THIS MONTH'S BLOG IS DEDICATED TO ELIZABETH AND LUCY ROUTLEDGE. THE DAUGHTER AND GRANDDAUGHTER OF THE INCREDIBLE, VALERIE BEX, WHO KINDLY RESCUED ME AFTER MY ELEVEN WEEK ORDEAL, ENSURING MY SAFE RETURN HOME.
It was a beautiful sunny day. The sky was deep blue and the sun was warm on my back. I wasn't sure what to expect today, though with a positive head and a spring in my step I was looking forward to my newly found independence.
I was no longer wary of the seagulls that squawked above my head, heading out to sea on their hunt for food. I was on a mission to find my way home and this was my prime focus. Nothing else mattered. I needed to get home to my Dads' and the rest of my family.
I had decided to walk within the grassy areas of the clifftops. This reduced the risk of me coming up against inquisitive humans and their dogs. It was also where spiders and other insects preferred to live, meaning that there was a possibility that I may come across an impromptu meal.
Walking swiftly, half hunting, I suddenly heard a rustling sound from within the undergrowth beyond. Fear immediately ensued as I crouched down as low as I could to avoid being spotted. What was it? Was it a dog, sniffing their way through the grass, hunting for a ball that their owner had thrown? Was it another cat that was lost like myself? I stayed perfectly still. No more rustling. Had this potential predator moved on, or had they heard me and were as frightened as I was.
I slowly raised my head in order that I may see what was ahead of me. As I did the rustling started again and then I saw in front of me, what appeared to be an extremely long nose, that had a small circular bobble on the end of it. That's all that I could see as the head and body of this strange creature was still hidden. This nose was on a mission. It moved up and down, side to side and the bobble, that was now obviously nostrils were moving in and out like that of fishes gills.
My head was bobbing up and down as I wanted to see what was ahead, whilst trying not to be spotted. Then, as my head was upright, I came face to face with the whole beast. Actually, he was only half the size of me and had a very peculiar growth which stretched along the whole of his back. It looked a bit like a scrubbing brush. As I stared at him I realised that he had spotted me too. We both froze together, neither of us made a move. The silence was deafening and lasted for what seemed to be forever.
Then suddenly from nowhere a soft voice uttered with an exasperated snort "good morning, I'm Kevin, who are you?"
Totally stunned , though slightly relieved that Kevin seemed friendly, I replied with, "my name is Mog-Trog and what do you have attached to your back?" " It's my protection," whispered Kevin, "I call them my super spines. I'm a hedgehog, Kevin the hedgehog. How do you do?"
At this point I tilted my head, "you're not going to eat me are you?" Kevin gave out a muted laugh and replied "do I look like I would eat you? Are you going to eat me? Of course you're not. What brings you to The Cleveland Way?"
The Cleveland Way? How did I get here? It's miles from home. "I'm lost and I'm desperate to find my way back to the safety of my family. "Where's home Mog? I can't call you Mog-Trog, it's embarrassing." "I live in a house with my human parents. I have sisters and brothers and they'll all be concerned for my well being. I must get home soon. Can you help me Kevin?" At this point Kevin turned his prickly body around, started walking then turned his head and replied, "first things first Mog. I need to sleep. Follow me to my nest where I can rest and we will take things from there."
This sounded more positive than 30 minutes ago. Still nervous as he may have been luring me to his lair, where he could kill and eat me, I decided to take a chance. He seemed nice, though so did the wolf that disguised himself as Red Riding Hood's Grandmother. I decided to follow at a safe distance. I liked Kevin.
Was he to be my saviour or was this the makings of a very bad decision?