Treading on raw intestines in your bare feet is the absolute worst thing. Usually when I come down in a morning I’m checking the floor first to see if anything sinister’s been brought in by the cat overnight. But the other day the beautiful dawn distracted me and before I knew it there was a horrible squelch underfoot.
Sometimes I hate the cat. He’s a killing machine in disguise no matter how cute he looks stretched out on the garden path under the flowers. I’m an animal racist I suppose – I don’t mind him keeping the rat numbers down if only he’d leave the cuter wildlife alone.
Wildlife indoors, or bits of them, is one of the challenges you face living in the country. Lately it’s been big black beetles. But this morning’s specific challenge was a fledgling Wren in the studio where I write.
It bleeped and scrabbled frantically at the window panicking as to why it couldn’t go forward. I was panicking about strategies to get it out before it did itself real damage against the window, whilst the dog, sensing the panic, raised the alarm by rushing about with hackles up. And the killing machine went from contented sleep mode to mega alert in a nano second.
I grabbed the pets and shut them in the kitchen, snatched up a towel and opened the French windows wide. But the bird fluttered frantically in the opposite direction, cowered behind an artists’ mannequin propped drunkenly on a shelf corner and shat. Finally I managed to throw the towel over it, scoop it up and set it free. As it fluttered off I heard its parents telling it off from a nearby shrub.
When I let them through the dog and cat rushed around sniffing manically but the only remaining evidence was that little accident in the corner.
I’m sure glad the bird wasn’t just intestines by the time I found it!