Friday, June 20, 2008

Things that go bump in the night

Peacefully sleeping, I was, when I was woken at around 2 this morning by a scrabbling sound.

At first I thought it was the cat. He made the discovery last summer that if he brings a mouse into the house and tries to play with it, it escapes and hides and we catch it and put it out again. If, on the other hand, he takes the mouse to the bath, it can’t escape and we don’t interfere and he gets hours of mouse playing entertainment. It is not uncommon for him to do this in the middle of the night. However, he doesn’t usually make quite so much noise. We seldom know anything about it until we get up in the morning. Must be something considerably bigger than a mouse.

The scrabbling sound continued. Perhaps it was burglars – though how burglars would have got in without alerting us or the dog next door was a mystery.

The Builder got up to investigate. He didn’t think it was burglars. He came back suggesting that something was playing in the recycling boxes. He couldn’t see anything, but perhaps a hedgehog had got into one of the boxes and couldn’t get out again. Well, if it was a hedgehog, it was quite a big one – but neither of us felt much inclined to go and rescue wildlife that had got into the recycling boxes at that time of night. In the morning would do. And if it were a rat it would be able to get itself out.

I got up extra specially early this morning. We were out of bread and I thought I would make some cheesy damper for The Builder’s lunch (I had a bit for breakfast – tastes remarkably like a cheese scone!). Plus, I had some washing to put out (I know I’ve been hoping for rain all week – but not today, all right?!?!?!). As I made my way down the garden, I found cream pots scattered about the lawn, licked nice and clean. There was a margarine pot, likewise licked nice and clean. There was all sorts of stuff scattered about, chewed and licked. Has to have been a fox, then, that woke us up. And explains why the scrabbling was intermittent and why we couldn’t see anything when we went to investigate. S/he had been collecting a pot and taking it down the garden to investigate before coming back for another one.

I shall have to start washing the recycling properly, rather than just rinsing it out!

Our new neighbours are almost entirely silent and completely invisible. Since they moved in, I have seen Joanne once, through a window, dimly. I have seen lights on once. And we have once or twice heard a door close. I wonder if they're actually there. If Darius is there, he's a remarkably silent 8 year old

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