fearlesstemp: (bucky)
Last night I got home from work and spent a glamorous twenty minutes or so precariously balancing myself on one foot on a dinner chair, a swiffer mop thingy in my hand, scrubbing bat blood off of the ceiling in the living room. It was like some warped Swiffer commercial.

Post blood-scrubbing, we surveyed our handiwork, felt proud, and then received a phone call from my grandmother asking us whether we'd called the health department to get rabies shots. And then my mother and I stared at our Swiffery-smelling blood-scrubbing hands in horror and waited to start foaming at the mouth.

Dude! Rabies! Are you guys aware what critters are the most common carriers of rabies to humans? BATS. Grrr!!! We might have to go get SHOTS even though none of us remembers being bitten. And then we decided to go to the Centers for Disease Control website, which has this heartwarming, soothing story to ease our fears:

In February 1995, the aunt of a 4-year-old girl was awakened by the sounds of a bat in the room where the child was sleeping. The child did not wake up until the bat was captured, killed, and discarded. The girl reported no bite, and no evidence of a bite wound was found when she was examined. One month later the child became sick and died of rabies. The dead bat was recovered from the yard and tested--it had rabies.


My mother, brother, and I read this at the same time and gaped at each other in open-mouthed horror afterward. And *then* we read this:

The bat was behaving abnormally. Instead of hiding, the bat was making unusual noises and was having difficulty flying. This strange behavior should have led to a strong suspicion of rabies.

And then we were all, "Phew! Okay! It's not like the bat was flying around during the daytime, confused, smashing into walls and going right at people -- oh wait that's exactly what he did."

Grr!! Now my mother's calling places trying to figure out what to do. I don't want to get shots! I don't! I mean, I don't think I have rabies. None of us remembers getting bitten and seriously, the odds the bat was rabid? And I have not been foaming at the mouth or behaving abnormally! I mean, there was the five minutes or so last night during which my brother and I did our best impression of foaming-at-the-mouth rabid humans, chomping at the air by each other's and our mother's shoulders, but come on! That's just general family wackiness, not an "infectious viral disease that affects the central nervous system"!

Whatev. We will have to get shots, or we will not have to get shots. I leave it in the hands of my physician, Animal Control, and God.
fearlesstemp: (bucky)
Woke up this morning to the sound of shrieks and shouted obscenities, which, though par for the course in my house when a Mets game is on, is not so common in the early morning hours. I was lying in bed trying to decide whether it was worth it to get up a few minutes early to go investigate, when I looked out the bedroom door and through my bleary, glasses-less eyes, saw this FAT GRAY BLOB fly past my doorway.

Fly! Past! My doorway!

The cat who was sleeping next to me on my bed jumped to attention and stared transfixed at the doorway, so I knew it hadn't been a figment of my imagination. I stared in horror for a few seconds and didn't see it again, so I threw on my glasses, ran into the hallway, the cat hot on my heels, and hollered "What the HELL?" Before I could get the "HELL" out of my mouth, I heard my mother shriek and my father holler "IT'S A BAT! THERE'S A BAT IN THE HOUSE! A BAT! SHUT ALL THE BEDROOM DOORS!!"

And then it FLEW RIGHT AT MY HEAD and I screamed like a little girl and ran around haphazardly slamming the doors shut upstairs. A bat!! Gray and webbed wings and all disoriented and scary!! So scary!!!!

The cats, of course, were of great assistance -- Scout ran and hid in my parents' bedroom right before I shut the door, and Molly sat and watched from the stairs with detached amusement. The amusement is understandable, since the sight of my father and me racing downstairs, then upstairs, then downstairs again, in our pajamas (me: yellow gingham capri/sleeveless shirt pajama set; my father: ratty pajama pants and white Hanes T-shirt from the late seventies), waving brooms around recklessly, screaming "THERE! NO! THERE!" and "IT'S IN THE FAMILY ROOM AGAIN!! GO!! TO YOUR LEFT!!! NO, YOUR *OTHER* LEFT!" like maniacs must have been pretty funny.

Because we wanted the bat to go outside, we had all doors to the outside world open, so the neighbors got a pretty nice show. I know this is true because eventually Molly moved from her spot on the stairs to sit on the walkway about ten feet from the front door, which I can only assume was a better vantage point from which to take in the action. Her expression was nothing more than her usual stony disdain, but I swear she was laughing on the inside.

