Yesterday I was in the bedroom getting dressed after a shower. It was close on noon & I’d just come back from the gym & running errands. (paying the electric bill in person while reeking of Body Pump sweat is my passive aggressive way of protesting the high cost of electricity).
The bedroom is right off the kitchen. The kitchen has slate tiles. I have 4 cats who have claws. They can make a racket on a slate floor when they get chasing each other.
The bedroom door was shut. I get self conscious when the cats see me naked.
They stare. Fascinated. Unblinking.
It’s very disconcerting when you are naked.
What ARE they thinking? Are they amused? Horrified? Worried I might be cold with so little fur?
Anyway, while getting dressed I heard this rattling in the kitchen & because my mind was fully taken up with which one of the various shades of purple shirts I own I was going to wear, I vaguely though ‘oh cats’ and then went back to contemplating the purples. Eggplant? Lilac? Grape? Maybe today was a deep burgundy sort of day?
Then while I did my hair there was some more rattling. This time, because my mind was only occupied with wondering if my hair was going to curl today or if I had to break out the flat iron, it occurred to me that I’d seen at least 3 of the cats outside when I came in. And that was a lot of rattling for one old lady cat.
This gave me pause.
The house had been empty for a few hours. I had not made a search of it when I came home as I sometimes do. You know, just to make sure no homicidal maniac is hiding in the spare room closet with an axe, prepared to wait patiently for 14 hours until we are all asleep, before finally striking.
It could too happen!
They are called maniacs for a reason you know.
I began to wonder what he could be doing to cause the rattling. Obviously he is giving himself away, ruining his plan, so if I shout “GOSH WHAT IS THAT RATTLING SOUND? PITY I CAN’T INVESTIGATE IT RIGHT NOW” really loudly and then just stay in the bedroom with the door shut maybe he’ll realize the jig is up and sneak away while the coast is clear.
I even turned the blow dryer on again to give him cover, just to be on the safe side.
No really, this is how my mind works.
After a few minutes I judged it safe to peer out the bedroom door. There, sitting right in front of me was the old lady cat. Staring unblinkingly at me. It was as if she was trying to communicate telepathically. What was she trying to tell me?
The maniac has fled the house, you are safe?
The maniac is in the hallway, go grab your gun?
You should have gone with the lilac shirt?
What, cat?!?! What?!?!?
While I was considering this the rattle came AGAIN!
This time I could tell it was clearly coming from the pantry. There is barely room for a broom to stand in the pantry so no way a maniac could be in there. Or if there was he‘d have to be really skinny & probably I could take him.
See, I can be logical sometimes.
But then I thought, maybe I accidentally shut another cat in there & it’s been trying to scrabble it’s way out all this time?
I opened the pantry door and was suddenly rained down on by small hard objects and was so startled I slammed the door shut and jumped back halfway across the kitchen.
SOMETHING IS FALLING OUT OF THE CEILING IN THE CLOSET!!!
This is worse than a really patient homicidal maniac with an axe!
This shit is for REALZ!
There is something in the ceiling & it’s created a hole & is falling in the closet. Or worse, it’s dried out feces is falling in the closet.
And I just know some is in my freshly washed hair but am afraid to touch it and confirm this.
I looked up at the drop ceiling tiles with trepidation. Drop ceiling tiles are a worthless barrier between you and whatever is in your ceiling. They are flimsy, they never sit completely down in their tracks, leaving gaps for all sorts of stuff to get in.
The closet ceiling is solid. It’s drywall over wood for reasons that made perfect sense to the stoners who built the house but continue to elude me.
And believe me, I can think of some damn peculiar reasons for things happening if I put my mind to it. I have 9 years of insomnia on top of a lifelong overactive imagination. My mind is an exhausted, strange, yet wondrous place these days.
Not that any of this is news to anyone.
So whatever made that hole must have some hella sharp claws.
And really hard poop.
Then the rattling came again.
Okay I need to open the door and look so I know what to tell my pest control guy when I call him. “It’s not a guy with an axe” is insufficient information in this situation.
When I was 14 we had hornets build a huge nest in our attic over the bathroom & they dug or wore down a hole in the bathroom ceiling & one morning I opened the door to discover a swarm of angry hornets in the bathroom.
So this part isn’t some random, over tired, imagination induced thought process. It’s based on ACTUAL EXPERIENCE.
I cautiously cracked the door open & the rattling shower came again. I glanced at the floor of the closet.
What IS that? Strange looking poop for sure. Maybe pebbles? Stored seeds?
Then I looked up.
You know what they were?
One of the bags’ twists was insufficiently closed & they are on the top door shelf so they were being bumped by the door frame every time the door moved. The door never shuts completely & tends to inch open & closed at random due to wind currents or the moon phase or something.
It was making the lentils randomly fall out of the bag onto the slate floor.
Damn homicidal maniac lentils.
I knew I didn’t like them for a reason.