The View From A Slightly Twisted Angle

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So Not Mrs. Noah

on November 15, 2012

I’ve had a revelation!  Well maybe not a revelation. It’s probably more like a confirmation of what I’ve always suspected.  Are you ready? Here it is: I am not what one would categorize as an “animal lover”. Wait! Before you accuse me of not having a soul let me explain.  I don’t hate animals and I enjoy looking at photos of them.  I believe that they are charming and fascinating in their natural habitat. As long as their habitat doesn’t collide with my habitat that is. This was all confirmed to me yesterday after two incidents occurred one right after the other.

I was happily putting in my treadmill time while watching an episode of “Billy The Exterminator” (don’t judge.  He really is fascinating!) when I realized that I kept looking away from my television feeling squeamish. This is not a good thing when you are clipping along at an aerobic pace by the way.  Why was I doing that?  He was ridding someone’s home of bats.  Bats freak me out. I don’t care if elephants fly but I draw the line at flying rodents.  That is probably because I’ve had to deal with a few of the creepy things in our home. (Click here for our most recent adventure with a chiroptera)  We’ve had them get into our garage on more than one occasion and once one somehow found its way into our basement storage room.  Seriously. I woke up one morning to discover a text from our oldest son: “DON’T go in the storage room when you go downstairs this morning.”  Yeah.  That’s a stupid thing to text a mom.  I had visions of party remains or something we were hiding or…well…just about anything but a bat swooping around.  Life lesson for my son: give Mom more details please or she’s going to open the door and freak out. (She did by the way.) Here is more trivia: Bats are endangered so you are not supposed to kill them.  My theory is they’d be less endangered if they’d stay out of my house. All that long history to say that bats freak me out enough that even seeing them on television gives me the heebies. It isn’t good to have the heebies while you are on your treadmill. I could have been severely injured.  Dumb bats.

Daily workout done I went outside to move the trash bin out for pick up in the morning when I saw this:

It appears  my sweet fluffy-tailed woodland creature friends were back. UGH!  I sent a disgusted picture text to my husband and went about cleaning up the mess.   He texted back about how the poor little things were just looking for food. Because of an early spring hail storm our crabapple tree which usually feeds the little critters quite well is almost bare.  Because of this past summer’s drought there is less food for them than normal.  Poor little things. While I do have a twang of sympathy for their plight I probably would have been more receptive to his “mercy” message had my hands not been covered with pumpkin slime at the time. Did they have to make such a mess? I understand they are hungry and I was going to throw the pumpkins away this weekend anyway but do they have to eat my outdoor decorations?  I’m a little paranoid they are going to gnaw off Santa’s face.  Or worse: Baby Jesus’. My annoyance for these little vermin continues to grow.  Again – cute from a distance but a total pain in the can when they mess around in my yard.  If they’d just stick to the parks we could maybe be friends.

I feel the same way about the stray cats that always seem to accumulate in our area.  I’m not a cat fan. I don’t mind them as long as I don’t have to deal with them.  I grew up on a farm where the cats were pretty wild and a bit mean.  They avoided me and I avoided them.  Then one time I was spending the night with a friend who had several cats.  I bent over to pick something up and one of her felines jumped on my back. And hung on. For a really long time. OUCH.  I’m pretty sure I still have scars from that. Both physical and emotional.  There are some really cute cat pictures out there.  My friends have some great cats.  I just don’t want them around me. So all of my friends’ cats sit on me when I visit of course.

Birds also freak me out.  It might have something to do with the barn swallows that would swoop at our heads every time we entered the barn during nesting season when I was little.  I find birds fascinating from a distance but if they get too close my breathing gets funny.  My sister-in-law had a pet bird for a while.  I tried really hard to like him because he was pretty cool but I just couldn’t quite make myself not panic inside when he flew. A few times we’ve had some small birds build a nest and lay eggs right outside our office window – formerly our youngest son’s room. He was fascinated by the little birds and checked on them quite frequently.  I thought it was a wonderful learning experience for our little boy.  The only problem was that the side door to our garage is right next to the decorative trim which they built behind. Every time we’d try to exit the side door – sure enough – swoop!  Really?  I’m 3 million times bigger than you and you are going to swoop at me? Besides I was here first.  Check the area before you build a nest next time you goofy bird.  I’m surprised our garage door opener didn’t wear out because we had to enter and exit through the big doors until the bird family moved out.  I’m not totally heartless to a mother bird’s plight.  Besides I like my hair on my head.

I have tolerated a few animals (very few) in my house in the name of trying to be a good parent.  My oldest two children both had guinea pigs for a while.  They really weren’t too bad. Pretty docile and quite cute. Until it stormed and our daughter’s pet squealed. That was a bit creepy.  Also creepy to me was the sound of them running across their cage bedding.  A little to rodent like for me.  No problem.  I made them keep them upstairs where I couldn’t hear it. Last month our oldest came home and brought his hamster with him.  Again – kind of cute but the mouse-like noises almost sent me into a frenzy.   Their fish have been cool. Well the ones we haven’t killed anyway.  Other than those few animals and our ever faithful dog my house hasn’t been very “open” to animals. Does that make me a bad parent?

Because of where our house sits we’ve had our fair share of snakes (check here for those entertaining stories), raccoons, rabbits, possums, gophers…yeah. We’re a regular wildlife preserve.  While all these things are pretty cute from a distance or in photographs or, best yet, at the local zoo (we have a great one in my part of the country) I just can’t  say that I’m an animal lover.   I don’t hate them they just mostly freak me out and I have to get away from them.  You’d think growing up on a farm I’d be different but I’m not.  This is just the way I’m wired. Don’t sick PETA on me ok.  I’m not calling for the demise of all animals.  I just want them to stay where they are supposed to stay.

All things considered it’s a good thing that I wasn’t Mrs. Noah. (Whom I’m sure had a first name it is just not recorded anywhere so we call her that: Mrs. Noah.  Hope she doesn’t mind.) If I were I’d have spent all those weeks on the ark having panic attacks. Or secretly slipping animals off of the boat when no one was looking.  By the end it all that would have been left would have been my family, some friendly dogs and maybe a guinea pig, provided his cage bedding was kept where I couldn’t hear it. God knows what He’s doing.

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2 responses to “So Not Mrs. Noah

  1. Hilarious!! I can relate to this…I USED to be an animal lover. I actually am quite good with animals and am not freaked out but it’s all the other crap you have to deal with when you’re actually an owner. The cleaning up, the taking care of them when they’re sick, going to the vet and paying a million dollars. I have enough to deal with taking care of my kids. We’ve tried a few pets since having kids and it just never works out. I’m over it! I’ll admire someone else’s pets and go to the zoo!

    Also, we had bats in our house 4 years ago…I thought it was just one and we kept trying to catch it (well, actually just my husband). It turned out there was four and I finally had to call Bat Control when our babysitter called and said there was a bird flying around the living room. (it wasn’t a bird). Bat Control said once you have one they start calling all of their friends to come join in. Awesome. I was particularly fond that they drove up in a huge van that said “Bat Control.” Just what you want all of your neighbors knowing!!

    • wedelmom says:

      It’s so good to know I am not alone. You start to feel like a bad person…. 😉
      We almost ended up calling bat control to get the one out of our storage room but we finally got him out. He didn’t invite any of his friends thank goodness! One of the first things I’m looking at when we start looking for new homes is places those creepy things can get in.

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