Monday, July 25, 2005

The Hungry Bat and the Dim-Witted Cat

This story has three, unrelated, innocuous beginnings.

Background 1: Our Feline Companions
We have two old cats. Aside from their coloration and friendliness, they are clearly distinguished by two things. First, one is ever-so-slightly heavier than the other and second, the *ahem* fullfigured of the two is remarkable for her lack of mental acumen.

Background 2: Pots and the Garage
After a trip to the gardening stores this past Saturday with HFRM#1, I could be found scrounging down in the basement/garage looking for extra pots. In the process, the hefty cat had followed me into the garage and had no intention of cutting short this unexpected adventure. Because I was impatient to get to my potting, I left her in the garage, the door to the basement ajar, with every intention of returning to close it at my earliest convenience.

Background 3: Full Bladders in the Night
At least BioMom has an excuse. For me, it is either that I am uber-hydrated, or just getting old, but I find myself having to pee regularly in the middle of the night. Usually during those pre-dawn moments where you're tricking yourself into believing that you still have several more hours of sleep, and that the alarm isn't just about to blare.

Last night, having relieved this nocturnal pressure, I returned to bed only to remind a restless BioMom of her own urinary demands. She returned, however, with a yelp and a dash for the covers.

There's something in here! She exclaimed.

With sleepy reticence, I brushed off her disquiet, only to witness wild flailings at the foot of the bed from the full-figured cat who, recently, unfairly lost a challenge to the Guinness Book of World Records contest for the animal who has spent the most time in a prone position on a couch to another feline who, it was later confirmed, had actually expired.

Surely she was chasing a moth.

When she had seemed to corner it in a collection of BioMom's pre-maternity clothes hanging on the doornob in wait for a storage location to which they will never actually reach [I expect to find these same clothes hanging on that same hook NEXT July], I got up out of bed to check out the situation.

The cat seemed quite excited about the moth, jumping and swinging at it, until, of course she saw that I had risen out of bed. To the cats, this, accompanied by the rising sun, equals tuna.

So, instead of persuing her prey, especially now that she had it cornered at only one foot above the floor (i.e. within swinging distance for her), she got completely distracted and followed me toward the door.

Is it TUNA time?

At that same moment the "moth" came sweeping out of the dress clothes and began flying and swooping around the room!

This was no moth.

I immediately grabbed the closest thing to swing back at the monster, which turned out to be one of the FYO's insubstantial (in size but not topic) book: How Are Babies Made?

It wasn't even one of the many "oversized" kids books in our library.

In retrospect, Harry Potter VI, at the bedside at the time, may have been a better choice (both for its size and its topic).

But swing away, I did, thinking of Woody Allen in Annie Hall's apartment: "I've been killing spiders since I was THIRTY!"

But, in fact, I had not been killing bats since I was thirty, and I was, actually a bit startled by the agressive night-bird swooping about our bedroom. I realized, it had probably ventured inside when I left the garage door open that fateful afternoon, nearly two days ago. It must be STARVING by now and I expected that I looked like a big, tasty mosquito to him.

Finally, it flew out into the hallway and I secured the door. A thin plank of wood separating us, the blood-sucking-nocturne with the overweight feline chasing behind. And. . . I suddenly realized. . . The FYO.

Mommie? Mo-hom? What IS that?

I crack the door a bit and yell: Come in here! Quick!!!

She runs in and we all lie, sequestered and laughing in the pre-dawn bed, safe from the bat trials that we hear playing out in the hall.

The FYO can't stop talking and asking questions about the event and a new concern emerges.

Will we have to stay here forever?

My response: Why not? The pizza guy can deliver. We've got a tv and Harry Potter. What more do we need?

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