5 October 2023

MOUSE SAVED BY HELICOPTER and "doing cat stuff".


Daisy has been eating al fresco for much of the summer.  In other words, she eats hardly any of her kibble at all, preferring live meat and a generous supply of Dreamies at apéro time.  (Dreamies are cat treats which in France go under the name of "Catisfaction".)  When we first found out that her tumour had returned we decided that an increase in the junk food part of her diet might not do her too much harm as "long term" was probably not realistic.

With a change in the weather to cooler temperatures Daisy now prefers to bring her live food into the house to consume them.  At seven o'clock the other morning she brought her catch into the bedroom.  She chased the mouse around the bedroom for a while then positioned herself in customary waiting pose in front of the towel stack which told me that that is where the hapless mouse was hiding.

I pulled the towel stack away from the wall and spotted a tell-tale tail poking out from the back of a folded towel.  Aha! I thought.

I gathered up the towel from the rack and took it outside, Daisy following closely behind.  On shaking out the towel onto the gravel no mouse was to be seen.  Harrumph!

Back upstairs I took the towels off the rack one by one and shook them out onto the bathroom floor.  Three towels later a large brown mouse blinked at me from the floor tiles.  I dropped the towel on top of it, gathered it up, took it outside and shook the mouse out onto the drive.  It immediately took refuge amongst the prickly stems of the climbing rose by the front door.  Daisy took up her usual "on guard" position on the bench next to it.  Stalemate. 

After a while the mouse decided to make a run for it, heading for the gate, which was a long way away in mouse terms, with Daisy in hot pursuit.  She caught up with it on the grass and for a moment I thought the chase was over but then a distant rumble in the skies distracted her and the mouse set off again.

Whenever there's a loud noise from a passing vehicle Daisy runs for cover, either into the barn or the house as both have cat flaps.  We have almost tripped over a cat hurtling indoors many a time as a tractor or refuse lorry passed by.  The helicopter came nearer and the noise got louder and louder as it was heading straight over the house.  Daisy was transfixed.  Her two instincts to chase the mouse and to run for cover were competing and she just sat on the grass, looking from the mouse to the sky then to me as the mouse legged it towards the hedge and freedom.

The mouse was saved by the helicopter!

Daisy is definitely still doing "cat stuff" and shows no sign of being in pain or distress.  The tumour is a large lump in and around her left ear and she scratches it a bit.  If it starts to bleed we put her into her soft cone to give it chance to heal up.  When she’s wearing it we keep the cat flaps closed so that she doesn’t get her head stuck.

She was wearing the cone last week and one afternoon she was snoozing in one of her favourite places  - on the seat of the mower in the barn - when we needed to go out, so we decided to leave her there with the cat flaps closed but the barn door ajar.  When we got back she was up on the highest beam in the barn with no cone on her head.

Presumably she had been exploring or chasing something when she got her head stuck and managed to yank the cone off.  We searched the barn for days and eventually Nick caught a glimpse of the blue fabric lodged in the highest part of the roof structure.  Apart from being covered in muck and cobwebs it wasn’t damaged so with a bit of a wash it’s serviceable again.

And so, Daisy is still with us, still eating and doing "cat stuff", which was what the vet said are the criteria for quality of life.  In some ways it almost seems as if she’s living her best life, right now. 

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