Critters

May 25, 2012

“SCREE! SCREE!” The alarm goes off and I roust quickly out of sleep. Fire alarm? Cell phone? No.

Bird. The adrenaline slowly subsides. I sneak to the open window to try to get a look at my summer nemesis. As usual, he has vanished into the foliage of the maple close by the end of the house. It is 4:46 a.m. I would love to get a look at this critter. Most often in my mind there is the foresight of my twelve gauge shotgun superimposed on his fluffy little body, though. Why does he use our bedroom as his echo chamber?

So I grab a coffee and stumble out the lane to the observation deck to watch the morning. The dog’s still not used to this routine, but gamely shoos robins off the gravel until I find a seat under the overhanging maple, then snuggles in beside the chair. Cool for napping. Mosquitoes arrive. Lots of them. That’s not so bad. If they had died off in the strange weather this spring, the fishing would suffer greatly.

Another fire-alarm-bird* goes off in Chant’s quarry, a quarter mile away. These critters are very loud.

There isn’t enough fog today for what Bet calls a Monet morning, so I say goodbye to the mosquitoes and go back to bed. The sun can rise by itself.

*If anybody can tell me the species of my fire-alarm-bird, I’d appreciate it.

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Last evening on the way out the Chaffey’s Locks Road I nearly ran over a groundhog which was peeking up from its burrow. The little devil has dug in right at the edge of the asphalt on a corner. Imagine: becoming a road kill without leaving your living room.

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John Wing told me a good one this week while draining blood from my arm. Our mutual childhood friend Don Goodfellow has developed a reputation as a soft touch among the cats of Westport. Apparently last week on a rainy night Don awoke at 2:00 a.m. to a loud, repeated meowing at his side door. When he opened it a cat he had never seen before marched into his kitchen, carrying a kitten. She looked around and dashed down the basement stairs, only to return and meow to be let out.

Shortly she returned with another.

By morning Don and the visiting feline had assembled the entire litter in a box in Don’s basement. Then the tabby took off, leaving it to Don to transport her surplus offspring to the Humane Society.

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