Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Chloe vs. The Chipmunk
Despite growing up on a farm, and despite my love of cute, furry animals in the wild, I have an intense fear of any foreign animal intruder in my house. Lizards. Spiders. Ants. Bugs. Frogs. Heath used to pick these and other varmints up and chase me with them when we were little, and to this day, I'm terrified of them, if they're indoors. Even if I see them outside, I tend to run. While I have maintained my cool in many a traumatic, high-stress situation, and I assure you that I'm good to keep around in a real crisis, I really flip out when critters crawl in my house.
So you can imagine the hysteria that resulted today when I was standing there, minding my own business in the kitchen refilling my pepper mill, when I look up to see Chloe Cat walking through the back door, head held high (which is unusual) and carrying what appeared to be something in her mouth. It looked like either she had something in tow, or she just had walked through some leaves that got stuck in her whiskers, which is what I was hoping was the case. But what went running through my mind was something like, "oh no, no, no, NOOOO" as she pranced herself right beside me and dropped a cute - alive! - chipmunk on the kitchen floor. Stunned, the little guy looked up at Chloe. She stared back. I started screaming at the top of my lungs. I thought (and here is an example of why a PhD is NO measure of intelligence) that if I screamed, "bad Chloe! Go away chipmunk!!" she'd realize the err of her ways and pick up the chipmunk and take him back. I was wrong. My screaming resulted in the chipmunk scampering over towards the sliding glass door, and Chloe chasing. He was trapped. I stood there for a minute, screaming, jumping up and down like a maniac, wondering if I should call Casey or Dave first for assistance. I knew Casey had to work tonight, so Dave was the lucky recipient of me, still screaming, "Ohmygod there's a chipmunk in our house! What do I do? Ohmygodohmygodohmygod!!!!"
Meanwhile, Chloe was having a field day, playing with her new toy. It was apparent that she didn't want to kill the poor chipmunk - who was rather cute, by the way - but she just wanted to chase it and play. She cornered it in the kitchen. Luckily, Dave instructed me to open the front door, incase the rodent ran through the house, and to give it another option for escaping. Sure enough, I watched as Chipmunk scampered from the kitchen, through the dining room, behind the couch, and around the television, and laughed as Chloe followed right behind. I nearly lost it, however, when Chipmunk hit the parquet floor, full speed, and looked like he was about to take flight right out the door. Straight out of a cartoon, I tell you. Chloe caught him, and cornered him between the open door and my road bike, which has been parked in the hallway until we figure out where to keep it long term.
At this point, my conversation with Dave consisted of Dave laughing hysterically, and me yelling into the phone, "oohh!! Yay! Little chipmunk, go! You're almost there! Come on! Door's open! Go free! Go!" Stealthily, Chipmunk scurried under the door and bolted into the front yard. Before Chloe could chase him, I quickly shut her in and refused to let her out the rest of the night. She sniffed around the house for at least an hour, though, hoping to find her little buddy hiding around the corner.
It took me at least an hour to quit shaking.
And that's what happened on Day 1 of my transition to housewifery. I think I'll go back to dissertating tomorrow.