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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).