Monday, August 15, 2011


PARDON THE BRIEF INTERRUPTION:  Ok, fishducky, don't go all postal on me.  "A Miracle" accidentally posted and I had to yank it off.  It won't post until October 10th, sorry, kiddo  kt 

Gene William, Age 4 (he is 15 now).
You all know what I mean when I refer to the “startle reflex,” don’t you?  Well, mine is extremely more developed than most.  For example, one of my grandson’s favorite pastime (when he was a little kid) was to slip up on me and say, “BOO!”  At that, I would fling whatever was in my hands up into the air, jump about a foot off of the floor, shoot my arms out, and shriek.  Gene William found this hilarious.  Over time he realized that he didn’t even have to say boo but just sneak up and stand close to me to get almost the same reaction.  In fact, he could get that reaction several times in a row as long as I didn’t know he was lurking close by.   There have been times when I just turned around and jumped out of my skin because I wasn’t expecting him to be behind me.  The degree of the “FREAK OUT” would be dictated by the strength of whatever I was concentrating on, prior to the surprise.

I have always had this over-reaction to surprises of this nature and have often wondered what would happen if a truly BAD guy snuck up on me.   I would probably do the same thing and startle the BAD guy who would reflexively shoot me.  Never would I ever be composed enough to grab something and protect myself.  Knowing me, I would simply go off like an automatic fire alarm and shower said BAD guy with spittle and what ever was in my hands at the time (hopefully an anvil or frying pan).

All of this is being told to you to help you envision a short episode lasting about 3 seconds which developed into a "startle reflex" marathon.  I was sitting here at my computer typing away; deeply involved with what I was writing.  Suddenly, something brushed against my foot and bit my little piggy.   I kid you not, I came up out of my chair so fast that both knees slammed into the desk and I left the chair like a person propelled out of a cannon.  I was across the room and at the door when I spotted Bug-A-Boo, my grandchildren’s ferret. 

Apparently, Bug-A-Boo was feeling his oats as he threw all four legs out like a scared cat, sprang from the floor,  his body making this funny U shape, and took off like his tail was on fire.  Out the door he flew.  Apparently, one of the kids had not completely fastened his cage door when they were visiting him (Yes, LeAnna has moved on but the critters are still here because she does not have a place to keep them…… BUMMER!) 

GREAT!  Now I had to search the house for a ferret who could be almost anywhere in this 9 room house.  This part of the event took a few minutes.  I was on  my hand and knees looking under my Dad's bed,  sweetly calling, “Bug-A-Boo, Bug-a-Boo, here, Bug-a-Boo,” when something pounced on my rear.  Since I was concentrating on Bug-a-Boo I let out a yelp for the second time in 3 minutes.  Even though it seems impossible, I levitated with all of my body off the floor at the same time like someone in a Chris Angle stage show.  It was Toby who had decided to enter the fray.
Seeing Toby, the ferret went up onto its back legs and clunked his head on one of the slats, coiled it‘s body onto itself and lunged out from under my dad's bed.  He loped in that weird way that ferrets do where their back legs catch up to the front legs and take on the look of an inchworm on speed.  But, Bug-a-Boo’s back legs not only caught up with his front legs, they passed them.  This caused him to do a funny flip and roll.  I was impressed because he continued at break neck speed to the back of the house with Toby fast on his heels.  I was right behind Toby (Ok, lagging a bit) and we took on the appearance of a strange, fast moving, circus parade (obviously, I was the clown).

When I arrived at the door of the guest bedroom, Bug-a-Boo was under that bed and Toby was half under the bed with his behind in the air.  Just as I arrived a frightened kitten (Yes, LeAnna added another pet to her menagerie) ran from under the bed and up my pants leg to my chest.  Her sharp little claws laying down tracks as she ran up me like a tree.  Reaching my shoulders she sprang for the top of a recliner, bounced off it, and disappeared into the kitchen.  Of course, I uttered yelp number 3 at the surprise and YELP numbers 4 and 5 at the tracks being laid down on my body.

Toby was so excited he didn’t know which animal to pursue so he kept looking back and forth from the bedroom to the kitchen.  Finally, he decided that the kitten was going to be his new target so off he went.  I managed to get Bug-a-Boo out from under the bed, toss him in his cage, and slam home the door.  Then I took off for the crashing sounds coming from the front room.

When I reached the front room a recliner was over turned (apparently when the kitten jumped to the back and Toby hit it in hot pursuit).   Several pictures on various tables were knocked over, the kitten had climbed Kit's cat tree to the very top, and laid there calmly looking down at Toby.   Toby was in a recliner by the cat tree barking, and wagging his tail and butt (always a tandem act) in celebration of a jolly good time.   Grabbing Toby, I slapped the leash on him and led him out the back door.  As I passed through the den I looked up to the mouse enclosure half expecting one of them to pounce on me as I passed by.  Thank God they were all in their terrarium merrily running to nowhere on their wheel (come to think of it... ...
it seems to me that this was exactly what I was doing for the past 5 to 6 minutes).

Once I got Toby outside I collected the kitten, deposited her in the den, closed the door, went to the front room, righted the recliner/pictures, and sat down to catch my breath.  It was at that moment that the front door burst open with a bang and my two youngest great grand children entered the house clamoring like a troop of crazed monkeys.

