We returned home from our holiday to three losses and a considerable gain.
I will vent my spleen about one of our losses separately, I expect. The two other losses were in tiny hamster form. Two had escaped from the cage while we were away – mini Houdinis that they are. The woman who was looking after them was so upset. She even offered to buy us replacements – I felt a bit of an uncaring pet owner to say that we actually had more hamsters than we really had space for already. One hamster had sadly come to a bit of a sticky end – no more need be said about that – but the other was simply missing in action.
Until we sat watching TV that evening.
At about 9pm, just as we were settling to watch New Tricks, I saw a scuttling movement in a corner of the room. This was either a massive massive spider or… a Pavlova. I switched the light on and surveyed the carpet. Nothing.
We went back to watching the television, then suddenly my brother leapt to his feet. “There she is!” And then commenced the funniest hour and a half you have ever witnessed.
First of all, let me tell you that a Pavlova is the same colour as my lounge carpet. Also she is 4 cm long, can squeeze through a gap of 1cm, and moves like a thing possessed. By the time a human has gone from standing to kneeling in an attempt to corner her, she has circumnavigated the room three times and is still not out of breath. One by one we lifted the things from floor level and piled them up on the chairs and table. Armed with a tiny but powerful torch and a cardboard box, we engaged upon the hunt. But if this Pavlova didn’t have magical powers, I don’t know how she did it. She’d be trapped under the sofa, running from one end to the other and back again as she saw first my brother and then me waiting to catch her, and then, although we were tracking her movements from each end, she completely disappeared. We stood up, and there she was at the other side of the room. I’d swear I heard her laughing! Even more so when we stopped for a breather and were stood in a corner of the room surveying the room for any sign of movement, and then suddenly got that sensation of being watched. Yes, there she was, sitting BEHIND us, watching us intently. But the minute we turned around to get her, she was gone again.
Funniest moment of all had to be when my brother and I were lying each end of the settee, laughing uncontrollably, and the Pavlova ran full tilt to my brother’s end of the sofa and almost straight into his mouth!
After a hard year, which is still throwing up endless causes for concern and stress, it was the best laugh we’ve had in years. As the clock neared 11 O’clock we were starting to despair of ever getting to bed… when all of a sudden she ran straight out and into my waiting hands. Just like that. Pop back into the cage and all’s well.
The gain is a less pleasant one, however. Bloomin’ Charlie’s brought us a host of new pets of the hopping and nibbling and itching kind. Thanks Charlie. And tenacious they are too. Three treatments, and they’re still biting furiously. Time for Mr Rentokill, methinks.