My Beloved is a wonderful person who I care deeply about; he is also a messy slob. Now when it comes to having the perfect home and garden, I’m not exactly obsessive, but he is streets ahead of me when it comes to not being overly domesticated. Really.
His joy is to start some kind of DIY which generally involves demolishing something, then leaving it partly done. While waiting indefinitely for the work to be finished, I’m not supposed to move any tools or other equipment as he then cannot find them when he feels like doing a bit more work on the project. I am now used to living in a permanent building site, and I don’t really mind; we all have our little quirks. He breaks and rebuilds stuff; I keep an unlikely assortment of animals. We generally rub along very well as neither of us has any sense of urgency about trivial matters such as having a home that you would be proud to show off to, well; anyone really.
Crows and parrots don’t care much about the decor. If they are warm, have a good diet and plenty to keep themselves mentally, emotionally and physically occupied, they will be happy enough.
Yesterday, I had a rat in the kitchen. Actually I have been aware of the little animal’s presence for a week or more, but was bamboozled as to how to persuade it to move out. Although I don’t begrudge any creature wanting to be warm and sheltered; even I balk at having rats in the house. During the afternoon myself and Beloved decided that as a stern talking to hadn’t produced any noticeable results, we would have to take more definite measures. Accordingly we locked the dogs and birds in another room and started to check all around the kitchen. Once we knew where Ratty was hiding (behind and under the sink) we started to shift every piece of furniture and random bit of junk; including part used bags of plaster, lots of tools, bits of a small motorcycle – the usual, to the furthest part of the kitchen. The idea was that my hero would demolish the undersink cupboard in stages, and I would catch the rat using a towel when the loss of his refuge became too much for him.
Having done all this whilst avoiding a hernia, somebody knocked at the front door. I foolishly went to answer it, and Ratty chose this moment to make a dash for freedom, ending up in the side of the kitchen with all the stuff in it. Back in the kitchen, I persuaded Beloved that we should make a clear runway to the backdoor, line it with some of the large pieces of perspex lying around to make sure that Ratty took the correct route; and then we started shifting all the junk again. We had to examine every piece very carefully as we moved it as we didn’t know where our rodent guest was hiding. You will hardly be surprised to know that he ended up in the very last piece of furniture, a big, reclining chair which had to be dismantled to evict him. Still, once he realised that mi casa was not his casa; he left home and made it to the big outdoors without any further ado.
Beloved then went around with cement and filled in the hole in the wall which I suspect had been Ratty’s front door, plus a few other dodgy looking areas, then left everything else to me to sort while he went for an overnight visit to his mother who he is bringing here today. It is Christmas Eve today and she is stopping with us tonight, tomorrow night, and he will take her home on Boxing Day. She is a lovely lady and I always look forward to seeing her. I would have been happier still if I had not been left with all the furniture and other debris to rearrange, and a vast amount of cleaning and tidying. I did what I could not live with last night, with a song in my heart and sloe gin in my glass, then went to bed.
Today I got up early, mentally girded my loins, rolled up my sleeves and tackled the job properly. See what I mean about the lack of urgency in my makeup?
Now because I wanted the place to look reasonably civilized when Beloved’s mother is here, I put up most of the decorations I had saved for today. The reason that I waited so long to do this is that parrots are known to be nervous of any change in their immediate environment and I had the vain hope that Parrot would behave himself while my mother in law is here, being too in awe of the garlands etc to get up to much.
Not a bit of it I’m afraid. As fast as I put the scarey stuff up, Parrot followed me and pulled it down again with gusto; shredding tinsel with gay abandon and dropping baubles to Crow who stole them and ran away. He even investigated my singing Santa and reindeer, both ornaments bop around and sing if you clap at, or touch them. I was certain that these would have stopped him in his tracks.
At the point where I started to think that Parrot would have to go back into his house so that I could get on with the festive cheer, he moved over to the chair where the cardboard box was sitting in which I had stored the decorations. He started to chew and shred the cardboard and I was happy to sacrifice the box as it got him out of my hair for a while. Of course, the mess he made was not confined to a relatively small area, since as he dropped bits of chewed cardboard faster than an industrial shredding machine, Crow grabbed them and spread them around the house. He loves paper products.
Time to open a bottle I think, red or white? Who cares anyway . . .