Honey, there’s a porcupine in the house!
Slowly my brain started asking questions like, so who’s making the noise down there then?
We do not have air conditioning. We are loved and controlled by two cats and one dog. Why I am telling you this? To set the stage for the next 16 hours.
I had one of those days where I had to be in several places at one time. In between meetings, I dropped into the house to chat with the animals, let them pee and do a few chores myself, i.e., laundry, dinner, dishes from the night before, you know the drill. When I’m home, I often leave the doors open so the animals can come and go as the please, instead of having to let them in, let them out, let them in, let them out. But every time I leave, the doors get closed and locked. On this particular day we were out late for dinner. Our return was late enough that said animals were peed and put to bed at the same time as us. I was out like a light!
That was until 2am!
I hear a skitter skitter skitter downstairs. Sitting up I hear it again…..a quick cursor around the room located one cat and one dog (who happened to be sleeping on my leg). But because I had awoken the goddess of templed body, the queen of bladder, insisted I hit the toilet. Just as I passed the stairwell, I hear the skitter skitter skitter again. As I turn the light on I see cat #2 trying to sleep, you know that one eye open, one eye closed look you get when their 16-hour sleep fest is rudely interrupted.
Slowly my brain started asking questions like, so who’s making the noise down there then? And why haven’t you peed yet?
Darting my eyes downward, I see the biggest gosh-darn porcupine in the entire world skittering from the office to the dining room. Oh. My. God!
My gasps alarm the animals, yes, my crack protection unit! I grab them, throw them all in the bedroom, closing the doors, all the while whispering (why, I have I no idea) to my husband who is sound sound sound asleep, “Honey, wake up there’s a porcupine in the house!”
I dash downstairs (forgetting to pee) to follow the critter. He is nowhere to be found. “Here, little porcupine, come on baby, where are you?” I sing in my “here kitty” voice (again why does that voice even come out of your body?)
I find him in the pantry staring at the freezer door like he’s trying to will it open. Eventually my husband makes his way down the stairs: “Honey, did you say something?” “Uh, yeah, we’ve got a goddamned porcupine in the house! ”
All of a sudden I no longer own the “quiet voice,” it’s loud and anxious. My husband runs outside and bangs on the side of the house….”Did he move?” “No,” I yell. That didn’t even make it flinch.
He returns next with a 20-foot piece of trim – “Okay, here’s the drill, I’ll stand here and guide the trim to poke the guy and you tell me whether it’s working.” So, I grab a blanket and hold it open in front of me because, hey, when the quills start flying, I don’t want to be directly hit – right?
Myth #1: The quills do not fly out. Paully Porcupine (yes, we have known each other long enough that I’ve named him) fans his quills, looks my way and starts to move. My hubby, who is closest to the door, opens it and, with my guidance, Paully eventually makes his way out the door and runs to the closest tree, vowing never ever to return.
After the shock and awe of it all disperses, the ensuing inspection of the house told us both that he had been inside for many hours! He had peed and pooped and clawed everywhere! It took me three hours to get the initial clean up done and several later that day to finish it.
I asked myself and my crack protection team, how did this happen? Did you not know there was a fourth individual in the house that wasn’t you or me? You couldn’t have warned us somehow? No, I just got that one eye open and one eye closed look of could you please keep it down and turn the damn lights off, I have beauty sleep to catch up on. And, oh yes, I eventually did pee myself, in the toilet, not on the floor, even though no one would have noticed!