Sunday, September 20, 2009

Wild Kingdom

Castle Row has been over-run with rodents. They're everywhere! Well, there's one less now, but I had nothing to do with that.

I was sitting on the couch in the living room, reading the (heavy sigh) last of my new Anita Blake novels when I was pulled away from the supernatural. A squirrel was peering at me through the picture window.

OK. It wasn't really looking at me. I happened to be in its range of vision, and it was apparently just scanning the yard for the three other fluffy-tailed rats that were scampering about. And then, two chipmunks joined in the fun.

We've seen a bunny in the back yard, but like the rodents, he/she is usually a blip. They catch sight of us and they scram.

Today it was rats gone wild. I don't know if they'd sensed the start of squirrel season or what. They were everywhere you looked, both in our yard and the neighbors'. At one point, I counted four in our yard (not counting the 'munks), two next door and I saw more than one in yards down and across the street.

One of them was trying out one of my lawn chairs. Others were jumping from trees to the roof to window boxes to Alison's favorite brick wall and just hanging in the yard. It was a little spooky to tell you the truth, but then again I was deep into a book that was heavy on vampires, shapeshifters, and a vampy necromancer.

They weren't approaching the door, so I shook my head and went back to the book.

I was brought back out of it by a squirrel that just would not shut up. I look up. A gray cat has joined in the mix. Oh, no. The cat had crashed the party. I swear to you that the squirrel was trying to warn the chipmunk to go to cover. The cat was not giving up.

In my hands, I had a fairly compelling chapter, full of two rouge vampires and a werewolf needing rescue from torture. The werewolf's calvary, sadly, proved more effective than the chipmunk's.

Ali was at the kitchen counter at the laptop. I called to her thinking she needed to see nature in action. She ran outside and caught a glimpse of the cat trotting home with dinner still wiggling in her mouth. The rodo-cide silenced the squirrel chatter.

"Ick," said Ali.

"Yeah, well, I guess it's dinner time for that cat," I said.

She paused for just a few seconds. "Can I have some Ramen?" she asked.

Murder, apparently, does not diminish Alison's appetite. I think she's been reading my books behind my back...

In less bloodthirsty news, Sleepover Part Deux was fun. The kids bounced until they were just exhausted. We relaxed with Harry Potter before they went out to sleep in the tent. Jeff had decorated with glow sticks so it wasn't scary at all and once they'd gotten settled, we didn't hear from them until after 8 a.m.

Best excerpts from Sleepovers 1 and 2:

I'm at the kitchen counter drinking coffee and reading the paper when Alison comes up with a half-gallon container of milk with maybe a quarter cup of milk left in it.

"Mo-om. I wanted a drink of this and Drew grabbed it and took a big swig!"

I smile, thinking of growing up with six brothers and sisters. "Do you want a cup?" I ask.

"No thanks. It's got Drew slobber all over it now," she said, stalking off.

Note to Amer: If you punish him for this, I will SMACK you. Hard.

I was in the garage, gathering tools to trim bushes and trees when Alison tracked me down and asked if I'd help her turn on the fan in her room. She had a can of Febreze in her hand.

"Why do you need the fan on?" I ask.

"Alex stunk up my room with his burps. I sprayed the fan with Febreze and now I want to blow all the stink away."


Anonymous said...

I'm squirmming just thinking of the rats! Ick! We had some rats in our ceiling in Florida and ever since then I can't get the scratching sound out of my head! Glad the cat was the exterminator this time!

Cheryl said...

I didn't actually see real rats. Squirrels, to me, = rats.

So no rats on Castle Row; just squirrels and chipmunks....

Sorry for the confusion :)

James Reed said...

David's got a couple of old shotguns he's trying to get rid of. Shall we send one out? I assume you can provide ammo, and recipes.

Cheryl said...

Funny man, aren't you? :)

I told you I gave up squirrels for breakfast when I moved to the city!!!