March 30, 2006

Strangers in the House

So late last night I'm trying to sleep, tossing and turning and punching the pillow and eventually fading into that half-sleep stage. As I drift in and out of sleep I hear the cat food bowls downstairs being knocked around a bit but think nothing of it since Cagney, the orange tabby, has a tendency to play with his food. I finally fall to sleep but awaken after a few minutes with a feeling that something is not right with the world. I decide to open my eyes and turn over to see all five of the cats sitting upstairs like sentinels staring down at the floor below. This is a signal that something is in the house that doesn't belong. I sit up on the edge of the bed, slide my feet into my slippers, turn on the lamp and creep slowly down the stairs. As I look to my left I see a form that is sitting up with its head slumped over. Oh My Gawd! It's the damned raccoon I had seen earlier in the week wandering around in the daylight! This animal didn't look well then and it looks even worse now!
My first reaction is to grab the phone to call someone, anyone to share in my dilemma but I realize it's too late to call even my late night friends. So I say every curse word I can think of and grab the broom and guide the poor raccoon out the front door. He really doesn't want to go out but he sure can't stay!
My next chore is to block the cat door so the cats can't get out and the raccoon can't get in. That done I realize I'm wide awake so I do the dishes then go upstairs and take a bath. I decide it's safe to go back to bed so I turn off the light and lie down and attempt to get back to sleep.
I'd say that about 15 minutes later I hear a cat taking his claw to the front door and making this clicking sound that is the equivilent to Chinese Water Torture which is not conducive to sleep. I then get back up and go downstairs to block the front door off to the cats then go back upstairs and lay back down in hopes of getting some sleep.
No sooner do I close my eyes when I hear a cat clawing the door to the screened porch! I whip the covers off and scream some ear-burning words that send cats scattering to all corners of the house. I stomp downstairs and put chairs, books, tables and various other items in front of the porch door to block it from those goddam cat claws. By this time it's 2 AM so I decide to wash my hair. After that task is complete I lay back down in the hopes that I will at least get some sleep before I have to awaken at 5.
As you can tell there's never a dull moment at my house!