Anyway, after a solid five minutes of Brooms vs. Bat, we thought outside the box and grabbed a fishing net from the garage and my father used that to finally capture the critter and place him outside. We savored a few minutes of victory before one of us looked up at the ceiling and realized -- yum! -- that there was blood splattered everywhere. Nice. It appears that my father let the cats in without really paying attention, and one of them (Scout, we think, since she's brought other live animals [one time, a bird] into the house, while Molly just tends to eviscerate them by the front or back door) brought it inside wounded and then let it go. I can only assume it played dead for a bit, and then came alive when no one was looking and began its reign of terror.

Because dudes, it was terror. I mean, it probably weighed six ounces and was more scared than we were, but when you see it flying straight at your head, flapping its wings, making weird noises, I swear, I challenge anyone not to squeal in absolute horror. SO SCARY!!!

And I say that all that running terrified around with a broom totally burned enough calories to justify the half-piece of coffee cake I had when I came in to work this morning. Right?

skip me

Aug. 23rd, 2002 01:17 am
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Tomorrow's going to be one of those days where I hate my former self for not going to bed earlier, I can just tell. And yet here I stay, out of bed and signed on, with only two steps (teeth brushed, contacts removed) of my bedtime ritual completed. Still a long road to go before I hit the sack.

I think I'm taking a long time at least in part because I'm going to sleep in my bedroom for the first time since The Bee Incident. I'm scared!! Irrationally scared!! Because the bees are dead and are not going to swarm around me in my sleep. They're just not!

Must be brave. Channel Lance. Lance would be too cool to worry about bees. He'd be all "Bees? I've been trained to eat bees should my landing pod thingy mess up and I end up in the wilderness with nothing but berries and insects to eat. Who gets scared of *bees*?" Okay, maybe not in those exact words, but you get the gist. And then he'd lounge against my dresser and employ the Glare of Hotness and I would explode and any cares I had about the bees would be gone.

In other news: Cannot find my tweezers. This is DISASTROUS! Because I'm lazy like that, I'd taken to doing all of my eyebrow maintenance while driving in to work. Whenever I was at a stop light, I'd grab a few stray hairs and in general it was working well. Now the tweezers are gone and I'm starting to look more and more like John Belushi. I could get off of my ass and look around the house for more right now but that would require, you know, getting off of my ass, which I am loathe to do. Another Belushi day it will be.

About an hour ago I had the sudden, crashing realization that my parents' 25th wedding anniversary is in, like, five days. I mentioned throwing a party for them months ago but that got STRONGLY vetoed by my mother, and then I promptly forgot about it until now. What does one do for one's parents' 25th anniversary? Well, of course, first one must remind one's father that said anniversary is coming up so that he does not forget as he has in the past, but after that, what? Is a gift certificate to a nice restaurant around here a good gift? I'm so bad at gifts and stuff like this. It's like I was born without the gene that tells you what shoes to wear with an outfit and what appropriate gifts are.

In other news: Tomorrow is Friday. Now that, unlike this LJ entry, is very exciting.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Previously announced Friday visit from the Terminix man did not take place because said visit was apparently wishful thinking on my part; he is actually coming tomorrow morning, so the saga of the bloodsucking ferrets has not come to a close. It has, though, become more complex and terrifying, detailed behind the cut tag here because I fear this will get quite long and boring and I don't want to inflict that on everyone's friends' pages.

the mystery of the bloodsucking ferrets at least partially solved )
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Between the bloodsucking ferrets in my ceiling, the spiders racing across my desk at work, and the wormy chocolate given to us by the senior partners at the office, I'm just Jackie Hanna on wheels as of late, except for the part where I hate and wish an untimely death upon the critters I come across instead of loving and wishing to protect them.

The Terminix man is coming on Friday, which is good since I've given up the fight and have started sleeping on my brother's vaguely smelly couch in his vaguely smelly room. All this even after I brought the two Adventure Kitties into the attic hoping for them to do their Badass Kitty Thang. No dice! Molly cowered in fear and refused to go more than three feet from the door to the rest of the house, and Scout staked out every section of the attic except for the part where the critters are actually stationed. So inept!

It's ridiculous. I mean, these cats regularly bring carcasses of what were once cute animals to our front door and can do NOTHING about animals living in their own house. I mean, one time Scout brought a LIVE BIRD into the house in her mouth, LET IT GO, and let it start flying all over the house. And she sleeps on the bed next to me while I'm sitting up wide-eyed listening to strange mouth-breathing noises and following the sound of the scurryscurryscurry across the ceiling with my eyes. Idiot cat.

On the topic of idiot cats, I just got back from cleaning up after their acts of civil disobedience. Whenever we leave them on vacation or refuse to let them play outside for more than a day, they respond by defecating all over the basement. Well, that's not true. The defecate in one area of the basement, always within five feet of the just about clean litter box as if to twist the knife. "Ha!" they say. "Ha! They will not let us frolic outside on the green grass and so we will take massive craps all around, but not in, the litterbox to make our humans' lives more difficult! Haha!"

