Butterfly in the House

I’ve lived in the same house for nearly 40 years.  During that time, we’ve had a variety of resident creatures, some more welcome than others.

  This is Nimbus – female cat – loves to eat plastic.  Unless we put the garbage in a slide-out cabinet, we can’t use a garbage bag.  She’ll eat it.   She will also eat insects.  I saw her once knock a lethargic fly out of mid air and then eat it.  Favorite activity:  talking up a storm until I go downstairs and watch her rub her head on everything in the laundry room.  2nd favorite activity – chasing paper wads that I flick with my finger.  I’ve really thought about making her a hockey goalie…she knocks or stops all the paper wads that come at her.  She’s the perfect mascot for storm safely – at the first decent crack of thunder, Nimbus runs (not walks…runs!) to the basement and hides, not coming out until the storm is well past.  She’s not a friendly cat…will sometimes hiss at guests (though she’s gotten a little better at “tolerating” strangers).  She does like daughter #2 – who of course would be allergic to cats.  Nimbus is a leapin’ machine.  She can easily jump 5 feet high.

Our other cat is Sir Yum.  Both he and Nimbus were picked up from the Humane Society (I think both were strays, but I’m not sure) at the same time.  Sir Yum was my mother-in-law’s cat and after she passed away, we took her cat.  She had named the cat “Yum Yum”.  We thought he needed a more distinguished name…so he became “Sir Yum”.  While Nimbus is a sleek 10 pounds, Yum is a plump 22 pounds.  Yet it’s Nimbus that will chase Sir Yum around the house.  He sleep most of the time and much of the rest of the time he just lies down.  He likes to be with people and will follow us around the house as we move from one room to the other.  He’s a wanna-be vegetarian and will eat most any plant in sight (except the rubber tree on the 3-season porch – he’s never touched that).  So, that ended the tradition of me picking wildflowers for Gayle.  Sir Yum is very friendly with house guests.  Both cats will chase mice, but not eat the mouse…just chase it.  I trap the mice with a live trap and let them go in a very big park miles from our house, where I hope they live happily ever after. Both cats will meet me at the front door when I come home from work at 2 am.  Both our cats are indoor cats and have no interest in going outside, even if the door is open.

We had a canary for several years.  It appeared in our front yard one Sunday afternoon…very tame…it was late summer and it wouldn’t have appreciated the coming winter.  We easily chased it on the porch and went right down to get a bird cage.  We made a diligent effort to find the owner…no luck…so we kept “Tillie” (a Swedish name – my wife is half Swedish).  She loved her cage…we’d let her loose in the house to clean the cage and when it was clean she fly right back inside.

During the time we’ve lived here…we’ve had a bat in the house (fortunately before we got the cats).  I finally got a rake on top of the bat – got him in a bowl with a cookie sheet on top and took him outside.  We had a chipmunk in the house for 3 days before I got him in a live trap.  He’d come out at night and help himself to what was available in the kitchen…I looked everywhere during the day and never found him.  Finally, he was taken outside.

So…tonight it’s around 2 am…I’m sitting on the floor reading the newspaper and a butterfly comes out of nowhere and sits on my leg.  Nimbus sees the butterfly and is approaching at warp speed.  I fend off Nimbus.  The commotion woke up my wife.  I grabbed the butterfly very gently when it’s wings were together and took it outside and set it on a flower.  Nimbus gave me such a forlorned look – I just took away another play toy.

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