For some time now we’ve had a resident mouse in the kitchen. He, or she, lives in a corner by the toaster and ventures out to be fed. I leave little bits of food beside the hole and they disappear very quickly. Chloe seems uninterested in him/her and prefers the mice in the garden shed. I have named our little friend “Ratatouille” and we co-exist quite peacefully.
Two nights ago we were visited by an altogether different creature. My night-time ritual has developed over the course of a few months. I watch TV and then I feed Chloe and retire to my study to do an hour or so of work before bed. Saturday night I got involved in some new planning for the trip and it was 11.30 before I was distracted by some frantic meows. I thought she just wanted a last cuddle but as soon as I opened the door she shot off towards the kitchen. I followed her, turned on the light and there, in the middle of the floor, was an enormous hedgehog.
I didn’t fancy picking it up and wasn’t sure what to do with it if I did. Opening the door would allow Chloe to escape into the night and I’ve told her she can’t go out at night until she can pay her own vet bills. I gave it a gentle prod and it swayed and moved into a corner and hid there, nose pointing at the counter. I noticed that the cat food and biscuits had all been demolished and the plates were clean, cleaner than Chloe ever manages.
Well, Hedge, what am I going to do with you? I folded a towel around it to keep it comfy and to keep Chloe away and told her to go sleep in the conservatory. The next morning the towel was over the other side of the kitchen and Hedge was nowhere to be seen. There are lots of potential hiding places so I opened the doors and hoped he/she would find his/her way to freedom. Last night when I went to bed I noticed the plates were clean again so I suspect Hedge has found himself/herself a hidey-hole. He/she might have gone outside when the back door was open after nightfall. Then again, he/she might be a permanent fixture.
On more exciting matters, I have made yet another change to my itinerary. I started with a long list of ‘cities I would like to visit’ and have slowly whittled them down to ‘cities I can realistically visit in the time.’ I ask myself what is it about a city that qualifies it for the final cut? What is it I really want to see? After my three on the West Coast (San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas) I fly to Memphis. On Saturday I was looking at hotels in Memphis and found that 99.9% of them were full during the dates I want, May 2nd to 7th. When I investigated further I found that May is an extremely busy month in Memphis. That was one of a couple of reasons why I decided I would replace Memphis with somewhere else and add Memphis to the ‘definitely next time’ list. But the question is, replace it with where?
I looked at several alternatives, cities I had already moved over and could move back, El Paso, Albuquerque, Kansas City, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock. Then I had an “aha” moment, a flash of inspiration. In 1995 Mum and I went to North America for three weeks and one of those three weeks we spent in Mexico. Loved Mexico City, loved Cancun. Could go back to one of those places. Which one? I am still debating but I think Mexico City will win, Mayan ruins and silver markets and one of the best museums in the world and the Ballet Folkloric at the Belle Artes. Happy, happy memories.
I leave two weeks tomorrow and I shall blog all the way, keep you up-to-date with my adventures and my self discoveries, my successes and my epic failures and my shopping purchases. Jane will be at home, looking after Chloe, Ratatouille and (maybe) Hedge.