It was a warm summer night. The house was quiet as Thor was with Hot Toddy in The Vortex. Auburn Aries was nearing bedtime and since she was going to be at her Dad’s for over two weeks, I decided to let her cuddle up with me in my bed. Being somewhat tired myself, I headed to bed around 9:45 p.m.
In as much as my body could use more sleep, I generally sleep from 11/11:30 p.m. – 4:30 a.m. I like the quiet of the morning. I like hearing the birds chirping in the morning (even though I hate them and don’t want them anywhere near me). On this particular evening I was looking forward to extra sleep.
Aries was sound to sleep and I had flipped on TV and was watching the BET Awards when I heard a noise downstairs. I live in a split level house, the lower level of which Thor rents. There are four entry points into my house. Two of which are downstairs.
As soon as I heard the noise, I silenced the TV. Then I heard it again. I could feel my body tense up. Thoughts raced through my mind: “Crap, Thor isn’t here. I’ve gotten so used to having a man in the house. Why didn’t I set the alarm? Oh yeah, because Thor can’t remember his code, gawd dammit! I wonder if he left the garage door open again…”
I sat there a little freaked out reminding myself if something goes wrong, I’ll hit the Police button on the control panel to the alarm system. And I didn’t have to worry about Auburn Aries because she was with me. That’s the only thing I hate about the location of her bedroom. If anyone ever did get into the house, they have to pass her room before the get to mine.
I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself. I knew I had heard the noise. I sat in the silence awaiting one more confirmation and then was going to go investigate...whatever that means when you’re alone in the house and hearing noises.
The noise grew closer and now it sounded like a click, click, click, click. It was approaching my bedroom. I have a hallway leading into my master bedroom with closets on both sides. The floors are hardwood.
I felt myself start to panic and then I remembered Momma Kitty, Thor’s cat. She must be upstairs. She gets pissy when Thor is gone to long. It must be her. Too freaked out to turn on a light and see what was actually approaching me, I instead chose to hold my hand up to block the light of the TV in my bedroom to see whatever I could.
Yes, I had turned into a frightened girl. No ovaries of steel that clank on this particular occasion.
I squinted as I looked down the entry into my bedroom. I saw nothing. I tipped my head sideways still squinting. Again, nothing. I looked at the floor from the doorway toward my bed, inspecting every inch of the white’ish carpeting. Momma Kitty is black and I knew I would easily see her. At least I was hoping to see her. At this particular juncture I would have been relieved to see her.
Still blocking the light from the TV, I scanned the floor closer to the bed. Then it occurred to me. Momma Kitty has no claws. She couldn’t have made that noise… What the….
And then I saw it… What I thought was a possum in my bedroom. I screamed bloody hell. Not an “oh you scared me, ha ha ha” scream but a full on “sitting in the movie theatre, I hope if I ever have to scream I can scream like they do in the movies scream.” Twice.
Auburn Aries never flinched.
I popped up and was sitting on my legs. I saw it weasel its body toward my nightstand and go under it. All I could think about was how I’ve always heard possums are mean. I sold both my pistols last year to prevent there ever being an accident with them if Aries ever got a hold of them. I’m powerless. What was I going to do – whack it with the book on my nightstand? I’m not getting that fucking close to it.
I didn’t know what to do. Besides which, I was now officially stuck on my bed. A prisoner. Too freaked out to move.
Suddenly it occurred to me it couldn’t be a possum… I had checked the garage door earlier and it was closed. It was one of Thor’s ferrets, Mina.
I’m about as okay with Thor’s ferrets as I am birds. They’re great so long as they’re someone else’s. I’m not touching them, I’m not feeding them, and I’m not bathing them. Thor has tried to get me to bond with these animals and I wanted no part of it. Thor tells me stories about how he bathes them twice a week and how they walk right into the shower downstairs when he gets in it – “they’re so cute” he’d rationalize.
