Kate Livingstone: The rise of the animal invaders

Kate Livingston
Kate Livingston

Last Sunday, I saw something I have not seen for years - the bottom of my ironing basket.

I had a bit of time on my hands and actually tackled the stuff that usually hangs about for months such as bed linen, napkins and tablecloths.

It felt amazing to be so up to date.

But as I lovingly gazed into the empty box, I also saw something that’s not so much of a rarity.

A spider. An ugly, long, stringy spider.

Just like everyone else just now, I am experiencing an influx of big spiders around the house.

I should say, and I’m not necessarily proud of this, but I’m not always humane in my disposal of these eight-legged creatures.

But, although I don’t like doing it, I can deal with them myself. However a few weeks ago, I encouraged a creature I couldn’t deal with.

Let me fill you in.

My neighbour had asked me to look after her dog while she was in hospital.

He’s a beautiful wee thing and, because he’s elderly, he’s no trouble. He sleeps a lot, sits in the garden and enjoys his food - a lot like myself.

One morning, I woke up to find him clawing under a chair in the lounge.

“What’s wrong, boy?” I asked. “Have you lost a toy?”

I pushed the chair to one side and there sat a frog.

“Arrrrggghhhh.” “Oh no,” “Ah, oh goodness, aahh.”

I was terrified. It was an ugly, browny thing, not cute like Kermit. What made the whole thing worse was that I didn’t know if it was alive or dead.

So I did what anyone would do - ran screaming into the kitchen, grabbed a soup bowl and put it on top of the creature to contain it.

Then I called my other neighbour.

“Hi Debbie, is your hubby in? I need some help.”

I really hate asking for help, especially the whole damsel in distress call but my back was against the wall, literally.

“There’s a frog in my living room! It must have got in when I had the door open for the dog.

“I’ll send the wee one round,” said Debbie. “He loves frogs.”

Two minutes later, seven-year-old Nathan was at the door putting on a pair of white, disposable gloves.

“Don’t worry Mrs Livingstone, I’m here.”

He lifted “froggy” and carried him to the bottom of the garden.

As I hunted for some chocolate buttons for Nathan, I realised I probably would have preferred to be rescued by a grown-up rather than a small boy, but I had been rescued just the same.