Monday, May 30, 2011

Things that go Bump in the night!

1.10AM: the cat flap thumps open, clatters shut, then crashes open again.  There is a slight pause, then a curious "clump, clump, Thud... clump, clump, Thud.....", in waltz time accompanied by the slithering of something very dead being dragged over the lino.  A silence, then outside our bedroom door there is a throaty "Yeeooowl!"

Laura stirs sleepily, and I heave myself out of bed, walk barefoot across the cold floor, find the light switch, and fling open the door.

Below knee height, two mad eyes reflect the light from the bedroom, and a striped ginger cat almost merges with the deep shadows in the hall.  Beside him, very dead, are the slightly chewed remains of a medium sized grey rat.  Ginger has struck again and is particularly pleased with himself, and rightly so, for only a few hours before he was unconscious on the vet's operating table having his left front leg shaved, probed with needles, and X-rayed.

It had been Ginger's second visit to the vet that week, and he was under strict instructions to stay indoors that night whilst he recovered from his anaesthetic.  It appears that Ginger was bitten by a rat about a week ago, on one of his night hunting expeditions.  A trip to the vet for an examination and antibiotics shortly after he was bitten, seemed hopeful enough, but he made little progress in the days that followed, and had to return to the vet for further investigation.

Currently Ginger is taking pain killers once a day, a 10 day slow release antibiotic injection is still at work in his system, and he is only using 3 of his four legs, hence the unusual waltz time progress that he makes.  I have nick-named him "Mr Limpy", and he has two speeds, dead slow, and a surprisingly fast cantering gait.  Speeds in between these two are almost impossible for him, as he tends to lose balance.  In spite of the injury, it appears that

Ginger can still fly.  I saw him sunbathing on the kiln shed roof yesterday morning.  To get there requires climbing onto the wood shed roof, then jumping from it to the kiln shed.

The injury to his leg is a little mysterious.  There are 3 small puncture wounds, and some bruising, but almost no sign of infection and he is not feverish.  The poor fellow does find it extremely painful though.

Laura also had a painful start to last week, as a broken filling in a tooth required a trip to the dentist for the old filling to be removed, and a new one put in.  On the way home in the car there was mumbled talk of cracks, nerves, and cusps!

Such things are important to sort out, and ... what else can one do, but it is amazing just how easily working time disappears when things like this happen.  An extra trip to town, and visits to the vet, do carve out chunks of time, and progress on tile commissions and the making of benches and shelves for the shed, has been slow, frequently interrupted, and somewhat frustrating.  I worked through the weekend, but managed less than half a day today, mostly cleaning up the studio, as I was just so tired.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, is my day at the Potter's Co-operative in Lower Stuart Street, Dunedin (opposite the Law Courts) so work here will have to resume again Wednesday.  If you read this blog and are in Dunedin tomorrow, do drop in to the Potter's Co-op between 10 am and 5pm and say "Hi", it would be fun to catch up with you.

Bugs and Browsers...
The problem that some of you are having reading this blog is still not solved, but I am suspecting that there is a little piece of HTML code that is causing some browsers to display all my links at the foot of the post, rather than down the right-hand side.  I have started to research the problem, and I do say a big thank you to those of you who are letting me know if the blog displays correctly in your browser or not.  I think that the problem may affect recent versions of Internet Explorer, but that Firefox and probably Safari browsers are OK.  If this post fails to display correctly in your browser, it would be appreciated if you let me know (and also mention the browser type and version number), and I will do my best to get the thing sorted out.


Linda Starr said...

Those cats never give up do they, glad Ginger is ok, bringing in rats ugh, that's one thing I don't miss about my cats when they were outdoor cats, now they stay indoors; and poor Laura with her tooth, hope she isn't suffering too much, tooth pain is the worst; have fun at the coop.

Peter said...

Hi Linda,
Nice to hear from you. I am rather relieved that we don't have snakes here.... (I was reading about the black one that was out on the grass at your place), I imagine that Ginger would have brought those in if we had them as well as rats! Happy to report that Laura's tooth seems to be coming right now that the dentist has worked on it.

cookingwithgas said...

Seems I have not checked in on you in awhile and you have been very busy!
Site is working fine here and I have been catching up on all you doings!
How did we all get so busy?
We had a cat that spent regular times with the vet from defending the food bowl from critters such as raccoons and opossums. The vet said he never knew a neutered cat who fought like this one. Well food was his life and he would defend it to the bone.
The shed is looking great and tiles too.
Hope you are all on the mend soon.

Angie said...

Wow did he catch that rat with only 3 good legs ...he sure is a mighty hunter. Shame he cant talk and tell you how he recieved his battle wounds and recount the tale of how he slayed that rat.

Arkansas Patti said...

You must have aggressive rats if they bite cats. Yikes.
Good to see that Ginger is holding his own however even as a gimp.
You post came through fine for me.

Peter said...

Hi Meredith,
Lovely to hear from you. Seems like it is the winter of building here... and it crept up unexpectedly. Oh well, it is nice to see something tangible for all the effort.. and at least some of it keeps the rain off!

Hi Angie,
I think that Ginger may one day write a book about his adventures..., but I am not sure who his target audience will be. Maybe he should write a number of cautionary tales for young rats!

Hi Patti,
Dad, being a science teacher, used to talk about "equal and opposite reactions"... I think that the "aggressive" rats were well provoked by a certain Ginger fellow who was attempting their destruction! On 3 legs Ginger has impressive acceleration and a reasonable top speed... we may enter him for the special Olympics!

gz said...

Links ok on rhs. I'm on Firefox, xp on the laptop and Linux/Ubuntu on the computer.

Three cheers for Ginger!!

Peter said...

Hi Gwynneth,
Good to hear from you, thank you for your information regarding the links. Congrats on being a fellow Linux user, I'm currently openSuse on main computer, Ubuntu netbook, on the netbook (where else!). I can run XP in VirtualBox... which is really fun having OpenSuse running the computer and XP working in a little window of its own!

Ginger is a rat catcher of heroic proportions! I'll pass on your rousing support!


I found signs of a rat in my barn again this weekend as the weather is warming...maybe we could borrow Ginger the Cat to take care of the problem. What a great cat!

It is hard to work with interruptions, but does make you enjoy the uninterrupted work time that much more!

Hoping your coming week is more productive!

Peter said...

Hi Julia,
Nice to hear from you. Rats in the barn are definitely not welcome, I shall have to send Ginger to the rescue immediately! He could have a very busy future as an international traveller and rat catcher (he also is good with mice and rabbits!). I must get him a passport!.

Mmmm, I did manage to make up some glazes today, and apply them to some pots, so... It was nice to get back in the studio again. Yay!