Yeah, whatever. Keep the little bastards downstairs. That’s the agreement. Now that agreement has been broken. Grrrrr.
I watched Mina crawl under the nightstands, my bed, attempt to get into my dresser, waddle down the hallway into one of my closets – you know the one with all of the expensive sundresses from Nordstrom and my expensive shoes. I could hear her pressing against the garment covers.
I gave myself the same damn talk I usually do, “you’re a grown woman, and nothing ever scares you. It’s an animal. Reach down and pick her up and take her back downstairs.” I tried. I quickly withdrew my hands back toward my lap. I tried again. No go. It might as well have been part of a chicken with bones in it sitting on my plate. I couldn’t touch it.
That’s it, I had had enough.
I picked up my cell and called Hot Toddy. No answer. “Oh, no you don’t, kissing boy, you’re going to answer the phone.” I dialed the land line at his house. My hands and feet were sweating like crazy I was so freaked out. I don’t ever recall my feet sweating like that before. It was gross.
The phone rang several times and Thor finally answered it.
AP: Hello, Thor, it’s Aub.
Thor: What are doing?
AP: (Somewhat yelling) Currently, I’m a prisoner in my own fucking bed, Mina is out and I’m trapped!!!
Thor: What?!?! Oh no, if Mina is out, so is Grace.
(Grace is the feistier of the two… an albino and is simply freaky to look at – let alone touch).
AP: Yeah, so sorry about busting up your evening, but you need to get your ass home and get’cher gawd damn animals back downstairs.
Thor: (laughing hard – explains to Todd that the ferrets are out and that I’m trapped in my bedroom afraid of them) Okay, I’ll be right there.
AP: If you’re not here right away, I’m going to kick your ass!
Thor: I’ll be right there, I promise.
I watched Mina crawl around and around my bed like she expected me to pick her up. She’d climb up the side of my bed and look at me with that little raccoon face – all I could do was tell her to go back downstairs (as I’m sure she has deductive reasoning) and leave me alone.
She climbed into my laundry basket of whites and slid around on my clean laundry. She crawled onto the white swivel arm chair I have in my bedroom and liked it so much she turned onto her back and started scratching her backside on it like a dog. I kept yelling at her to get down and swearing at her that if she had poop on her butt, Thor was going to have to buy me a new chair. She wouldn’t stop.
I clapped my hands and she looked right at me and slithered down the chair headed my direction.
Then I heard the door chime. Thor was home. 17 minutes it took Thor to get home. 17 of the longest minutes of my life. He enters my bedroom laughing so hard it honestly looked like he had tears streaming down his face. His hands covering his mouth trying to stifle it.
AP: It’s not funny!
Thor: Where is she?
AP: How the hell should I know?! She went that way.
Thor turned and there she was. As soon as she heard his deep voice, she came running.
Thor: Hi baby. Are you okay? How did you……
AP: IS **SHE** ALRIGHT? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I’M A PRISONER IN MY OWN GAWD DAMN BED AND YOU’RE WORRIED ABOUT HER. THAT’S IT. GET HER OUT OF HERE… NOW I HAVE TO SMOKE, I’M SO FREAKED OUT.
Thor and I stood on the deck as I told him the story of horror. He laughed so hard he literally fell to his knees laughing – only after turning his ball cap into a rally cap.
I finally went to bed that night. The extra sleep I thought I was going to get, I didn’t. I was wide awake from the adrenaline rush.
When Auburn Aries woke up the next morning, I told her the story. I expected her to feel my pain – freak out right along with me. Instead I got, “Why didn’t you wake me up, I would have put her back downstairs.”
Figures my kid would have had the ovaries I lacked in this particular situation.
Mina didn’t get out again --- until the next day. I ran home on my way to get Auburn Aries to drop off groceries and there she was. I jumped out of my skin again. I called a friend to see if he was close enough to rescue me. He wasn’t so I had no choice. I hauled my ass to pick up Aries and let her handle it.
Thank God for kids (with ovaries of steel).