Please ignore the date of this post, the actual events described happened sometime after midnight on August 12th, 2016, the night of the peak of the annual Perseid Meteor Shower. The story will be clearer if you know that we live on the edge of the South Jersey Pine Barrens, well away from city lights and it gets dark here. We also have, from the backyard, an unobstructed view to the NNW, which is ideal for viewing the Perseids.
Despite a dodgy leg and some cloud cover, I hobbled down the kitchen stairs, across the back yard and out onto the patio to see if I might spot any meteors. Brought an acoustic guitar to fend off any boredom. Also a cold adult beverage. Turned off all the outdoor lights and got seated. The previously cloudy sky began to clear. Saw one reasonably impressive meteor within about five minutes. Then, nothing but flashes of heat lightning. For half an hour.
Learned a few things:
You can’t make meteors show up just because the Interwebs say so no matter how dark it is where you live or how intently you stare at the sky.
We have several species of mosquito that plague our area and they all work different shifts, meaning there is never a time when one may assume it is too late or too early to be bitten by the South Jersey Air Force. I learned that my guitar playing makes an effective mosquito repellent. Usually works on people, too. If that fails, I sing.
Bringing out a beer was a capital idea because it’s still so steamy that sitting out there was like being inside an Easy Wilt Oven (American women who wanted “cooking toys” when they were little will get the reference). Finished the beer and succumbed to boredom, heat and humidity and headed back to the house.
Then, the moment the entire evening was building up to, finding, in the dark, our diabetic black cat, who had wandered outside earlier and was overdue for his insulin shot.
Those of you who lack outside stairs or a black cat or sufficient darkness may think that this last part is more difficult than it really is. All you need do is to approach the stairs. The cat will immediately present himself right where you can find him. With your bad leg. On the stairs. Under your foot. On his tail. While you have an acoustic guitar slung about your neck.
He will howl like a Bean Sidhe. Then, he will attempt to ascend your body, using only his claws, in a way reminiscent of things you’ve seen only in cartoons. Once he’s topside you’ll wind up with a ventilated scalp, always a thrill.
I cursed in languages that are as yet unclassified. My swearing alone probably violated half a dozen state laws and most likely killed all the grass between the house and the driveway. I definitely know that I scared off all the deer in my neighbor Mike’s yard.
Regrettably, the cat survived. Thankfully, so did my guitar. Surprisingly, I did also. I have seldom enjoyed using a syringe on a cat quite so much as I did tonight. Correct that, I have never enjoyed it so much. I had visions of the syringe being the size of a harpoon. The only thing that spoiled it was that the cat likes being punctured by tiny syringes with three drops of insulin in them. I mean, he actually looks forward to getting his shot. I suppose I’ll have to take out my harpoon fantasies on people instead. I have several in mind. Sean Hannity, I think that you should know that you are on the “short list”.