As you can no doubt tell, the photo above is fake. It is a poor composite I constructed in Photoshop, but it does pretty much show what I saw this morning at 4:45, when I raised my head off of my pillow to see what all the commotion was.
I was asleep and I heard some scratching noises. I assumed it was the baby squirrels (I had discovered they had a nest up under the eaves of our house. I figured they were venturing around up in the ceiling.
Since there was nothing I could do about it, I tried to go back to sleep. Then I was roused by our cat, who was jumping around by the window, and knocking off papers and books that were sitting on the short filing cabinet below the window.
I raised my head off of the pillow once again to yell at the cat, who seemed mighty interested in the curtain, or what was behind it. Surely, I thought, those baby squirrels hadn’t gotten in through the window. At that point, a head peaked out from behind the curtain--it was the marten we had been seeing around the house.
I usually have the window shut overnight, because when it is open, the train whistle that originates across the river and valley, over a mile away, sounds like it is coming from just outside our house. Over the last few nights, despite the train whistle, I left the window open, because it has been so warm.
We do have a screen on the window, but it is held by some slots, and the marten managed to slide it out of the slot and squeeze through the crack on the loose side. Now, it was hiding behind the curtain, and Lucifer, our cat was stalking it, even thought it was a lot bigger than she was.
I jumped out of bed, my mind racing through all the possible solutions of how to get the marten out of the house. The marten, who by this time was feeling outnumbered, to his credit, was trying to get back outside, but couldn’t get the window screen open.
The cat jumped, and the marten responded by leaping down to my guitar case, then the floor and finally behind a dresser. Lucifer followed, and as the marten vocalized various hissing and growling moans at the cat, I tried disparately to get the screen out of the window, so that if the marten got back on the windowsill, it could escape back outside.
I yelled at the cat to get away from the marten, and finally got her out of the bedroom, at the same time, I opened the door to our balcony, thinking maybe I could get the marten to go out that way.
In the end that’s what happened. Once the cat was gone, the marten came out from behind the dresser, and I herded it out into my office, and seeing the open door, it scampered out to the balcony, and I closed the door behind it.
Needless to say, it was a while before, I calmed down enough to go back to sleep. Life in the frontier is not always as relaxing and stress-free as urban dwellers often imagine.