The Intruder

For Halloween, I wanted to go back to my creative writing roots and share a “frightful” short story I wrote recently.

“I’m going to throw Lorde into the car to get it!

What I didn’t admit to my husband was that I always viewed Lorde to be the most expendable of the two cats. Lorde was sweet, but he wasn’t “mine” and he was always a little…off. My cat, Morgan, embodied all the famous cliches pertaining to cats: fat cat, lazy cat, curiosity “killed” the cat, and in a case such as this, a scaredy cat.

I knew that if I put Morgan in the car to chase off our intruder, I would come back the next morning with him curled up in the footwell of the front seat having not moved since the night before. I wouldn’t be surprised if the rodent popped out of its hiding place to flip me off as I cradled my non-hunter and brought him back to the house to feast on a breakfast of wet food and treats.

I wanted to send in our known killer cat. Lorde was a ratter. He never gave us the bugs he killed as presents, but if I found a dead bug body, I knew Lorde was the last one to see it alive. He cornered a tiny Brown Snake in our laundry room one summer afternoon and meowed in disappointment when I scooped it up with a cup and cardboard to bring it outside.

If he could handle a snake, surely he could hand a rodent?

My husband laughed at my outburst. He thought I was joking, and I was for the most part, but there was an edge of seriousness in my declaration. I wanted to get rid of this rodent that found its way into my vehicle and causing unseen amounts of damage. I had reached the point of crazed desperation.

We discovered the intruder on Saturday.

I was locking up the house while my husband had our child in his arms, preparing to put him in the car seat.

“Oh wow, look what Bodhi did!” I looked over to where my husband was pointing at the car seat after I opened the driver’s door.

“Bodhi?” I was a bit incredulous at what my husband was suggesting, “I don’t think Bodhi would be capable of destroying his car seat like…” I realized I couldn’t rationalize my child being strong enough to fray and completely destroy his car seat straps while sitting in the back.

What could have done this? We rarely come in contact with wildlife, so how could something have gotten into our car and make such a mess?

The only thought going through my mind as I picked the fluff and insulation away from the crotch strap to find that the clipping mechanism was able to slide completely away, was that someone did this. Not something, but someone.

Why would someone break into our locked car, destroy the car seat like an animal did it, lock the car back up again and walk away? That made no sense.

Then I took a moment for a rational thought. Okay. Not human. But animal. What type of animal? Raccoon? Could a raccoon open the door in such a fashion? A bear? Here in the middle of suburbia? We had just vacationed in a rural area, did it happen then?

Digging through the car seat damage a little more, I discovered the poop.

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Autumnal Love

Fall is my favorite season.

I love the crispness in the air, the smell of leaves on the ground, and the cooler weather that requires sweaters and a hot cup of pumpkin spice latte. That is before I moved South. I get none of these fall favorites until late November and even then if I am lucky.

I can’t complain because I am able to sit on a restaurant patio well into November with my flip-flops and that’s something I could never do in New England.

Living down South redefined fall for me. I still love it because the weather is more temperate, but it also means that I have to find new ways to appreciate the fall that are different from what I did up North.

Autumnal Love & Appreciation Month

For this month, I will be discussing some of my favorite fall activities: festivals, pumpkin patches, and Halloween celebrations. I will also reflect on how fall is the best month for those of us with MS, some easy exercises to stay active, and how to prepare for the holiday season glut of food.

As I mentioned yesterday, we’re moving to twice-a-week posting schedule for the rest of the year, but hopefully, maintain the same quality posts that you enjoy.

Before I finish out this post – leave a comment with your favorite fall activity or favorite part of the fall season. If you hate fall, let us know why! I always love to hear differing opinions.

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Featured photo credit: Michelle Melton