Two Dutch Girls on a Road Trip to Wiltshire

Road Trip 2017 (2) - Richmond to Chawton to Salisbury.

Good afternoon! Would you like to join me for the second part of my road trip in the South-West of England? A long time wish of my daughter...

Thursday, 19 December 2013

The night my Tomcat climbed into my bedroom and left me a live vole in my bed.

My black cat is a constant source of amusement, fun and frustration. We got him from our local shelter, when he was only 2 1/2 months old. He had mange and an eye infection, was terribly skinny but the most affectionate cat I've ever had the pleasure of feeding.

Obviously, Viggo is Master in our house. He rules over our dog (who was here first!), has successfully evicted all the other neighbourhood cats from our garden (even the huge Maine Coon from 3 houses further on)and manages to get us to open doors for him whenever he pleases.

His thanks for all our servitude (mostly mine; my husband and kids's ears aren't as tuned to Viggo's miauw as mine) is to leave me presents. In bed.

The mole and the vole.
On Summer nights, my balcony door is open. To keep the mosquitos out, I have a screen door. But this door doesn't keep Viggo out. He simply hooks his nails in the rubber frame and pulls. If this fails (it sometimes does), he climbs into the screen and howls his annoyance. He will keep this up until I get out of bed and let him in.

But most of the time, he manages to open the door himself. He wakes me up by gently nudging my face, and if this doesn't rouse me he bites my nose (not gently at all). As soon as I'm awake, there are two scenarios:

1. he wants to get under the covers (no problem; he snuggles down and goes to sleep - I go to sleep)
2. he has brought me A Gift.

The first time he did this it was a tiny baby mouse. He presented it with a flourish. Hey, look what I've got you? Isn't it wonderful?
The second time I woke up to a strange smell. I opened my eyes, saw Viggo's eyes gleaming at me and then realised that the smell came from a huge male mole on my pillow. It was dead.
The third time I again woke up to a smell, but this time it was so foul that I woke up gagging.
At the same time, I felt something move from my neck onto my bare arm, and I leapt from my bed. Along with the bedcovers something small and furry fell to the floor, and shot like lightning under my chest of drawers. 

Viggo tried to get under the chest as well, but he was too fat. So he compromised by crouching in front of if and growling. The animal answered by screeching shrilly. I realised that I wouldn't get any sleep until I had rescued the creature, so I knelt in front of the chest as well. Viggo took a swipe at me; he didn't like the competition.

I beat a tactical retreat, to put some clothes on and to get a clothes hanger. Then I shut the cat into the bathroom. He yodeled his frustration.
It took me ten minutes or so to drive the thing into a corner, where I could smother it lightly with a hand towel and pick it up. I then set it free in the garden.

Two days later Viggo brought me yet another vole (the same one, said my husband cynically), but this was a dead one.

The thing is, to get to the bedroom, he has to climb the fence, 2 metres high, then scale a bit of wall (another 20 cm.) and manage that screen door. All with his gift in his mouth...