That's not an error of wording. We were woken fairly gently by that sound of kids rolling marbles down the roof - it used to mean squirrels in the loft, but these days it's heavy-footed pigeons. Turned over to sleep again. Then woken abruptly, going from sleep to standing in the middle of the room thinking 'what the hell...?'
Terrible racket from downstairs. A swishing and crashing, too loud to be anything benign; the sort of sound that if one is alone in the house late at night becomes a malevolent horde of demons released from an ancient burial ground to pillage the earth starting right here. It being early morning and there being two of us, we recognised it just as soon as were over the shock of being tumbled out of bed. The cat and a bird doing what cats and birds naturally do together. But usually they do it outside.
We raced, bleary-eyed down the stairs, me to catch the cat, G to rescue the bird. He has the knack of being able to catch a wild bird and grasp it firmly. I get timid and end up with wings beating in my face and the poor thing even more terrified.
We expected feathers everywhere and the cat grappling to subdue the bird. But not a bit of it. It was a large black corvid doing that thing of trying to get out through a pane of glass; behind it a trail of debris from the hearth where it had come in (marbles down the roof must have been crow down the chimney). And the cat cowering in a corner.
As soon as she saw me, the cat raced to my feet and begged to be let into the back room away from the beast. I saved the day for her. G had the winged terrorist in a firm grasp and outside.
We checked the evidence, but no need for forensics. A clear trail from hearth to window, mainly an upturned pot of oddments (including a number of marbles as it happens), but nothing yukky to clean up, so the bird hadn't been frightened at all, just cross.
So, an interesting start to the day.