One beautiful sunny morning, I was sunning myself on the shed roof, and as I was lying there something caught my attention out of the corner of my eye., I sat up to attention. What in heaven’s name was that thing? I called out to Mum a couple of times, but she must have been busy because she didn’t come. So I continued to look at this creature and wonder what it was. I racked my brains to see if I could remember seeing anything like this before. If Garfield had been in the garden, I could have asked him, because he knows everything.


It was smallish, greyish and had a big bushy tail. It was bigger than a mouse but looked delicious. It was sitting in the corner part of the roof guttering where two bits of guttering met – it was not moving. Suddenly, it DID move and although it was nowhere near me, it made me jump. I called loudly to Mum again and this time she popped her head out of the back door.

‘What’s the matter, Billy?’ she asked me, looking concerned.

I told her in the strongest way possible that something was sitting in next-door’s guttering on the roof and to drive the point home, I kept looking up at it.

Mum could see that I was agitated so she came out into the garden to see what all the fuss was about. She had to go right up past the shed because she couldn’t see and then she stopped and put her hand to her mouth. ‘Billy!’ she said, excitedly, ‘it’s a little baby squirrel!!’

I have no idea what a squirrel is, or what a mummy or daddy squirrel looks like so to tell me it was a baby one didn’t clarify things one bit. But I know she meant well and I just nodded, hoping that I looked as intelligent as possible. ‘What are we going to do about it?’ I asked her when she stopped staring at it.

‘I’ll call the RSPCA,‘ she said, ‘they should be able to help.’ 

She went indoors and I kept my eye on the baby squirrel. She came out again and went up the garden again to have another look, and then she went in again. She did this every quarter of an hour for several hours but the baby squirrel didn’t move again. It just stayed in the corner bit of the guttering. 

When Mum had rung the RSPCA, they told her to monitor the baby squirrel every fifteen minutes and then she had to ring them back if it hadn’t tried to get down by lunchtime. She rang them back at lunchtime and they told her to continue monitoring it and to ring them back by 4.00pm.  On her final check up – just before 4.00pm the squirrel had moved and try hard as she could, she couldn’t see it any more.

I had stayed on the shed roof all day to keep watch and when Mum said it had gone, I thought it was my fault as I’d been asleep at the time. Mum said it was ok and took me indoors for some dinner as I was starving after my 6-hour vigil in the sun.

Some months later, I was in Eddie’s garden (Eddie was a friend of Ollie’s but as they’ve fallen out they don’t speak to each other any more), just having a mooch round, when something ran along the top of the fence. It was smallish, greyish and had a big bushy tail. 

Excitedly, I jumped onto the fence and ran behind it. I thought it might like to play with me but it kept on running. I chased it up to where Eddie’s human Dad’s shed is, and it jumped onto the roof of it. I was about to follow but it jumped over the alleyway, onto a fence, and then up a tree that was in an opposite garden.

I sat on the roof of the shed looking up at the tree to where the squirrel sat – really high up – like a little grey dot in the sky. I was in awe because although I can climb trees, I haven’t been that high up. And it really flew up there – it was amazing!

So I walked back along the fence, slowly, pretending I meant to not catch up with it, and took a long stroll home. 


A Cats Purr

"Cats make one of the most satisfying sounds in the world: they purr ...

A purring cat is a form of high praise, like a gold star on a test paper. It is reinforcement of something we would all like to believe about ourselves - that we are nice."

Roger A Caras

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