They keep delivering us newspapers on a daily basis, even though we only pay for (and want) the Sunday paper for the coupons. And me being the impeccable housewife I am, I let the unwanted newspapers accumulate in the front yard until it looks like a trailer park, and then I pick up all 22 of them and throw them in the recycling bin.
They’re a nuisance, a mess. They’re unwanted and annoying, and I’ve called the paper to ask them to stop delivering. Yet here they are, like manna from heaven.
And manna they were, because they became quite useful last night. I had put my daughter to bed much, much earlier, eaten dinner, washed the dishes, tidied the house, and climbed into bed around 11. I probably drifted off to sleep around 11:30. Then, at 11:58 pm, my zealous chocolate lab started barking ferociously and jumping up onto our picture window. It was LOUD. I woke up and sprang from my bed and flew down the stairs, hissing all the while for the dog to shut up before he wakes the baby. He kept barking, and I looked outside to see the object of his wrath: two cats sitting in our front lawn, meowing and licking themselves and having a grand old time.
My dog kept barking, so I cracked open the front door and, in a whisper-y yell, said “SHOO! SHOOOO!” because apparently I think that actually works in real life. (It doesn’t.) Next step: run outside, in my pajamas, barefoot. Run back inside to grab a coat off the coat rack. Look around frantically for shoes. The dog, still barking. No shoes nearby, so I run back out and suffer the 30 degree pavement on my feet.
I ran at the cats, waving my hands like a revival goer and yelling “Shoo! Get outta here! I hate you!” Harsh words, I know. They just blinked at me. I got closer, and one cat had the good sense to run away, while the other one eyed me with warily and said “rweeeaawwwwrrw.”
Um. Something told me there was something not quite right about this cat. Could it be his stub of a tail? His gooey eyes? His half-meow? His hoarse voice? I don’t know, but he was creeeepy. And I was cold. And the dog was still barking.
So thank goodness for the Washington Post newspaper. I picked them up one by one and started throwing them at the cat. He sat there through several attempts, probably knowing all the while that there was about a 1% chance that my aim would actually reach him. After three throws, however, one landed within a foot of him, so he took the hint and sauntered off to terrorize another neighbor.
My feet frozen, I walked back inside, drew the curtains, ordered the dog to “bed,” and stumbled upstairs to thaw my toes and get some sleep. Remind me to write a letter to the editor.