Monday, September 26, 2005

Damn you Rita!

First, thank you to all for believing in me, even when I seem incapable of believing in myself. I, too, feel I will get there... someday. I can't afford not to believe in that.

Now, damn you Rita, for a harrowing hour spent huddled in the bathroom, with sounds of tornado sirens wailing into the stormy darkness. Em and I (along with Whiskers and some playful, frisky kittens running amuck) had the unfortunate pleasure of riding out some of Rita's sloppy seconds Saturday evening. I was happily making dinner as the much anticipated and expected rain was falling in droves, when, out of nowhere, the obnoxious blare of tornado sirens pierced the quiet sizzle of my delicious veggie stir-fry. I was caught off guard for a moment as I tried to comprehend the ramifications of that dreaded sound, then I quickly grabbed hold of Emmy's arm and began to steer her towards the inner-most room of our house, the bathroom. But she froze there in wide-eyed terror (how much more can this poor, traumatized child take after the school intruder incident??) as she contemplated the possibility that 6:30 Saturday evening could somehow have morphed into 12:00 noon on Wednesday, which is when the weekly test of our tornado siren is always performed. She frantically shouts, "What day is it?!!" Not Wednesday at noon, I inform her as I resume pulling her along. She immediately begins to cry, (who can blame her, this is some scary shit!) and reminds me that we have to get Whiskers. I told her I would, but I have to get her to safety first. I settled her into the bathroom with a huge flashlight and told her to stay put, I'd be right back. Then I hurriedly gathered up the kittens and their momma, along with my cell phone, and headed back to the bathroom. Just then my cell phone rings; it's Bub asking if I hear the tornado sirens, (well yeah, jackass!) and to tell me to get to the bathroom. (DUH!) Anyway, I finally get back in there and pull Em into my lap to try to calm her down, because, of course, she is completely freaking out! Again, I don't blame her, I would be too if I didn't have to be "the strong one" at this very moment! All the while, she's squeezing the shit out of Whiskers because she doesn't want a tornado to carry her away, so I make her loosen her death grip on the poor, squished cat, who then scurries away to safety from this obviously psychotic child. Then the phone rings again; it's Bub with another play by play. I guess he's watching the weather report from where ever the hell he is. So he tells me where the tornado(s) has reportedly touched down and where it's headed, and that it's not expected to hit us directly but to stay in the bathroom until the warning has expired and the sirens have halted. I tell Em that it looks like we may be in the clear, but we're gonna stay put just to make sure. Noticeably relieved, and much more relaxed, she's now able to laugh about the stupid kittens who are actively engaged in trying eat each other's tails off, as kittens tend to do. So, here I sit in the bathroom, with a bunch of crazy cats, a weary little girl, one liter box (freshly scooped, thank goodness!) and a rumbly, grumbly tummy 'cause my freakin dinner is still sitting in the kitchen getting cold! Hmmm, my completely rational, albeit food obsessed mind starts pondering the risks of sneaking to the kitchen to grab our dinner because, after all, this could be our last chance to eat something, if a tornado did happen to come. Of course, it seemed the most logical thing to do, right? Good grief, I need help! Regardless, I ran out there, dumped my luke warm stir-fry onto a plate and grabbed Em's plate, which I had just finished making up before the siren began to sound, and headed back to the bathroom. Whisker's, of course, was very appreciative, assuming that the plates of food were made just for her. So, we proceeded to eat, me perched atop the toilet seat, Em sitting against the bathtub, while Whiskers made it her mission in life to cajole someone, anyone, to share some of the precious meal. Sorry cat, it ain't gonna happen! Anyway, during this time, the sirens finally ceased and the time schedule for the warning expired, so I called Bub to see if there was any new info, which there wasn't, and we got the all clear. We tentatively made our way out of our hideout, with cats and empty plates in tow, and quickly turned on the TV to see what else might be headed our way. Luckily, only rain, rain, and more rain (and wind) were expected, so we breathed a collective sigh of relief and settled in to watch the remainder of Shrek, which was airing that evening on NBC. Whew, what a night! I think I can happily live out the remainder of my life with never having to experience something like that again! I think it was last week that I commented in Dawnyal's blog about how much I prefer earthquakes to tornados, having grown up in northern California myself. When an earthquake happens, it happens. No anxiety leading up to it, no cowering in an enclosed space wondering if this is finally the one that gets you. I don't want to know about what may or may not happen because the worrying and the waiting are the most excruciating parts. Yeppers, give me a good 'ol earthquake any day; those I can deal with!


Blogger Luflic said...

Glad you are ok! I won't be complaining anymore about our winter snowstorms in Michigan they seem minor now after what the poor hurricane ladden south endures.

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Kery said...

Indeed, thissounds like it was somescary shit! It's hard for me to even imagine what it must have been like, with our biggest storm having been this puny little thing back in '99. Oy.

In any case, glad that you two got out of it okay!

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Jilly said...

Wow, that's the kind of excitement you can do without! Glad you and all the little critters (human and otherwise) didn't suffer any harm (other than a lukewarm dinner). Too bad a house didn't fall on Bub, though (okay, that was just plain mean...) :p

11:04 PM  
Blogger Dawnyal said...

Yuck. I can remember those darn sirens going off and scaring me as a child. Where I grew up, they blew once for a few minutes to let you know it was coming and then stop and blow again for the all clear. It sure beat having to hear them all the time.

glad to hear it all turned out well.

1:58 PM  

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