Having used up my allotment of startle reflexes I just sat there wondering if Tequila was a possible answer to my problems.

 kt 7/2011

P. S.  Since I wrote this Leanna, kids, and menagerie have moved on.


For those of you who think I have gone around the bend you need to read
Deer Me and Crazy Challenge (particularly the answer to #9 and fishducky's comment).


  1. LOL! I am just like is sooo easy ti scare me, and when someone does, I just go bonkers! I crush everything in my way ;D

    I love the ferrets name. and the kitten looks sooo cute!
    btw,my cat is insane...he likes to use my back as a ladder to the higher places in house ;D

  2. haha, it sure does ! Monday for me is 10 hours earlier than for you! ;D

  3. LOL. I do that too. My stepson sneaks up on me constantly. I hate people that don't make noise when they walk. About the ferret, I've had a few...mischievous little buggers...gotta love em. Considering that you did find your brain, I'm guessing you didn't lose it to the bottle of tequila. :) PS. You ripped that post right out from under me.

  4. This is hilarious! Once my husband got off from work early. He sneaked into our house and yelled, "Boo!"
    I was so mad :0)
    I thought about Tequila that day too LOL!

  5. Oh Kt you just described my every day life! I woke up this morning to find both ferrets gone. I found bandit as he came up licking my toes while I was typing, but swiper is still MIA. On a daily basis I am watching our new hellion kitten antagonize the dogs, I will remind you that I have a 150 pound St Bernard, and get them running frantically through the house. When Drake and kitten start running around it's like an elephant and a mouse. I live in a zoo and feel your pain. Phil loves to startle me by the way. Mostly when I'm doing dishes. One of these days I'm going to stab him on accident.

  6. By the way I loved your response to Fishducky. That woman is hilarious!!!

  7. LOL! Loved this post!!!!!! Awwww and thank you for posting my new button :)

  8. My husband is constantly walking into a room while my back is turned & startling me--this is when I discover I can FLY!

    About my brain--thank you for telling me you found it. The dirt on it is probably old. I have always had a somewhat dirty mind. No need to return it--I've found I can function exactly the same without it!

    Did you get my card?

  9. A ferret roaming about the house? Wouldn't work too well here. Bug-a boo's minutes would be numbered for sure.

  10. ROFL at least when you're in the middle of an adrenaline rush, you know you're alive!

  11. *****************************

  12. This would have made a great movie scene! So glad everyone was okay - most especially you.

  13. This is hysterical and to think you got in your cardio workout for the day with all that jumping, running and yelping! I am having the best time picturing this!

    And don't feel too bad about your crazed startle reflex, bad guys and accidental shootings- my kids had to learn very early that my startle reflex includes a whole lot of punching and kicking, like I really am in danger. I get all Jackie Chan before my brain can say it is a kid in a skeleton mask giggling. Incidentally, I never felt bad about punching my ex in the crotch that time he jumped out from behind the bathroom door to scare me. Just saying...

  14. BOO! There did it have the right effect?
    I have the same problem. Hubby thinks it's hilarious to just walk into the room quietly and watch me do an impression of a Warner Bros cartoon character by leaping into the air. Maybe us clever and witty people are born with extra strong startle reflexes.
    I loved this what with you jumping out of your skin-ferrets and dogs and mayhem- absolutely loved it!
    I also loved your comment to fishducky-honestly this really is the place to hang out for seriously funny people.
    I have to be serious though for just one moment-I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for posting my book in the top corner of your blog and for being so supportive. I cannot thank you enough. You are a fab blogging friend and I am touched by this. Pause while the little lump in my throat clears.....

  15. I was thinking the same thing; that this would make a funny movie scene. I don't know if it would be animated or "real"...what actress would you like to play you, kt?

    You sure know how to have adventures without leaving your house!

  16. JHITOMI. I would think it would have to be Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan.(with some age enhancements). They both pull off goof ball stuff so well.


  17. I just wanted to pop in and thank you for your comment yesterday. I was down and gloomy and I'm sorry. My boy is 14 and I don't emotionally understand why I have to be away from him. I know it iwll all work out. I just had a bad day. Sorry.

  18. Oh boy do I remember using the startle reflex on my poor surprised grandmother. Love the ferret, cat and doggy story, oh my- tequila with a twist of lime? Oh and the water background is cool. Where do you live again?

  19. Hi there! i've just popped over from Carol's blog (facing50with humour). I can see that you both have the same sense of humour. Loved your entry in the mini skirts competition - you naughty lady you!!!

  20. Hi Karen. I LOL'd after I clicked on Carol's link with the naughty little photo, and it brought me here. I should have known! I continued laughing hysterically throughout your entire story! Do you find that (ahh-hem) as we've aged (ever so slightly) that it takes a much longer time to recover from a fright?? It would take me three days, at least, to recover from all of that excitement!

  21. You had me rolling with laughter!!!

  22. This is a great post. Thank you for making me laugh. My husband sneaks up on me all of the time. Sometimes I think its deliberate just to see my startled reaction. A squeal often sneaks out. Lol

  23. You seem to always have such wonderful fun :) I can see your life is far from ever being boring, and that's sometimes a good thing, lol.

  24. Hahah, this is one of my favorite stories! And no, I do not know how a ferret runs, because I have never had a ferret. Or the desire for a ferret. But your description gave me a hilarious mental image.

  25. Karen, I'm laughing and tears are streaming down my face! Your life certainly is a circus act at times, isn't it? I was able to see everything as if I'd been there myself. You are a wonderful story-teller. And I just LOVE Toby!!! Please do an updated post on him sometime soon :)