We don’t get much excitement in the Wolfe/Woodward household, and that is just how we like it. We don’t even have the TV to distract us these days, since a new satellite was launched recently and the UK TV beam was narrowed to omit southern Spain. We keep up to date with The Times online and BBC Radio 4, and I manage to record The Good Wife and get a daily dose of The Archers to keep the media withdrawal symptoms at bay.
I’d like to explain the hierarchy amongst our animals.
Sheba (cat), although extremely affectionate with humans, can be a nasty piece of work towards Roly (dog) and will often bat him around the head for absolutely no reason whatsoever, and Roly shows considerable deference to her inside the house, although when they are outside they seem to be on more equal terms.
Meanwhile Roly thinks he has been put on this earth in order to dominate Liana (horse). If ever the horse is showing any sign of bad manners, Roly barks like mad, snaps at her heels and even jumps up to try to bite her nose. I have to say that Liana totally ignores the dog, unless he is bossing her around inside her stable, at which point she lowers her head and moves towards him, whereby Roly very swiftly removes himself from the vicinity.
So back to this evening – I was busy in the kitchen whilst David was reading on his ipad when suddenly the alarm was raised, and all hands (and feet and teeth in Roly’s case) were required to get the situation under control. The cry was ‘she’s got a rat, and I think it’s alive’. Now cat flaps are very convenient accessories in homes where cats, and in our case, dogs reside. Roly being a small terrier is just able to squeeze through the flap. But they are not so convenient when your cat is a champion hunter. My beautiful princess pussycat is back in full warrior mode after spending the winter hibernating on our bed or on her favourite cushion. I woke up last night to the sound of crunching bones outside my bedroom door, and it is always wise to put on my shoes to visit the loo in the middle of the night, just in case she has left us a present in the hallway, although I have to say she usually leaves no trace of her victims.
My immediate reaction on hearing the alarm was to swap my flimsy sandals for my stable boots – I wasn’t planning on ratty running over my bare toes! Then I grabbed a few tools (although I have to admit, not very useful ones, but those closest to hand) a colander, a metal basket and a fly swat, and then I joined David, Roly and Sheba in the hallway and quickly closed the bedroom door to keep our unwanted visitor out.
After moving everything that could trip us up in hand-to-paw combat, David pulled out the bureau that ratty was hiding behind whilst I stood at the ready with my fly swat and colander. He popped up from behind the bureau and then disappeared again. When it was moved sufficiently for Roly and Sheba to get in behind, ratty made a break for it, headed to the lounge and dived under the sofa. I systematically moved all the plants out of the way and David pulled the sofa away from the wall.
There followed a short but frenetic period when ratty darted to and fro along the back wall whilst I made a few girly noises when it came anywhere near me and my fly swat. Sheba was about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike, whilst Roly was charging up and down after the (not so) little blighter and finally made contact in mid-air, amongst much squealing (from ratty). A quick shake of the head ensued, after which Roly charged across the room with ratty clenched firmly (and by now rather limply) between his teeth and he and ratty flew through the cat flap and out into the garden.
So for once Roly reigned supreme and left Sheba in his wake. But I don’t suppose either of them will remember that in the morning when Roly will go back to giving Sheba a wide berth just in case she feels like swatting him.
Who needs TV when our animals provide such quality entertainment for us?