Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cats, Bats and A Hero Sister

For as long as I can remember, I've been "afraid" of fluttery things. Flying bugs, moths, bees, birds and even butterflies. My mom was never fond of birds so maybe I picked it up from her. I'm also deathly allergic to bees, so maybe it comes from that too. All I know is that when I come home at night, in the dark, and there are moths and those flying beetle things on the screen door and near the porch light, I have to take a deep breath, hunch my shoulders and open the door as fast as I can to escape into the hallway. I always do a quick shake and brush over my head and hair as well, just in case one of them jumped on for a ride... shiver... just thinking about it gives me the willies!

Living in an old house, there are tons of nooks and crannies. So my apartment is far from bug proof. I often have spiders, centipedes and even a few carpenter ants hanging around. I'm not crazy about them, but they don't freak my out like their flying cousins do. My cats, the brother/sister tag team of Bitz and Pieces, usually take care of the creepy crawlers and if a fly or a moth dare get in, Bitz the wonder girl takes off like a shot, leaving a disaster in her wake, but usually takes down the fluttery beast! Pieces' specialty is more the spiders in the tub. He's too laid back for the whole "look at me - look at how high I can jump, mama!" thing.

A few days ago, Bitz was acting particularly restless. She'd leave the room and I would hear her jumping around after something. I'd call her but she'd ignore me. Those of you owning cats understand this. Eventually she'd come into the living room, up onto the couch and paw at me but now it was MY turn to ignore her! Those of you owning cats will understand this. But last night, as she was jumping around after something I actually heard a noise I'd never heard before. Sort of like a hissing, but not a cat hissing and sorta like a squealing but not a pig squealing (besides, I don't have any pigs). From my usual spot on the couch, I peer into the dining room where my Bitty Bitz is and out of the corner of my eye, I see something "fly" in the air. But it's dark in that room, so I'm not sure what I've actually seen. I decide to ignore it, dismiss it as my tired eyes just playing tricks on me. but really, who am I fooling, right?

An hour later, Bitz is back in the dining room and as I look in there again, I see it silhouetted against the light of the next room (the kitchen). The full swoop of a black bird. And again, who am I fooling? It's a bat!!

Now, this house is no stranger to bats, unfortunately. I remember my little cousin Sean asking my mom when we got a bird. Turns out he spotted a bat sitting on the top of the living room curtains. Me, mom, Sean and the dog hid in the bathroom while my grandfather and brother took brooms into battle. And there's a small BB gun hole in the hallway from the time my brother pretended to be a bat sharpshooter. (Not really sure if he actually shot it!). So I can't say I'm surprised that there's a bat in the house, but I CAN say that I am now totally freaked out. My brother, who is my landlord and lives in the apartment upstairs, is in the hospital. My sister lives across town and I know she's exhausted. It's 9:30 at night, what do I do?

I call my sister and tell her there's a bat in the house. Her answer? So kill it! OMG - I can't even move off the couch and she wants me to hunt this thing down and somehow kill it? Is she crazy?! I tell her this and she asks me if I want her to come over. I meekly say yes. 30 minutes later she walks into the house as I see the squeaky sucker swoop through the air again. As she comes into the living room, I do what any other rational adult would do. I burst into tears. She does what any other rational adult would do when faced with someone bursting into tears. She laughs. But off she goes, with Bitz in tow, into the dining room and adjoining craft room in search of the bat. I remain perched on the edge of the couch, still teary, in case I need to make a fast get away. (Which of course is ridiculous because I couldn't move "fast" if you paid me!)

She's banging around out there, trying to rouse the beast, but it's hiding. Bitz gets bored and comes back to the couch with me. After lots more banging, moving, flash-lighting and waiting, the bat does not appear and I can tell she's starting to doubt me. Starting to think that I've been seeing things. I swear to her that I know what I saw.

