My wife’s at the gym, leaving me sitting on the terraza, watching the fading light of 8:30 p.m. The grass is damp from rain. Roof dogs bark in the distance, as usual. The chickens are quiet for now.
Zoom! A little bat zips from right to left inside the tile-roofed terraza, then outside, increasing suspicions that he may live down on the end in the tile somewhere.
It could happen. In older, less-loved, residences, rats live in the roof tile. There is space.
Occasionally, I have found what appeared to be mouse droppings there in the very corner. What’s a bat but a little winged mousie?
He seemed to appear just now from that corner, but he could have angled in from outside, jamming a hard-right rudder. A fighter pilot in pursuit of mosquito.
Aha! Here comes the kitty from next door. She’s half grown and, even though we are surrounded by a high brick wall, she gets in.
La gatita is a mixed blessing. She harasses our birds and lizards. That’s bad. But she discourages rats. That’s good.
We haven’t seen a rat here since the Ranchito was completed. But before, we saw plenty in the then-vacant lot. And, even now, in the far corner of the property, there are suspicious holes.
We sit quiet and still. La gatita is sashaying up the Romance Sidewalk in this direction. She thinks she is alone. She is carefree, unaware. Characteristics of youth.
She knows, however, that she is unwelcome here. Birds and lizards win out over rats.
She jumps up on the rock ledge of the terraza, very near, still clueless to her company, lurking in the shadows, yours truly.
We hiss a mean-spirited maldicion! In Spanish, so she knows the seriousness of her situation. She turns tail, literally, and runs to the far end of the yard, skulking behind a leftover wood beam, lying on the ground. No more trouble from her end.
Whoa! In comes the bat again, from the same side he had exited. Instead of heading to his suspected home, he does indeed bank sharply 90 degrees and goes out the other side of the terraza. A deft, marvelous maneuver.
It’s just a tour of duty, not a homecoming.