Tuesday, May 12, 2009

And More Critters

I have this vague memory of being 6 years old and living in eastern Washington in a little duplex that while small and not particularly grand, was always spotlessly clean and tidy. My mother would wash my long hair in the kitchen sink while I stood on a chair in order to reach. Looking down at the floor, I remember seeing what had to have been the single largest cockroach in all of Washington State. There certainly couldn’t have been another anywhere that would rival this sucker in overall breadth and girth! Between the screeches and screams, my mother managed to capture that wily creature and save it in a jar. I don’t remember my stepfather being terribly impressed at my mother’s prowess. I also don’t remember us living there for much longer. When I was seven we moved to Portland and to this day I have no idea why. Perhaps my parents heard rumors of Portland’s dwindling cockroach population.

It wasn’t until I was sixteen that I recall any further incidents with Mother Nature’s bizarre critters. At that time we were living in a small and yet again extremely well kept house in North Portland. My mother discovered that a possum had taken up residence and built herself a lovely nest in our attic. My newly divorced mom called upon the services of my friend’s father to assess the situation. His idea of “dealing” with the problem was to take one of his rifles into the attic and shoot the offending invader. I was DEVISTATED. I could not imagine the MURDER of one of God’s innocent creatures being the agreed upon option. There was no explaining to me that possums are evil, vicious rodents that carry a myriad of infectious diseases. I was inconsolable and didn’t speak to my mother or my friend’s father for at least two weeks.

This event may have spawned the guilt my mother unquestionably experienced considering the vast number of stray animals she allowed me to drag through our home over the next two years. There were a pair of rats from school, a pregnant cat who birthed 3 sickly kittens, another three kittens we adopted, the full grown cat who adopted us, the dog, the pregnant guinea pig, oh and lets not forget the chameleon. Ok the chameleon we actually purchased from the pet store. However the kittens liked him far more than we did and sadly his life wasn’t fated to be lengthy. Did you know that chameleons lose their tails when frightened? Huh. Me either.
This brings us to the Witty Quip of the Day: “just say no!” Make this your new mantra. Regardless of how many times your children haul some bedraggled, mess of a cat/dog/guinea pig, etc. into your home, just say no. Practice makes perfect!

2 comments:

lindy1955 said...

That was great. But when you come to visit here on the East Coast I will show you what the folks her in the south call "water bugs". They are the biggest cockroach I have ever seen. They can call them "water bugs" but once you have seen them you will agree with me, they are "big" cockroachs. Can not wait to share with you :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! How do you come up with this stuff?? What a a gift you have...to put such a hilarious spin on events that could otherwise be considered traumatizing and that could leave you in countless hours of therapy! =)
You go girl! Keep 'em coming.
You are a riot! But then I have known that a really really really long time.
Love ya!
Cousin Judyne