It's almost 11pm now, so she takes an old sheet and covers the doorway to the craft room, hoping that if it's in there, it'll stay there. I also have a blanket covering the doorway between the living room and dining room for when the AC is on. (Damn old house with no doors!). So being in the living room or bedroom, I feel I'll be relatively safe for the night, and I was, except for the dreams. I slept about four hours and dreamed of cats and bats coming through holes in the walls. I dreamed of hospitals and running or escaping and I dreamed of saving lives. I was exhausted when I woke up and ended up staying home from work. There were no bat sightings all day. But I KNOW there's still a bat in the house!

My sister Jeannie arrives at 8pm with a huge butterfly net. No seriously, this giant net on a long faux bamboo stick. Where she got this, I have no idea but I'm glad she has it! Off she goes in search of the bat for a second night. At first, the same results - nothing. But then... Bitz to the rescue. Suddenly I hear the hissy/squealy thing again and Jeannie rushes to where my fighting feline is. The cat is staring at a picture on the wall in the craft room. Jeannie starts banging on the wall, and I hear the noise the bat is making. I yell into the other room "Do you hear it? Do you hear it?" And suddenly there's a crash, a swear and a squeal and then "Bitz, no!". She's got the damn bat in the net and Bitz is trying to get it! I call for the cat and guess what? She ignores me. But I'm not moving! It may be in a net but I know if I even get a glimpse of the thing in the light, I can just forget about sleeping tonight.

But now Jeannie is stuck, She has the bat pressed against the floor in the net and Bitz keeps trying to go after it. She needs my help. Son of a biotch! I get off the couch, squinch my eyes and go into the dining room. The bat was the size of an eagle!!!! Ok, I exaggerate slightly... maybe it was more the size of a pigeon. Umm.. a sparrow? Ok, it was normal bat size - but don't get me started on its 25 foot wing span!

I manage to get the cats into the bathroom and close the door. I open the kitchen door and the outside door as my sister drags the squealing fidgeting bat across the floor to the doorway. But now there's a problem. The threshold in multilevel and if she tries to "roll" the bat over it, it could escape again. I can't get any closer to it without starting to cry because my heart is already in my throat. Then I notice the neighbors across the driveway are out on their deck. I call to them and ask for help with a bat. English not being their first language, they think I need help with a RAT! No, a Bat I say, pointing to the sky. They get up and come around the fence to help. Anna, the leader of the brood over there, sees the bat in the net and simply reaches down with a paper towel she had in her hand and gathers the bat in the netting and tells my sister "Ok, you go". Meaning it was ok to lift the net up. (I was hiding in the hallway behind the screen door at the time). Quickly, Jeannie lifts the net up, rushes outside onto the porch and frees the bat into the night sky. My sister - My hero!!!

Thank you Jeannie - I love you!!!
(And now I'm praying that however it got it, it doesn't come back!)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Night Out

After sitting around the house all last weekend, I decided that this weekend, I really needed to give the couch a break. It being Memorial Day Weekend, Heavenly Bodies was having their annual bash. I wasn't going to be able to attend the entire thing, but decided that the Saturday night dance would be enough to get me out of the house, see some friends and generally have a nice time.

I used to go to the BBW dances semi-regularly. Not a die-hard attendee like some, but maybe once a month or once every 6 weeks. The thing is, the dances aren't really my thing. The music is too loud, the crowd is too young and the drama is everywhere. It's a great venue for people watching, that's for sure. And let me tell you, Stacey and whats-his-name from What Not To Wear would have a friggin' FIELD DAY at one of these events. Ladies, please, adopt this mantra = Just Because You CAN Doesn't Mean You SHOULD. I'm all about having the right to wear what you want. No one should be able to tell you that you can't wear horizontal stripes or bright colors because you're fat. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't exercise a little restraint. You don't need to have your boobs or ass hanging out to be sexy. It's more about your attitude than the fact that your double D's are out there for everyone to see. (stepping off soapbox now - LOL)

But anyway... I decided to go and for once, I didn't agonize about what to wear. I usually stress about it but this time I just decided to go casual with my jeans and a new scoop neck black shirt I just got in the mail. Every time I do agonize over the nights wardrobe, once I get there a
nd see some of the outfits, I think - what in the world was I worried about??? LOL!

