Illustration by Jenny Lamont
The one where DD feels rather sleep deprived, searches her memory for when she didn’t live with animals, and then gives up; there really wasn’t ever such a time, and she wouldn’t change that for the world!
Last night was eventful in our little cottage. After a few nights of sleeping downstairs with Sammy (in an attempt for both of us to sleep more soundly…), we’d decided to bunk with The Dad upstairs. It went well until 22h00, when Sammy disappeared downstairs.
I lay and listened, but couldn’t hear what she was getting up to. Finally, I nodded off. I woke with a start about five minutes later and worried about all sorts of scenarios, as only a slightly paranoid dog mom can do. I decided it was best to go and check where she was. I took the torch, and by halfway down the stairs, I could see her spread out comfortably on the couch surrounded by every shoe she could find; looking like a little weird shoe sacrifice. Satisfied she was safe, I went back to bed and, less than two seconds later, I heard a squeak… even before Sheba did… and then she did!
Sheba dashed down the stairs and I followed (she’s much faster than me!), yelling to the soundly sleeping (but not for long) Dad that we’d be needing him. Again, I only got halfway down when I spied Arty Cat with a fat rat in his mouth. Arrgghhh! I really wish he wouldn’t. And Arty doesn’t kill them either… (which is a good thing, of course, for all concerned – mostly the rat), he simply brings them in… and sets them free and then collapses next to them to watch them. I suppose in his mind it’s a bit like “Rat TV”.
James had heard the panic in my voice, so he shuffled down the stairs. He was less than amused but there was no way I was going a step (literally) further. With Sheba (who was keen to help), Sammy (who was disgruntled that her shoe arrangement was at risk of being messed with) and Arty (who had a “front-row seat”), I gingerly made my way down to get the emergency rat-catching tools… a trusty Checkers packet and the braai tongs.
Like a trusty assistant, I handed them over to James and promptly left the room to a safe distance from which I could still see and kindly (I thought) give instructions (as one does ☺). Although not mortally wounded, I think the rat was a bit stunned: perhaps he’d never seen so many shoes! The rat didn’t run away, enabling James to easily catch him and pop him in the bag. It was only then that bleary-eyed Aaron ventured out of his “man-cave” asking what the commotion was. Had I known he was still awake watching a movie, I would’ve asked him to help save Mr Rat and not woken the less-than-cheerful Dad. But all’s well that ends well.
The Dad did the walk of freedom up the road (giggle – yes, in his pyjamas and bare feet) to release Mr Rat, and by the time he returned, everyone needed a wee. It was then discovered that there was another not-quite-as-lucky Rat outside! I wonder if they were related? I swear, I told you that we think brother Lewie is on a rat stakeout. I’m sure he just gives one or two to Arty to keep him out of his way. I haven’t seen Lewie since Friday evening. Or is that Saturday? It’s really difficult to know when to panic about a “lost” cat when your cat stays away from home more than not!
Anyway, here’s hoping he’ll pop in for a little “hello and howzit” later. Unless he’s filling up on rats? He isn’t eating half as much as he usually does, and I can see that he’s slimmer than he was. Cats… they truly are grey hairs in fluffy coats, but we can’t imagine life without them!