For a wee while this week I felt that I was in the middle of a real life re-enactment of the children's nursery rhyme: There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly
. You know, the one where she has to employ increasingly larger animals to counter the effects of the one used before.
I expect the ditty finally comes to a climax and the Old Lady meets a terrible ending. For, after all, that is the way of these wee harmless jingles we sing to the weans in their crib. However, I digress, let me get back to the real point of my story.
So, Daisy, the wee dog who lives with us, has become so attached to the family that the vet actually calls her Daisy Eardley. I mean, at no time did I ever indicate to the practice that we had formally adopted her or anything weird like that, it really has just, over time, become the name that she is known by. Not that we refer to her as Daisy Eardley, that would be too formal. We don't, after all, address our children by their first names and then add Eardley, so why in heavens would we do that with a dog?
Anyway, Daisy was with us in the living room, stretched out in her favourite position, across the entire length of the couch, while myself and my wife Karen occupied our normal place sitting on the floor. Suddenly she jumped up and sped across the room, knocking over the vast array of plants immediately in front of the TV. I know it is an overused word but in this case it was true, the scene was one of complete carnage as she tried to get in behind the back of the screen.
Karen's first words were, 'it's the mice, the mice are back', a throwback to an infestation of mice, or indeed one recidivist mouse who visited us a few weeks ago and whom we despatched by humane means, trapping and releasing in the wild, each time further from home. If it was that same mouse or mice, I said under my breath, they must have gone on holiday for a few weeks before deciding to come home.
Daisy is going berserk at this point ,desperately trying to get to the small round storage thing sitting at the back of the TV. Karen is predicting an army of mice has been visited upon us and I am looking at the mounds of soil being tramped in the carpet by the near demented dog.
Something had to give. I looked around. Couldn't move the plants, that would just cause more mess. So it had to be poor wee Daisy, unceremoniously despatched out the back door. Now to find out the truth. Had the mice/mouse returned? With slight trepidation, I approached the round cupboard type of thing, expecting at any moment to see a rodent dash out and confirm Karen's worst fears. However, nothing of the kind transpired. Instead, to my amazement, a wee head appeared, that of a lovely wee grey tabby cat.
Obviously frightened and probably having looked out over the past couple of hours from her hiding place and seeing what to her was a big lumbering dog, she was pretty scared and took a bit of coaxing out by Karen. The funny thing was I knew immediately whose cat she was. A neighbour from an adjoining street had shown me a picture of his missing pet and asked that I look out for her.
Picking her up ,I headed round to break the good news, but not before more drama as halfway around the road she got spooked, dug her claws into me, bit me and ran like hell when I dropped her. Thankfully, she headed straight home. It will forever remain a mystery as to how and when she made her way into our house. She had only been missing for a few hours.
As I sit here writing, I can hear Daisy barking furiously in the garden and I am smiling in the sure knowledge that the object of her attention is the grey tabby, who will be sitting atop the garden wall just that wee bit out of reach of my perplexed wee pal. And you know what, all she really wants to do is play with her.
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