What is going on with this weather? Has summer been cancelled this year? Is Mother Nature so furious with Mr. Trump that she has sent cloud loads of rain to pour down on us? Whatever the reason it is driving me crazy and not just because I am getting continually wet.
I can probably count the number of hours sleep I have had over the past week on one hand. And it isn’t because these regular night storms have crashed down on my roof and woke me up. No, something much more sleep disturbing. As you may already know my wife is a keen animal lover. When I say keen maybe fanatic is a better word. She will feed, save, cuddle and look after just about everything with four legs. And I mean everything. Although the number of legs is probably irrelevant as I once caught her cutting up an apple to feed a snake! Yes, our house resembles a zoo. I could almost sell tickets on the door for the grand tour.
We have dogs, cats and now even a family of hedgehogs. Yes, that’s right a family of spiky hedgehogs. Animals seem to wander in and out of our door like a visitors entering the Rector’s Palace. And not just through the door but through the windows! We seem to be constantly feeding something.
Maybe I should get some shares in Whiskers. Now there is one thing that cats like less than water and dogs less than cats and that is storms. They can hear them coming way before we even see a dark sky. Apparently dogs hearing is more than a hundred times better than a human. Yet that doesn’t explain why when I call my dog he ignores me. Now I can sleep through a hurricane but our animals obviously can’t. Just the other day when a particularly bad storm was brewing I was awoken to a vibrating bed. Literally the whole bed was shaking. Was it an earthquake? No, it was out little dog having a fit of anxiety as a storm approached. For some reason she had decided to do this a few millimetres from my ear. So as the trembling bed jolted me out of my dream I was greeted with a heavy panting right into my ear. And then the vibration went to a whole new level on the Richter scale as our overweight Labrador scaled up onto the bed. It seems that anxiety is contagious. The bed was now creaking. I am not sure what the neighbours thought. They were hearing heavy panting and the monotonous creak of the wooden bed. Make your own conclusions.
“I am awake,” said my wife from the darkness. The “disco” on our bed then got even more crowded. “Is that one of the cats?” I quizzed my wife as a bright pair of eyes blinked from the end of the bed. “Yes, and the other one is curled up on my shoulder,” she replied. This was going to be another sleepless night in the Thomas house. The first explosion of white as the lightening hit and through the open window jumped two more cats. On seeing these new intruders, the dogs forgot their fear of thunder and leaped from the bed like jaguars and chased them out. Yes, the two dogs are on the bed with two cats but they recognise who is friend and who is foreign.
We had had exactly 45 minutes’ sleep. Then second flash and the dogs forgot their prey and returned in a hurry to the security of our bed. This went on for a further hour! Cast in, dogs jump, flash of lightening and back to the bed. I had resigned myself to a sleepless night and got up to have a drink. “Oh, I forgot the hedgehogs,” screamed my wife from the bed. That is a sentence you don’t often hear. I heard a rustle of sheets as she got out of the overcrowded bed and peaked her head out of the door. So to cut a long story short we have a small overgrown garden. When we started to cut the grass we found a nest of tiny hedgehogs buried in the undergrowth along with a rather grumpy mother hedgehog. Five little faces peered through the grass. Needless to say the grass cutting stopped and we built a larger nest around their nest just to keep away cats and dogs.
Over the past week my wife had been regularly feeding them and again needless to say they were now part of the family. So what else to do than to cover them up in a rain storm. With two dogs and two cats standing in the doorway watching my wife she carefully placed a cover over their nest.
By now the sun was almost coming up. The rain had stopped. The storm had rolled out over the Adriatic and it was time to get ready for work. Completely exhausted I rubbed my eyes as I got out of the shower to discover two dogs and two cats loudly snoring from our bed. Lucky for some!