Saturday, December 6, 2008

Nighttime Intruder

At around midnight, Demetrios and I were lying in bed talking when we heard a distinct, very nearby, sound.

"What was THAT?"

"I imagine it was a Flying Squirrel on our roof," I replied. "I used to hear 'em on skittering around on my parents' roof all the time and they sounded just like that."

What happened next happened faster than you can read about it. Demetrios yelped as something feathery brushed across across his shoulder. I sat up to see what the commotion was about. And there, staring up at us, was our very own Roxane. Of all our four Flying Squirrels, she is the one who most loves to be held in your hand.

"What on earth are YOU doing here?" I asked her. She didn't move, just stood there atop the covers, blinking at us, her tail relaxed. It was almost as if she were saying, "Pick me up!" or else "Could you please take me back to where my food and water and siblings are?"

So I did; she didn't try to get away or resist. I put her in the cage. I counted; sure enough, all the rest of the Fliers were there, Hankie doing his usual clockwise run around the perimeter of the cage, Roscoe doing back flips from one wall of the cage to the wall opposite, Pankie drinking water. I added extra food to their bowl, double-checked the door to their cage to make sure it was securely closed, and locked the doors between the sunroom and the kitchen, so if there should be any further escapees, they at least would (I hoped!) be confined to the sunroom.

We speculated how she could have gotten out. She must've sneaked out earlier when I had opened the cage door. Thank heaven, we said, the cats had been closed up in their own room! And thank heaven this had happened while we were still awake and still had the light on. Can you imagine how frightening it would have been to wake up to this in the dark?

But what interested us most was that Roxane apparently wanted to be with us, had heard us talking, and/or could smell us, and had tracked us all the way upstairs and had climbed into our bed. Whether for help or for company, she had sought us out.

We liked that. A lot.


Emily H. said...

When my childhood pet hamsters would get out of their cages, they always seemed pleased to pay me a visit in the middle of the night. Somehow they would climb up the side of my bed and crawl around my face. Sounds cute but it's a frightening thing to wake up to!

And it could always be worse. I thought you were going to say that it was a bat and not a flying squirrel. But we're a little sensitive to that sort of thing...

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Oh my goodness !
That's what I definitely call an experience :-)

DebD said...

Oh, what a lovely memory.