“Has Dusty brought some prey in?”

The Crooked Man went to investigate. Dusty had indeed brought some prey in and when he saw his dad, he let go of it and it ran under the shower tray. It was reported as a tiny thing, “a shrew or something” and could not be got at and so we returned to bed.

Then Dusty began scrabbling in our bedroom, where the access panel to the shower plumbing and electrics is. Dad did his best to block it off and then returned to bed again.

Whereupon Nell began to clamour to go outside. The Crooked Man dressed and went downstairs, closely followed by a cat that thought it might get fed. He fed it, took Nell out and then returned to bed once more.

“We aren’t going to get any sleep at all now, Dusty will be straight back up looking for his kill.” But I was wrong. Clearly his early morning snack had made him sleepy and he did not return upstairs. Hurrah.

Dusty in a quieter moment this week

When morning proper came, we were sat in bed with our coffee. I was reading my tablet when I noticed a movement to my left. A large and very rotund mouse was wandering about the bedroom floor. It wasn’t a tiny little shrew at all! Of course, the Crooked Man can see virtually nothing with his contacts out. He may have got it wrong. The alternative is that Dusty has brought more than one rodent in… Let us not think about it.

Anyway. Big. Fat. Mouse. Very cute. I observed it for a while and then it wandered beneath the bed, to emerge on the far side – where the Crooked Man began chatting with it as he attempted to catch it, until it disappeared. “You haven’t gone in there, have you?” I could not help but wonder what was going on.

Self-capture, plugged with a pair of boxers

It had jumped into a shoe, which was promptly plugged with some handy underwear. The Crooked Man put his clothes on once again and went to let the mouse go free. As I write these words I realise that we have been out shopping and I completely forgot to look for Humane mouse traps! I doubt that every incursion this winter will be as readily disposed of. We will be needing traps. Also Peanut Butter, which I failed to find today.

Traps are better than stepping on a mouse stomach, which I did the other day – the only trace remaining of said rodent was a stomach lying on the kitchen floor. Very neatly laid out. Reminded me of A-Level Biology dissection lessons.

Here’s a pic of Dusty from earlier this year

Lovely boy. A few touches of Red in there too…

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