So my wife and I are in the midst of a competitive game Rummy 500 when our cat jumped up onto our dining room table and sat down right in the middle of the “playing field.” I went to pick up the cat to remove him from the table, but unbeknownst to me, he extended his claws and caught them on a cloth placemat upon which my iPhone happened to be sitting. DFD5765B-7610-4476-9159-14B7B0DD7B86As I lifted the cat from the table, the placemat to which his claws were attached also lifted, and my iPhone went flying across the room landing hard on the wood floor.

I dropped the cat and reached for my iPhone. I picked it up and carefully examined it. The good news: the screen and body were intact and everything looked copacetic. Phew.

But about an hour later I got an email from my son asking me why I hadn’t responded to his text message or answered the phone when he called. I called him and said I never got a text or call from him. He said that he’d text me again, and when it never showed up, I called him back to say I didn’t get it. Then I told him to call me back, hung up my iPhone, and waited. Nothing!

Anyway, the bottom line — and it’s a weird one — is that everything works on my iPhone, including its ability to make phone calls and to send text messages. Everything, that is, except its ability to receive phone calls and text messages.

Time for a new iPhone, I suppose.

SoCS — Spaying, Spraying, and Splaying

“The vet said we need to bring our cat in this week to have her neutered,” Molly told her husband.

Bill did a spit-take and let the coffee he was sipping spray all over the kitchen table. “Then the vet has to come to our place and do it,” he said.

Molly looked at Bill like he was crazy. “Oh for crissake, Bill,” she said. “You know that veterinarians don’t make house calls in order to spay cats at people’s homes. You need to bring the cat to the animal hospital for that.” Then she handed him a paper towel and told him to clean up the mess he made on the table.

Bill grabbed the paper towel and dabbed up the coffee. “Well then, you’re going to have to get her in the damn cat carrier,” he responded. “Whenever I would try to cram her into her carrier, she would splay her four paws wide and I never was able to get her in it.”83800A0C-0CFE-4F04-85A9-56532446CFB0Written for today’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt from Linda G. Hill. Our task was to write a post using “spay,” “spray,” and/or “spray” in it. Done, done, and done.

Fandango’s Friday Flashback — May 29

Wouldn’t you like to expose your newer readers to some of you earlier posts that they might never have seen? Or remind your long term followers of posts that they might not remember? Each Friday I will publish a post I wrote on this exact date in a previous year.

How about you? Why don’t you reach back into your own archives and highlight a post that you wrote on this very date in a previous year? You can repost your Friday Flashback post on your blog and pingback to this post. Or you can just write a comment below with a link to the post you selected.

If you’ve been blogging for less than a year, go ahead and choose a post that you previously published on this day (the 29th) of any month within the past year and link to that post in a comment.

This was originally published on May 29, 2010 on my old blog. We were still living back east when this took place, but we would shortly be moving to San Francisco.

Batman Returns

B7513E75-04DC-4CD1-804C-A1B14E5F7FD4Last fall I spent a considerable sum of money for what is known as a “bat exclusion.” A bat exclusion is a process designed to remove all bats from a property and to plug all possible entry points for future generations of bats. This process was initiated for our 110 year old Victorian-style home after we discovered a bat flying around overhead in the master bedroom. As a precautionary move, we had to undergo a series of painful rabies shots. It’s not that either of us was bitten by the bat or that the bat flying around the room had rabies. It was a just in case kind of a thing.

I also engaged Leo, aka “The Batman,” the guy who performed the bat exclusion, to install a bat condo (see the photo below) in our backyard so that the bats, in search of a place to hang out (literally) during the day, would go to the bat condo rather than seeking out the comfort of our attic.DB6B9945-6388-45AF-86C9-6535F8033FA5By the way, even though Leo is often referred to locally as “The Batman” because he specializes in bat exclusions, he is nothing like any of the various actors who have portrayed Batman in the movies. He actually more closely resembles The Penguin than Batman.

So what a surprise it was the other day when my wife heard our cat running around like a mad person (or a crazed cat), making a racket in our entry foyer. She discovered that he was pawing at and playing with some kind of creature. She called out to me and, of course, I came running to see a dark brown blob on the lower landing of the stairway.

At first I thought the critter was a mouse. Then it looked almost like a frog and I wondered how a frog got into our house. But then it spread its wings and attempted to fly, not very successfully, as the cat must have inflicted some harm to its flying ability. My wife grabbed the cat and I grabbed a plastic bag into which I scooped up the wounded bat, took it outside, and dumped it on our front lawn.

What I should have done, though, was put the wounded bat in a cardboard box and taken it for testing to see if it had rabies. I don’t know if, in the processes of toying with its prey, our cat may have been bitten by the bat…or if he may have bitten the bat. And not knowing if the bat had rabies, my wife and I ended up taking the poor cat to the vet to get a rabies booster shot. He wasn’t very pleased by that experience.

The Batman is now scheduled to come back to our house on Tuesday afternoon to see if there are any new signs of bats hanging out in the attic or elsewhere in our house.

I wonder if there are bats in San Francisco.

The Gift

01D0C047-04EF-40B6-A9C4-EF02F380E38BI’d never heard such a bloodcurdling scream in my entire life. Well, outside of a movie theater showing a horror movie, anyway. But this scream came from my wife, which caused me to run from my home office, where I was busy paying my various monthly bills, to the dining room, where the scream came from.

“Get it out of here!” she screamed at me when I arrived. She pointed and my eyes followed her pointing finger and that’s when I saw it. Our cat, who had been in our backyard, caught a rat and, with rat in mouth, came up to our deck, sauntered into our dining room via the open sliding glass door, and dropped the almost dead rat on the mat just inside the door.

“Get it out of here!” my wife screamed again. She was literally shaking. I grabbed a ziplock bag out of a kitchen drawer, scooped up the mortally wounded rat, and carried it out to the trash bin in our garage.

By the time I got back, my wife had calmed down a bit, but she was still a little shook up. “You okay?” I asked.

“No, I’m not okay,” she said. “I can’t believe the goddam cat brought a rat into our house and dropped it on the mat in our dining room.”

We both looked down at our cat, who looked back at us with either total disinterest or possibly disdain. It was as if he was thinking how ungrateful we were after he went to all the trouble of catching and bringing us a present. “Why aren’t you thanking me? Aren’t you proud of me?” he seemed to be asking us.

Written for Teresa Grabs’ latest writing challenge, where she asks us to “write a rhyming (or not) story for adults using a cat, a rat, and a mat.”

Call In the Experts

Nothing takes the place of experience when it come to dealing with a crisis.” Edward said. “There’s always the temptation to search for easy answers, but in order to triumph in the face of a crisis, one needs to be thoughtful, deliberate, and leverage the collective wisdom of experts.”

“You’re absolutely right,” Billy, Edwards younger brother, hardily agreed.

“Good,” Edward said, “So hop on your bike and ride to the fire department and tell them to send out their hook and ladder truck to retrieve our cat, who is stuck up in a tree.A33EDBE7-B8A0-4AFB-811F-AA413AE14D00Written for today’s JusJoJan prompt from Linda G. Hill, where the word, suggested by Dan at No Facilities, is “experience.” Also written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompts (nothing), Fandango’s One-Word Prompt (crisis), Word of the Day (temptation), The Daily Spur (answers), Your Daily Word Prompt (triumph), and Daily Addictions (bike).