Grammy suddenly noticed us doing strange things, bouncing off walls, waving paws in the air and chasing the invisible. At first she said, Oh isn’t that cute! They’re playing. It’s so nice to see them entertain themselves. And her nose returned to her book, her knitting or her computer. And, this went on for days, weeks, maybe even a lifetime – well, definitely a lifetime of a moth when suddenly a friend said, Oh, I see a moth!! WHAT? WHERE? No, you’re hallucinating! Well, she wasn’t! Those moths had been having a grand ol’ time and so had we! But, let Grammy figure it out we were staying out of this one.
Scooting her friend out the door with a See ya! Don’t believe ya, but just to appease ya, I’ll check the house! and the great Moth Hunt began...
Now, Grammy’s a neat freak! Vacuums regularly! Scoops litter twice a day! Makes her bed! Dishes in the dishwasher! Clothing goes where clothing belongs – in closets and drawers with said closets and drawers closed... None of this throw it on a chair stuff, because she knows five furry felines will gravitate to and vie for that one piece of clothing that isn’t hung or put away and layer it with a coating of fur and a dollop of scent gland before you can say, Jack Robinson. BUT, Grammy had neglected to attend to the unused chair. But, to be fair, why would she? ... it’s unused!
Well, Grammy vacuumed, washed the floors, dusted the already dusted bookshelves, did her usual clean and NOTHING! Nary a moth! Then, quite by accident, well maybe not accident (should I say, serendipity), she decided to vacuum the chair she used and thought, maybe whilst she’s at it, just for good measure she should do the same to the other. Out came the chair from under the table and bingo! There right under her nose those little beasties were active in their sheepskin nest... procreating, incubating, eating and pupating right before her eyes. NASTY!
Out came the green garbage bags! In went the thought-to- be unused sheepskin. Of course, it had been used but unbeknownst to us. In went the beknownst in-use sheepskin. AND in came the paranoia! Major paranoia! Everything not washable and/or suspected of hosting even a single moth, egg, larva or pupa followed the sheepskins into the bag. Out went the bag and a second bag. And just to be sure, out went the two old rickety chairs.
So now we’ve had the great Moth exodus, followed by the great furniture and fabric exodus. What next? Well, the paranoia continued. Each and every book was removed from the bookshelves – and we’re talking a bazillion books. Each and every book was vacuumed; covers and spines were washed and dried. Once the bookcases were emptied, they got scrubbed front and back, inside and out. Next the walls behind and floors beneath were scrubbed too until the whole livingroom was scrubbed top down!
This marathon of paranoia continued to bottoms of sofa, armchair, hassocks, dressers and closets. Yes, closets were emptied, every bit of fabric, towels, bedding, clothing washed, dried and all stored in vacuum packed plastic. Cupboards, kitchen and bath, not an item was overlooked. So, now those moths were licked! Or were they? Just to be sure all the bases were covered... Grammy set up clothing moth traps. Done! Paranoia on hold, have a cuppa joe and relax.
For two weeks all was quiet on the M&M front when one night while reading her book Grammy was suddenly distracted. Something had skittered past her nose! No, it wasn’t the nightly Sweetie doing her leap arm-to-arm-across-the-sofa training! Much smaller. MUCH smaller! What could it be? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! There in the moth trap – a single solitary moth! The paranoia resurfaced! Where there’s one... there’s a potential for a terrabillion.
Imagine Grammy’s plight! What to do, how to conquer this foe? ... so, the marathon began again. Another massive search was on for the source but unfortunately none was found. Over the next few weeks more moths congregated and met their demise in the moth traps. Despite everything she done there was no other option... it was down to... call THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR. And ... this is how we lost one of our nine lives. NASTY!
Yesterday, Grammy began surreptitiously preparing for THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR due to his imminent arrival. (Note that 'surreptitiously prepared' means while we’re stuffing our faces and too busy to notice.) A few extra kitty carriers were removed from the closet and assembled. Snuggly blankets were placed in each. A doggie cage was set up on the balcony. Bathmats readied to line the bottom and two litter boxes lined with fleecy blankets ( we use these as beds) were also set by the balcony door. Well, carriers are always around – Grammy keeps a couple open and lined in fleece or fluffy towels for our snoozing pleasure – so when we’d finished eating and noticed them we thought nothing of it. That is, until this morning.
