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It was a dark and stormy night. May 25, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in critters, pets, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , ,

And that was just the beginning. Silence Dogood here, with a tale of domestic terror that will make “Angels and Demons” look like an entry in “America’s Funniest Home Videos.”

It was 3:30 a.m., and our friend Ben and I were attempting to get some sleep despite the fast and furious action of the NASCAT races going on between the bedroom and the living room. (See my earlier post, “Cats in space, or what we do at 2 a.m.,” for more on NASCAT and the feline space program, FASA.)

Suddenly, a groggy Ben lurched to his feet, having apparently intuited that our new puppy Shiloh needed to go out. But it must have taken the sleep-addled OFB too long to get on his boots, open the deck door, and let little Shiloh out of her crate, because the next thing I heard was a groan followed by “Oh NOOOOO!!!”

Well, accidents will happen, I thought smugly as I headed to the bathroom myself. As it turns out, maybe I should have shown a bit more sympathy for OFB and a bit less for poor Shiloh, because no sooner had I returned to the bedroom, leaving a miserable Ben on his hands and knees in the kitchen with the paper towels, than I heard one of the most dreaded sounds known to pet-owning humankind: the unmistakable noise of a cat in the process of throwing up. (The only sound that can bring even more fear to the pet owner’s heart is the noise a dog makes before throwing up.) Soon enough, I too was on my knees with the paper towels. 

But at last the ordeal was over and I crawled wearily into bed, leaving OFB to his fate. Turning the light off, I reached to rearrange the pillows when my hand brushed against something long and stringy. At first, I assumed it was yet another shred of Kleenex—I’d done the laundry earlier and, despite OFB’s protestations that he’d searched every pocket of his shirts and jeans for hidden Kleenex, he’d apparently managed to miss one, much to my disgust when I took the clothes out of the dryer—but then I realized that it didn’t feel like Kleenex. It felt like, well, like a thick, shiny ponytail tie. It felt like…. YAAAAAHHHH!!! It felt like a centipede!!!! 

Please don’t ask me how I knew what a centipede feels like. I’m relatively certain I’ve never handled a centipede before. But sure enough, when I turned the light on, there it was: a centipede. “AAAAHHHHH!!!!” I screamed, attempting to alert Ben, still in the kitchen cleaning up after Shiloh, to this latest disaster. “There’s a centipede on our pillows!!!”

“Really?” came the response, delivered in a tone of mild scientific curiosity.

“Centipede bites are poisonous, Ben!!!” As if any bug on the bed wouldn’t be nightmare enough!  



“You’re not going to kill it, are you, Silence?”

No, actually I was planning to drop it down the back of your tee-shirt. “Aren’t you going to get it out of here, Ben?”

“I can’t, I’m still cleaning up here. Why don’t you just bundle it up in a paper towel and toss it out the door? Don’t squeeze it or anything or you might hurt it.”


Too bad they don’t make dog crates for people. OFB would definitely have spent the rest of the night in one!



1. Lzyjo - May 25, 2009

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! A night of horrors.

I love the snappy answer. I should start practicing those myself.

I’ve been seeing a ton of spiders in the house lately. I guess it’s just that time of year. At least I can cajole myself by wishfully thinking that they eat things nastier than themselves!

Well, if it’s any consolation, I actually saw a STINKBUG in one of our spider’s webs the other day. Go spiders!!!

2. Heather - May 25, 2009

Yuck! Anything bug like in my bed is a gross-out to me! I once went to bed and remembered to do something. So as I left my room for the errand, I turned on the light. When i came back in there was a black widow spider on my pillow. Thank goodness I am unable to sleep when I still have something to do. I would have found that one too late for sure.


3. Cinj - May 25, 2009

Oh no! Our biggest bug annoyance in our house this year has been a seemingly endless parade of wood ticks. Where do they all come from???? At least we haven’t had anymore moles. I don’t know what I’d do if I found a centipede. I might have shoved OFB out onto the deck to sleep the rest of the night….

Ticks… AAAAHHHHH!!!! I HATE ticks!!!! But great idea regarding OFB! I’ll keep it in mind for next time…

4. gail - May 25, 2009

I stepped in cat vomit and slid across the den floor yesterday! I keep forgetting to give Coal his hairball remedy! Yikes, on the bug in bed. Not fun! Sometime I will tell you the tale of the bat crawling into our bed! gail

Eeeeewww, bat on bed!!!! Not to mention stepping in cat vomit. It seems to me like an unwritten law of physics that if there’s any cat vomit (or worse), puppy urine, or you name it, it’s inevitable that I’ll step in it while walking barefoot through the house, usually in the dark. In the “scream and scream again” category…

5. Daphne Gould - May 25, 2009

Oh ick centipedes freak me out. I was hauling compost today and there are so many of them in there. I try to keep my eyes closed and my gloves firmly on when I deal with compost. I would be really freaked out if I found one in my bed.

It was a really surreal experience, Daphne! Yuck.

6. Deb - May 25, 2009

Wow, bad luck does come in threes

Thank goodness nothing else happened, Deb! I was already about on my last nerve, and poor OFB wasn’t faring much better!

7. Deb - May 26, 2009

I’ve got something to make OFB feel better. Irish pirate songs on the smithsonian website. http://www.smithsonianmag.com/


Ha!!! (I mean, HAR!!!) This is great, Deb! Thanks!!!

8. sjones71 - May 26, 2009

Oh my! I know the cat vomit sound well. We had a puker cat when i was growing up (favorite cat ever) and we’d all go running three times a day to try and catch her regurgitation on a newspaper before it hit the floor. Of course all of that scurrying only sent her scurrying too.

And, as a bug rescuer from way back, I salute OFBs efforts to save the centipede!

Three times a day?! Gack! We’re lucky that way—even with three very long-haired cats, we seldom have more than one episode a month (and that’s one too many if you ask me!). As for bugs, we have a friend who’ll even rescue wasps—he’ll put a jar on top of them, slide a piece of paper under them, and then lift the jar and take them outside. And he’s deathly allergic to stings! Talk about devotion.

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