Stupid incompetent crapping kitties. I love them so much. Scout just came in here and when I typed instead of petting her, she put her little paws on my knee and gave me her best Pathetic Lonely Kitty Look and I kind of caved, but then lost focus and started typing again and now she's sitting in the hallway facing away from me, in full-out Disdainful Kitty mode. And now she just took off. I bet she's off to sit on my bed and drift off to dreamland to the sounds of the scurryscurryscurry of the critters overhead.

This post was brought to you by the bloodsucking ferrets, Scout, Molly, and Jess's incredible need to get an actual life so she can stop posting about gross animal stuff.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Because I know you're all dying to hear.

So! There's this radar-emitting thing that my parents placed in the attic above their bedroom to drive the ferrets away from their bedroom, and it worked well. So well, in fact, that they left that side of the house alone completely and set up shop over my room, complete with strange burrowing and mouth-breathing noises. The ferrets, not my parents, of course.

Today it was decided that Something Must Be Done, namely moving the radar emitting doohicky further into the attic so that it would affect my side of the house too. Good plan, except for the part where someone would have to crawl into and navigate the maze of two-by-fours and pink insulation that is our unfinished attic. My brother chickened out, which caused my mother to shake her head and say, "Come on, we need a man to do it," which is one of the few phrases that will actually spur The Jess into physical action. I think I blacked out, and suddenly I was climbing a rickety wood ladder into the hole in my parents' closet, hauling myself up into the Scary Attic while my mother exclaimed all three syllables my name in a high-pitched wail ("Oh Jessica! Be careful! Don't -- watch -- JIMMY HOLD THE LADDER! Please be careful! I have to go sit in the other room").

And I DID IT! I hung onto roofbeams and hopped around from two-by-four to two-by-four until I got far enough into the attic (with my mother knocking the ceiling of the second floor to let me know where I should head and my brother standing on the ladder behind me hollering directions), set up the radar-emitting thing, and made my way back, ALL WITHOUT INJURING MYSELF. I didn't fall once! I couldn't believe it!

The ferrets (or whatever the critters are) appear to be living under the pink insulation above my room so I couldn't even get a good look at them, which seemed annoying at the time but now I realize is probably a Good Thing because had I spotted the critters and discovered them to be forty-pound carniverous squirrells or something, I doubt I'd ever be able to sleep again. Right now I can keep pretending it was just mice (large, well-fed, mouth-breathing mice, but still mice) and sleep peacefully as long as they're not scurrying around my ceiling while I'm trying to do so.

The last two times I've checked, all has been quiet on the ferret front, which is exciting. It had gotten so that there was constant activity up there. Am hoping they've escaped to the great outdoors and not, God forbid, the Great Bedroom.

And so concludes this chapter of the bloodsucking ferrets saga. Will it be the last? Only time will tell...
fearlesstemp: (Default)
The bloodsucking ferrets are a running theme in this journal, and they're popping up again today after last night's traumatic experiences. And by "traumatic" I mean "mildly annoying."

The bloodsucking ferrets are probably not ferrets, and whatever species they are, I doubt they're bloodsucking. I know little about the bloodsucking ferrets other than the fact that they live in our attic and have discovered their main joy (perhaps purpose) in life is to run across my bedroom ceiling when I'm trying to get to sleep.

I'm kind of used to it by now. I sleep with a golf club by my side so I can just ram the ceiling a few times if the boys get rowdy, and it's all good. A lot of the time there's no noise at all. But as of late, they seem to be getting...bigger. Heavier. Louder. And it kind of freaked me out, but you know. I dealt.

And then the other morning I was woken up by something, this weird noise I assumed to be one of the cats purring. And since I'm a loving cat owner, I cursed said cats and hung over the edge of my bed to look underneath and, hopefully, yank them out. But they weren't there, and so I just assumed I was insane and went back to sleep.

And then last night. LAST NIGHT. I was sitting in bed about to go to sleep (at a decent hour for once!), ready to read my little book when I realized how loudly Scout, who was lying next to me asleep on the bed, was breathing. And then I looked again and thought, "That's weird. Her chest's not moving in time to the breathing. How does she do that?" And then I was all, "Oh my GOD, it's not SCOUT, it's coming from the WALL BEHIND MY HEAD!"

And then I silently freaked out and almost tripped over the luggage at the end of my bed (still not unpacked from Orlando) in my haste to get out of the room. Do you know how hard it is to silently freak out? Very hard!!

