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23 August 2007

Creature in the dark

AWAKENED RUDELY by my cat Pluto’s agitated leap onto my chest, I peered through the darkness of the bedroom and saw two sapphire eyes glaring like tiny headlights. They were definitely not Pluto’s . . . and they were definitely bizarre. I sat straight up and switched on the bedside light. What I saw was frightening!

A strange creature stood by the bedside table staring back at me. Its oval body was about ten inches tall and covered in gray spiky hair. With a bushy tail and a pointed, whiskered nose, the creature might have been an offspring of a mongoose and a rat. Yet the form was neither feline nor mousy. And it was huge. And frightening.

What was this creature? Lost, did it find its way through my bedroom during a nocturnal romp in the gardens outside my door? I had a moment to scan the pointed, sapphire-eyed face in the amber light of the room. Its countenance was disconcerted and vicious, perhaps ready to bite. But perhaps it was ready to die of a heart attack as well. My curious cat might have given this creature a too-close-for-comfort investigation upon its unexpected entrance, which might have scared the creature and raised whatever natural defense system it had, leading to Pluto landing vigorously on my chest with wits as frazzled as the creature’s.

Gathering the cat, I bounded from the bed and sprinted towards the door. I switched on the room light and looked behind me.

The creature was gone, hopefully back to the gardens and to its waylaid existence with a memory of tonight's bizarre encounter.

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