Thursday, December 9, 2010

Even Dead Birds Need Cleaning

I swear to you, this is not my fault.  But, I will be blamed, I have no doubt.  My sister a-ster might wish to kill me after reading this, but she'll have to catch me first, so I'm not too worried. I know Christmas is right around the corner and she might withhold all gifts after she sees this.  But I got the Acini de Pepe recipe in the mail from her today, so I'm all set.

It all came about because of this post that I read from the laundress over at laundry hurts my feelings.  You can go read it, but I warn you, you are best advised to use the facilities before you begin reading because if not, you might lose everything about halfway through.  It's a bit of a read, but I'll wait.  You'll have all your laughing muscles ALL warmed up after reading her.

Wasn't it the best thing you've read in ages?  I might have to go reread it because I just laughed so hard the other day I might do it again.  She has quite a knack for words.

So after I read her post, I sent it to my friends and mentioned that it reminded me of this story which my friend a-ster said I simply must tell.  So here I go.

My parents were away and we had our favorite babysitter c-ster staying with us.  Now, c-ster is a teacher, 3rd great in those days, so she knows kids.  And she knows that kids needed to be responsible for things.  She wasn't always clear about which responsibilities we actually had when our parents were home, but when she said hop to it, we usually did.  She believed in team work and everyone sharing the load and blah blah blah.

So, we had a cat that had a penchant for killing birds.  Yes, we live in a coyote infested area, but we have always believed in the live and let live philosophy, so our cats always went out.  And came back in.  And went back out and killed stuff.  And once or twice, might have tried to bring said killed stuff into the house.  Except the time that Dolcie brought a LIVE MOUSE into the house and wondered what all the fuss was about while my mother came unglued.  And my own Gwenstopher brought in a VERY FAT mouse/rat that was dead but just barely, and put it right at k-ster's feet in the living room.  I couldn't speak, I just stood there, hopping up and down, making noises and pointing while k-ster just looked at me and told me he didn't understand.   I didn't understand why he couldn't understand that wildlife was currently IN the house in a very mouse/rat like state.  And there was the time the one of my cats brought in a live baby bunny and let it get stuck behind the radiator.  I came down to find two cats who were exceptionally interested in the radiator, in the middle of July.  And then I saw the source.  And the poor bunny was missing some fur. So I took it to wildcare in hopes they would care for and release this wild bunny.  Because 15,000 bunnies in my yard shows they must be nearing extinction and I have to to my part to help stop that.

So, we noticed that whichever cat we had at that time had killed a robin or something like it and left it on the deck.  I think my mother would have just removed it herself, while muttering Ew gross or UGh God a lot.  Or maybe she would have told my father to get rid of it.  Just a shovel and a swing over the fence would have sufficed.  But c-ster wasn't going to clean it up and there were no big strong men to do it.  So, she told my sister a-ster to do it.  I can't imagine why I didn't get the job, since I was the oldest.  Maybe I wasn't home or I was upstairs, out of sight.  That makes sense because I think I heard about this first part, rather than experiencing it first hand.  And I certainly would have prevented what resulted below if I had been present. 

A couple of days went by and I noticed a stream of ants making their way to the forbidden living room.  When my parents built their house, the one I currently live next to in the "old house", we finally had a living room and a family room.  Somehow the formal living room became that room that no one was really supposed to be in, certainly not with food or dirty shoes.  To this day, the furniture in there is in most excellent shape because it gets used so rarely.  Dolcie loved to sneak in and sleep there.  And a few times, I've read a book in there.  I think I caught my mother in there reading once or twice.  And I think I recall someone being entertained in there a few times.  It was always my fantasy, and still is, that the Christmas tree would go in there and we'd have Christmas in there.  It's really perfect for it.  But, no cigar.  It hosts a great deal of quilts that are completed or about to be.  And sometimes clean laundry on its way upstairs.  But NEVER NEVER NEVER was it host to ants.  Until this day. 

So, I told c-ster about this parade of ants and she told me to see if I could find the source.  I have to stop here for a second.  I am making c-ster out to be some kind of cigarette smoking, soap opera watching babysitter, Miller High Life drinking wench when she could not have been more unlike that.  She was always doing something: cooking, cleaning up, correcting papers, dealing with her own kids which came when she'd stay with us.  She was a great babysitter and I am not portraying her properly here.  She was more about finding out for yourself and figuring out a solution.  The teacher in her, I swear. 

I discovered the tasty treat that the ants could not resist.  The Dustbuster.  Yes, in addition to hosting an odd assortment of laundry or quilts, the formal living room was also the home to the Dustbuster.  Ironic.  So, I told c-ster that the Dustbuster was the source of the ants and what did she make me do?  Open it. 

Guess what was inside????  Yep, just about the whole bird.  A-ster had taken the Dustbuster out to the deck and sucked up all the feathers to clean it up, just like c-ster said.  And then she was so careful to put it back right where it belonged.  Without emptying it.  Or telling anyone.


  1. So, Google Alert told me that someone wrote the nicest thing about me, so I came over to check things out. You are too kind! I thank you from the bottom of my humble heart!

    And Gross! That is way worse than my story! Decayed dead birds in dustbusters beats chewed up feminine products every day! What a story! I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with terrorist pets.

    And speaking of, I wrote that post a while ago. My girls are now a year old and turning out to be, I hate to say it and jinx it, really great dogs. There have be no more decapitated birds and thank the stars above, they have grown out of chewing up tampons and rarely have accidents. I call this past year, my year of living dangerously.

    So, thanks so much for your kindnesses. I will be back once I lose my houseful of company!

  2. I love Joann! She's awesome.
    YOUR story made me laugh SO hard, bless her little heart she was just following instructions!


I love comments almost as much as I love summer. I reply to all comments except those ridiculous anonymous comments offering me dirty deeds and real estate. When you leave your comment, please make sure your own settings will allow me to reply to you. Nothing makes me sadder than replying to your comments and then realizing it’s going to the no-reply@blogger address!