Friday, August 27, 2010

The Warrior

The Warrior(rear) and Buddy (front)
Our cat, Y2K, better known as 2-kee, has been on the hunt for the last week or so.  Every morning we find a mouse, a mole, or a portion thereof on our back deck.  I am not sure what is driving these sudden nighttime escapades;  she generally  spends her evenings curled up on a soft bed somewhere.  Maybe it is the sudden change to cooler weather that has inspired her increased nocturnal activities. 

I really wish she’d stop.

However, there was one night, about 7 years ago, when her predatory prowess proved valuable.  It was in March 2003, right after the US invaded Iraq.  I had been up late grading papers.  Al, Eric and Ellen were all sleeping upstairs.   I got a glass of water, flopped down on the couch, and flipped on CNN to check into the most recent news on the war.  As I sat down, I noticed movement in my peripheral vision.

The dog got a bit agitated and I could see why. At first I thought a bird had flown into our home, but as I watched it zig and zag, I realized that flying around our family room was a bat. 

So, I did what every modern, liberated, independent woman would do under the circumstances.  I ran upstairs and woke Al up. “Al, Al! “ I shouted.  “There's a bat in our family room!” 

He opened one eye, sighed deeply and said, “No, Debs, there are no bats in the house.  You must have been dreaming.”

Dreaming?  I wasn’t even sleeping.  I insisted that there was a bat in the house and I insisted that he come downstairs to see, which he reluctantly did.  We went to the family room, where the bat had been flying just minutes before and,  of course, there was no bat to be found.  The dog was sleeping peacefully and it sure looked like I was losing my mind.

I looked around the kitchen. No bat.

I went into the living/dining room.  No movement.  No bat.

But there was 2-kee sitting on the dining room table (forbidden behavior) staring intently towards the ceiling. Sitting.  Very still.  I followed her gaze and there were two tiny ears poking out above the drapes.  “Ah ha!” I shouted.  “There it is!”  I shook the drapes and sure enough the bat started flying around the living room and dining room area. 

At that point, Al exclaimed, “There’s a bat in the house!”   I already knew that.

 We wanted to catch the bat and take it outside, preferably unharmed.  I ran upstairs to shut the kids’ bedroom doors, since the last thing we wanted was to chase the bat into those rooms.  I grabbed a wrapping paper tube, thinking it might be work to knock the bat out of the air, but not hurt it.  I handed it to Al and he started swinging at the bat. (I know, I  know.  A tennis racket would have been better.  It was 2 a.m. I’d been grading papers.  Al had been in a deep sleep.)

There are several things to keep in mind as you are imagining this scene. Our living/dining room has high ceilings- 12 feet in the center-- giving the bat plenty of room to avoid capture.  Al was…  um, well… in his underwear.  Our living room has a big bay window on the street side, the drapes were open and the sheer curtains gave little privacy.  So, if anyone was walking by, they’d see, only slightly obscured  by the curtains, a man wildly swinging what would look like a baseball bat… um, well .. in his underwear.   

Of course, Al ‘s wrapping paper tube was no match for the bat.  The bat zigged and zagged and very effectively avoided being whacked. 

Meanwhile, 2-kee sat very still on the edge of a chair.  Watching.  Silently.  Waiting.

Suddenly she sprang from the chair, leapt 4 feet into the air, and with astonishing accuracy, reached out and swatted that bat. Down it fell. Hitting the floor, it scurried under the couch.   We found a working flashlight and looked for it.  No luck.  I thought maybe it was behind the sheer curtains, so I opened them.  No bat.  Al thought it might be clinging to the underside of the sofa and started hitting the cushions with the wrapping paper tube.  Now passersby, were there any, would have been treated to a perfect view of a, his underwear, hitting something on a sofa with what would look like a baseball bat. This might be how neighborhood rumors get started.

Finally, we did find the bat, curled up in a tiny ball, behind a leg of our couch.  The bat was dead with one clean slash down the chest by our very own 2-kee, the warrior cat.  You’ve got to respect a cat like that. 

But she can stop now.

I am grateful for the absolutely lovely weather we had today.  It could not have been nicer for the SVSU Welcome Back picnic!

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