Friday, 8 January 2010

Wolf at the door (well, panther apparently...)

Three friends took great pleasure in ringing me yesterday to tell me that the local paper has headlined the fact that PANTHER TRACKS were seen in the snow just 1/4 a mile away from my house.... Oh joy. Not only do I have snow to deal with and icicles taller than me that plunge off the house at intermittent points, but now there is supposedly a 'third generation big cat' roaming the woods around my house. Could life become trickier? Will the chewed bones of the loyal hound and I be discovered in the spring?

Luckily I got online and read the article where in very small print at the end of it Chester Zoo suggested that rather than a panther, the tracks could be that of an otter. Normally this would comfort me but having seen where the tracks where I'm not convinced that anything other than a cat could have walked there. The tracks were on the top of the fall side of the dam which is some 80 feet high and a gradient that makes me feel sick looking over it. I guess they must be otters who don't suffer from vertigo.... Please let them be otters.

So, now I am walking out and about in my strimmer glasses and wielding the carving knife in case of a surprise otter / panther attack. It makes going outside more interesting I suppose.

I made a break for freedom yesterday. The Loyal Hound and I walked the half mile or so through the snow and were picked up by a friend with a 4 x 4 and we went to the nearest town. The excitement. The bright lights, the people! It was almost too much for me. We went to the supermarket and I chose all my shopping on a weight basis as I would have to carry it back. So, I now have mushrooms, spinach and maltesers to see me through the next couple of days and to give some variety to the diet of porridge. Exciting n'est pas?

My neighbour fought his way back home yesterday as well. He had been out the day of the blizzard and hadn't managed to make it back until now. We walked through the woods together. Me laden with groceries and him towing a gas bottle and a sack of pony food for the horses. He then very kindly shovelled a path through the snow to my gate which I had not got round to yet (I was going with the wading through the stuff idea). There is so much snow I can't actually open the gate but now I do have a path to it so it is all progress. I have dug myself a path around the house and to the woodshed so it feels positively civilized here now as I can go out in just boots if I stick to the paths. It's all progress.

My next task is to come up with some kind of a plan for the weekend. I am supposed to be going away to stay with friends and feel it would be rather wimpish to cancel because of the snow. But, I am not keen on the idea of lugging a suitcase off the hill. I wonder if I should try a 'wear all my clothes at once' number and walk them off, then hope that I can get my car started once I get to it. If I leave in the daylight this shouldn't be too bad. I mean I'll look madder than usual wearing my party clothes with my rubber trousers but that can't be helped. It's either that or I spend the next few hours making a rucksack out of curtains and coal sacks. Suggestions on a postcard please...

11 comments:

Mud in the City said...

Layering is very in this season. Alternatively, just wear a sleeping bag.

katyboo1 said...

Wear all your clothes and then wrap yourself in some plastic and roll down the hill. A snorkel should suffice for issues of air/breathing etc. Plus, make sure you pack the knife in case you have to battle the feral otter beast on the way home.

Perhaps it is an otter that has bred with a panther, thus giving it aquatic finesse along with extraordinarily long legs and fangs. An Otther or a panter?

Good luck

goss0063 said...

You're braver than I. I wouldn't even consider going outside if there was a chance of a wild otter attack.

elizabethm said...

I would go with the layers topped by a layer of chain mail if you have any. That should sort out the wild beast. I would like to go with the comforting otter thought but it doesn't seem that likely!
Or stay home? Have them come to you? I got off the hill today but fell over later in the day and am feeling just a touch anti snow right now. Good luck with your weekend!

justmeagain said...

I am very VERY sick of the snow now, and I have only really been housebound for a couple of days.
You are sounding very upbeat and resourceful, however! You need a sledge of some sort to pull your provisions along behind you perhaps?
The panther sounds rather exciting. Hopefully it will stay away from you and the loyal Hound anyway.

Steve said...

Get your suitcase packed and walk a little away from the house then phone the coastguard. They'll despatch a helicopter from 22 squadron at RAF Valley to come and airlift you! :)

Good to be a Queen said...

Dearest Single and Surviving,
Here's hoping you survive your panther/otter attack, as well as winter... Atlanta had a few snow flurries yesterday and I was complaining about the horrible weather....I will stop complaining now....

The Singlutionary said...

Wow. I really like your outfit. The thing is: who is going to see you? The other crazy snowed in people? They look just as crazy wearing all their clothes to keep warm. Plus, the crazier you look the more you'll scare the panther-otter.

bevchen said...

I'm jealous of the maltesers. I'm livig on toast and Lebkuchen and I'm not even snowed in! The chances of me evry being snowed in in this country are roughly zero.

Welsh Girl said...

Mud - I'm liking the sleeping bag idea. I wonder where mine is?
Katyboo - Hmm - snorkel eh? If this goes wrong I could be found in a CSI / Twin Peaks type fashion when the snow finally melts...
Goss - The lure of chocolate has overcome my fear of the rabid otter!
Elizabeth - Hope you weren't too bruised. I have some great bruises from taking some spectacular falls whilst carrying the groceries home (didn't break the eggs though!)
Just Me - My sledge has died but I am on the hunt for a new one. Then I can bring some of the heavier provisions in. Maybe I should train the Loyal Hound to pull it for me?
Steve - Ooh - a rescue with a possibility of single men as well. I like the way you are thinking. Might be a problem with the phone signal though. Perhaps I should make some flares before I go?
Good to be a Queen: Hello! You must think we are all wimps here to make such a fuss when there is real snow your side of the pond. Though I guess a foot and a half of snow and more arriving as I type isn't totally pathetic...
Singlutionary - valid point. I may add some tinsel to the outfit so that I stand out in the crowd!
Bevchen: Hmm, you'd be less jealous if you found the loyal hound had sat on them and turned them into a strange molten lump...

Debbie said...

OK..so seriously I live in Florida! and just the possibility of snow flurries (the first in decades) brought the state to its knees... let alone a wild otter or hungry panther on the loose!! I am so rethinking all my complaints this week!!!! hope it all worked out!!!!

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