I had to silently freak out because I wanted verification that the noise did, in fact, exist, since Scout the Wonder Guard Kitty was sleeping right through it and offered no assistance. I grabbed my brother and dragged him into the hallway, trying to yell at him without a lot of noise (ultimately by whispering and using a lot of hand signals) to STAY QUIET, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

We got in there and stood on opposite sides of my bed a couple of feet away from the wall and he stood there with his best "You're a Certified Nutjob" expression on his face (one that's usually reserved for the times I start waxing poetic on how fabulous *NSYNC is). And then all of a sudden I heard it, this not exactly loud but still audible "whoosh-whoosh, whoosh-whoosh" of something breathing, and looked over and realized that HE HEARD IT TOO! Which meant, you know, yay! I'm not insane! But also boo hiss! I have some strange mouth-breathing critter living in my wall! How big does something have to be for you to be able to hear it breathing through the wall? Pretty big, right? Maybe it's a bird. An owl or a renegade pigeon or something.

Anyway, Jimmy was all, "I wouldn't sleep here," and that cemented it for me because once I get outside verification of scariness, any and all residual Jess Bravery shrivels up and dies. I tore out of there like nobody's business, pillow and blanket in tow like an overgrown four-year-old, and made my way downstairs to sleep on the couch.

But you know what? It's SCARY in my living room at night! It is! There are all these windows, and they're huge, and the whole lower level of my house is pretty wide open so I just lay there on the couch veering between horrible fears that a murderer was lurking right outside one of the big windows peering in, just about to move in for the kill, and flashbacks to Signs, which I saw on Friday night.

Ok, so maybe I am a little insane. But I didn't imagine the noise! I may be a scaredy cat, but I didn't imagine the noise! It was really there!

I ended up having to go upstairs and crash on my brother's couch (and yes, I did say COUCH because he went in and stole the big guest room (the one that housed all of the leftover furniture from our old house) my freshman year of college and now he's got this swank bachelor pad setup. He doesn't have bloodsucking ferrets running across his ceiling! Bastard.) I went to sleep to the lovely sounds of my brother playing some computer war game, all "[CHUKACHUKACHUKA...]Die you BASTARD! [KABOOM] Yes! [CHUKACHUKACHUKA] Die you BASTARD! [KABOOM] Yes!"

Am debating whether to try out my room again tonight, or just go into my brother's room from the get-go. Decisions, decisions.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Stayed faithful to ghetto Livejournal (read: my free membership) despite the many and varied outages, and am glad to see that it's up again. Here's hoping that I didn't just jinx the whole thing.

Being unable to access LJ made me realize how totally, completely, and pathetically addicted to it I had become and still remain. Can't fight it. It's like heroin, but with voyeurism!

Update: The bloodsucking ferrets are back and better than ever, though this time (happily for me!) camping out in the attic above my parents' room. The good news: the family no longer thinks I'm insane. The bad news: well, the bloodsucking ferrets are back. We must now call pest control, which my Mom is not eager to do. When she and my father first moved into our old house, there were mice issues and they had to call pest control. The big van pulled up, with PEST CONTROL written loudly on the sides, just as our neighbor across the street was having an outdoor luncheon with thirty or so guests. My mom was mortified.

A solution, one Shana brought up before, would be to let the Adventure Kitties loose in the attic. I thought this was a good plan, and couldn't figure out why the 'rents weren't backing it. Then we had this exchange:

Me: Why don't we just let Scout up there? She'll kill it.

Parental Unit: I don't know...

Me: I mean, they bring in stuff from the outside world all the time. Remember how Molly brought that headless bunny to the back door? They're tough.

PU: That's true. But...

Me: But what?

PU: What if it's bigger than her?

I'm now frightened.
fearlesstemp: (Default)
Didn't sleep too well last night. The culprit was a critter who has recently taken up residence in the attic, and who has taken to running around right above my room just as I'm going to sleep. It's really creepy, hearing the scurryscurryscurry of his little feet across my ceiling. I told a friend about how it creeps me out even though I know it's probably just a mouse with a body mass of 3 ounces, and she responded by saying "Or, you know, it could be bloodsucking ferrets." I'm still leaning towards the mousey type thing.

Anyway, couldn't sleep for a while because every time I would just be getting to sleep he would dart across my ceiling again. My first solution was to take the crucifix leaning on my mirror and poke at the ceiling loudly, which did send him off for a bit. I was left feeling a big sacriligeous, though, and lazy, so the next time it happened I just stayed in bed and threw a book at the ceiling. It was not as effective but less costly in terms of energy and eternal damnation (kidding on the second there, I think God understands what a nuisance bloodsucking ferrets can be at two in the morning).

Anyway, the treadmill is calling my name and I'm feeling motivated -- off to exercise!

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