Thursday, September 11, 2008

Animal Tales

If you don't have your own new puppy, the next best thing is to have your brother's family get a new puppy and photograph him in the garden. Percy is on the left - Owen on the right. 9 weeks old and perfectly adorable.

While Owen and Joanne were corralling the new baby - Kevin and I were having our own animal adventures. I was strolling through the living room with the phone when I saw a chipmunk running across the sofa. I excused myself from the phone conversation and went charging down to find Hercules the highly satisfactory (inside) cat. Turns out he'd made a break for it and had made an 8" hole in the screen - leaving the house open to any little creature who might want to come in and say hello. I'd like to mention that this was Kevin's fault as he felt it would be educational and enjoyable for the cat to be able to sit in all the windows next to the screens. From time to time, we'd seen him pounce, but I guess this time, something was so tempting and he just managed to hit the screen in the right place and presto - he was free.

I madly went around closing all the windows and charged outside to see if I could find Herc. As a bit of background, he's a rescue cat - he'd been found in Milton as a kitten with an arrow in his back. I always had this fear that if he got out he'd be smacked by a car - we're close to the street - or would just decide to go on a long toot. Well, fortunately he came when called & I scooped him up and brought him inside. As he struggled to get free, I kept saying, "I have a nice chipmunk for you Herc!" If anyone heard me, they'd think I was mad.

Well, Kevin arrived home just in time to watch Hercules catch the chippy. While we were impressed with his hunting skills, Kevin didn't want the chippy to be hurt - so he got Herc to let go - (did I mention he didn't take the cat back outside). He took Herc - threw him in the bathroom and locked the door - then set out to re-catch the chipmunk. We had him in the livingroom - Kevin tried to get him into a pail - my job was to block with two Pimpernel placements to keep him from running from the room. Well, Kevin managed to get the chippy in the pail - only to have him leap 6 feet in the air and climb up the drapes and out of the dining room. It was at this moment he decided to redraft Hercules.

Hercules was not nearly as enthusiastic to capture the chipmunk this time after being benched for his last capture. Kevin went as far as posing on all fours showing Herc where the chipmunk was hiding. Well, after a further 10 minutes, Herc did indeed get the chipmunk. And, Kevin once again removed him from Hercules. This time they were all trapped in my office - between the squeaking of the chippy, the cat ricocheting off the furniture and finally Kevin shouting "OPEN THE DOOR - I'VE GOT HIM". Kevin then ran down the hall, out the door into the backyard where he dumped the little creature out. I said, "I think he's playing dead." Kevin looked at him and said, "I think he is dead."

Well, good news - playing dead, or just stunned - he jumped to his feet and beat a hasty retreat. So, all's well that ends well. Windows now closed, screen to be fixed next week & Hercules enjoying a celebratory dinner for being such a clever kitty.


Anonymous said...

Wow- sounds like you had quite the ruckus going on! You know I have never seen a chipmunk other than in books. They are cute!

Barbarapc said...

Susie, they sure are! And, like any other rodent, they're looking for a nice warm winter spot - last winter they got into the garage and chewed through bits of my husband's car's wiring. He still feeds them peanuts though.