Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Highways in the Sky and Fluffy Toys that Attack

I look after two little Maltese Terriers and we go walking twice each day. They look like little fluffy toys but they are very fierce little fluffy toys. They have that mighty dog attitude common to little terriers that makes them feel invincible, particularly with dogs behind fences. When we go the park, the owners of big dogs have to put their animals on a leash, presumably to stop them tearing my dogs to pieces. I have some sympathy. My little girls race in like they own the place, all excited and yapping loudly. Last time we went into the dog park, there were four dogs in the park when we arrived, and they were all gone within five minutes.

But I like taking the dogs when I go walking, particularly if it is after dark. I might be more prone to a dog attack but I feel less likely to be bothered by smaller animals. The other night I saw a lump on the power line. It was too solid and low to be a bird. It looked like a rat. I stared for some minutes and it didn’t move so I decided it was one of those lumpy things that seem to connect the power lines in places. Only the next night it wasn’t there.

I found out why tonight.

There are no footpaths here and the trees hang over the road. They look pretty in the day time and like something from a horror movie at night. Something bulky rustles the trees as I go by and makes me jump. They are probably crows but I wish I had the dogs with me.

I am walking in the middle of the road to avoid the tree things and watching the sky for the lump things and suddenly I see a long dark shape on the power lines and this time it is definitely moving. There is more light than last night and I can not only see clearly that it is a rat, but I can see the light shine off its fur. I try desperately to make out that it is something more acceptable, like a squirrel (do they have those here?) or even a possum, but the animal in question definitely has the shape and long tail of a rat.
I grab my phone camera and try to get evidence. The rat like thing takes its time and meanders along as if I am not there, but by the time I have taken the camera off video mode, taken a flash photo of the air half way up to the power lines, turned off the flash and then decided video would be best after all, the rat has disappeared out of sight and I have no evidence.

I am disturbed by the fact that the power lines must be a sort of highway in the sky for wandering rat like things; and they lead into every home in the neighbourhood, including mine. I only hope that should a rat invade my place, the little dogs will treat it the way they treat big dogs and annoy it to death.

And next time I go out after dark, I am taking the dogs.

New - Now available a mouse pad featuring the attack dogs themselves. It makes a great present for Maltese Terrier owners (or those who wish they were). :-)


Red Nomad OZ said...

Hi Nikki! No squirrels in OZ (other than zoo escapees) but are you sure it wasn't an exotic type of possum? I'm on the Atherton Tablelands and they say there are 12 varieties here! So maybe, just maybe ... :)

Nikki said...

That's encouraging. It did seem to have a reddish tinge. I only know the NZ possum and this was nothing like that. I might have to do some research.
Thanks for the comment