I got there at 10:15pm, paid my $20 and saw a few friends sitting at one of the first tables. I went over and sat down and almost immediately wanted to leave. LOL - I can't help it - I'm a homebody! :-) I went to the bar, paid $2 for a diet coke that was less than half a can in a little plastic cup and nearly got knocked over by some woman literally pulling a guy off his chair
to the dance floor.

Back at my table, I realized that I forgot to wash the sign off my forehead that says "Please stand closely in front of me and talk to someone, blocking my view of everything except your ass". This happens to me EVERY time I go to a dance and no matter where I sit. Sometimes it's people I know, sometimes not. It bugs the crap out of me! LOL. If I know the person, I'll sometimes tell/ask them to back off, bu
t I don't want to be rude to someone I don't know, so I guess I just prefer to bitch about it here! LOL! So yeah, sitting at the table, trying to look around or through people, I'm keeping my eye on the door for my friend Cindy.

In the mean time, a cute guy came in alone and went off in search of the bar. Fresh Meat! LOL! But in minutes, a thin woman had him by the hand and dragged him into what looked like a utility closet behind the table I was sitting at. My friend Lorenzee and I looked at each other and burst out laughing. It was a total "I know what you're doing in there" kind of moment. I never saw them come out! Cindy arrived and I moved over to a table with her and another friend, Pam. Some time w
ent by and I noticed that Fresh Meat was sitting alone at a table nearby, texting. I caught his eye and smiled and he smiled back. Hmmm.. promising... a few minutes later, our eyes met again and I mouthed "Hi" and he did the same. Now, I am SO not the person that approaches men. I'm not shy once you know me, in fact, just the opposite sometimes. But meeting new people or going up and introducing myself to someone is something I find VERY difficult to do. But in this case, I thought I had the perfect "opening line". I told Cindy that I needed to be dared to go talk to this guy and like the good friend she is, she immediately dared me. Please Note: Unless I WANT to do something, no amount of "dare" or catcalls of "chicken" will make me do it. LOL!

I took a deep breath, approached his table, pulled out a chair, plopped myself down and said "Hi... so... I see you came out of the closet"? In my head, it was a much wittier remark! We started talking and I found out his name was Steve, he was from NY, he was there alone, the woman who pulled him into the "closet" was actually a hotel employee bringing him the back way through to the front desk to fix a problem with his room, and he took a cab to the dance from Brockton at a cost of $90. We chit chatted easily, bantering back and forth. I had no expectations at all, was just enjoying my bravery and the attention of a cute guy.

After maybe 15 or 20 minutes (less? more? no idea!) he said "Let me tell you what I'm going to do. I'm going to go get you a drink, but you've got to give me some idea about what you like". (I was drinking soda - not a big alcohol person). I told him a girly drink and to surprise me. He got up, told me to watch his chair and he'd be right back. As I sat there "watching" his chair, I looked over to Cindy and she gave me the thumbs up and I smiled. Toe tapping and shoulder dancing as I waited, (my how things have changed from when I first came in, huh? LOL), it suddenly occurred to me that it might not be too smart to accept an open drink from a guy I don't even know. Visions of myself all loopy and out of it crossed my min
d. But in the end, I had nothing to worry about. "Steve" ditched me! He never came back! The bastard! LOL!

I had no thoughts of marrying the man or anything, but really?? Really? Was I giving off some vibe that made him run for the hills? Had I scared him off with my wit? My sarcasm? My je ne sais quoi? LOL! I mean, wtf?? Cindy joined me at the little table a bit later and we laughed about it. But what I can't "get past" is this - WHY didn't "Steve" just say "Look, it's been nice to meet you but I've got to go..." or "I've got to meet someone" or whatever... Did he think I'd start crying? Fall off my chair and have a fit on the floor? LOL... sigh... men!

I left the dance at just after 1am. I'm glad I went, got to see Cindy, and had the guts to approach a guy. But I'm still pissed about being ditched!!!

Cindy and me - before the ditching!