Suddenly, a coffee under her belt, Grammy went into Ninja mode... not Ninja Turtle but Ninja Hare mode. She picked me up. I thought – oh boy, cuddle time, but noooo. I got whipped out into the surreptitiously prepared doggie cage on the balcony... like a sack of potatoes... dumped in the open air. I could have died from exposure! Next, Rondo, poor fellow.... the same thing! Whipped into her arms and whisked outside, squirming (gotta love the boy for trying!) while Grammy opened the cage door to toss him in. In the ensuing turmoil – Whoopee! I escaped back into the condo. But poor Ronny... stuck in an open air cage on a frosty (60°F.) Wednesday morning, with nothing to keep him warm – well almost nothing... only two snuggly litter boxes with nothing but fleece liners in them. How will he survive this? Will he be scarred for life?
Then the Grammy/Etude chase was on... behind the bed, under the end of the bed, into the livingroom... it was great fun though I don’t think Grammy was enjoying herself much. Let my guard down for a moment and suddenly I was scooped and tossed into a carrier, door closed and a big sigh of relief – no, not from me, from Grammy. I howled as loudly as I could... You must have heard it! The desk sergeant left his post to come out of the police station a block over to check on the sonic boom. Fortunately, he’s a little hard of hearing and couldn’t pinpoint the direction of the sound but he sure felt the vibrations. Not only into the carrier but unceremoniously dumped on the balcony! NASTY – About to die of exposure, again! Then suddenly – a blackout. Blankets thrown over our cage and carrier – supposedly to keep the draft off, but more likely to hide the horrors to follow.
Now where were the girls during all this? Sweetie was playing! Can you imagine it? Not one ounce of concern for our plight... and Mouse – snoozing on the chair. Such caring, sweet sisters! NOT! Little did they realize... yes, they too were being banished to the balcony but did they fuss? Nooooo! Grammy picked up Mouse, put her in the carrier and closed the door...not a peep, not a squirm, not a wiggle! Harrumph! At least Sweetie howled... gotta give her that, but again, picked up and set in the carrier and the two of them, Sweetie and Mouse plunked above Ronny in the great outdoors, carriers wrapped in blankets and left to freeze to death.
And that left Whiskers, old, plodding, stodgy Matriarch of Mischief. Shouldn’t be a problem! The old dear! Haha! Did she give Grammy a run for her money or what! You had to be there! It was priceless! I’ve never known either old stick to move so quickly in all my 3 years. Into the bedroom, under the bed, move the bed, under a chair, move the chair... caught... into the carrier. No! Feet splayed and one good wiggle and she was free again. Back into the bedroom Whiskers disappeared... livingroom, bedroom, repeat exercise three or four times until she eluded Grammy completely! Well, almost. Grammy found her hunkered down between the sofa and bookcase with no escape except past Grammy herself. This time Grammy outsmarted her, tucked the tail under and lifted her butt and set her in through the top hatch of the carrier, slammed the lid and DONE! The fifth furry dumped and covered on the balcony with moments to spare before the arrival of THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR.
So there we were howling to the neighbours for assistance, plotting our escapes if only we had had opposable digits and feeling betrayed. Grammy joined us, chair, folding table, phone, iPad, kitty treats and she had the gall to chat at us as though all was right with the world! Could we be bribed with treats? NO! Not a chance! Well, maybe! Oh, alright then, if I must I’ll eat them... but only because you insist, and I won't be happy about it!
The only one in all this kerfuffle unaffected by the mayhem – Mouse – our timid, afraid of her own shadow, doesn’t like change Mouse! She nibbled her treats, looked around in interest at all the activity and even ogled THE MOTH EXTERMINATOR.
I tell you after days, okay, a bazillion hours, well, maybe it was a couple of hours waiting for the stink to dissipate we were allowed back inside... but the windows are open to the winter chill, the stink persists and we’re living in it. But at least we are indoors.
No more outdoor adventures for me, thank you very much!
That whole exercise has taken one of each of our nine. NASTY! ... and we think maybe a couple of decades off Grammy as well. Now, let’s hope this is the end of the moths... because if it isn’t Rondo and I are searching for a new family to rule. Anyone out there with a moth free home? Harrumph!
Five Cats, Five Personalities, One Goal - Mischief & Mayhem.