The other morning I was up really early and for some reason decided to take out the trash. It was before dawn, so pretty dark out. As I stood at my patio door, trash in hand, wondering if any night creatures lingered in my little patch of yard, the thought crossed my mind to wait until light, or at least until my husband got up so he could take the bag out. But then the competing thought of the cat ripping into the bag in the full hour or so before dawn convinced me to put on my big girl panties and walk the 25 feet to the can. I hurled the patio door open, slammed it behind me, scurried to the can, dropped the bag in and trotted back into the safety of my house...or so I thought.
It wasn’t five minutes later when I saw what I’d let in...a fly. But not just any ordinary house fly, a giant horsefly. This monster was almost the size of a dime, lazily sailing through my living room like the Goodyear blimp, surveying its domain!
Let me first say I have no problem with the insects of the world as long as they stay where they belong--in their world, not mine. Once they cross that line, I’m sorry, but all bets are off. Besides, those things can bite! That fly had to go, one way or another.
After a couple aborted attempts to swat it, I decided to let Hercules the cat earn his keep. He’s a good little critter-catcher, so it didn’t take him long to spy the thing and take off on his mission. When I got home that night, there was no sign of the “fly,” so I assumed Hercules had done his duty.
The next morning, I was in getting ready for work, my bedroom when the cat froze, stared at the window and started making that ack-ack-ack noise cats make when they’re moving for a kill. Uh-oh, I thought, that can’t be good. I raised the blinds, and sure enough, there was the blimp-fly, buzzing futilely against the pane of glass.
I swatted at it with a towel, which was a mistake because the thing came at me...RIGHT AT MY FACE. I shrieked and made like a matador with the towel to no avail while Hercules hopped around the room in pursuit. And in every spot he landed, things went tumbling and crashing--TV remote, brushes and combs, colognes and lotions, and hubby’s “treasure” box where he keeps mementos. (Yikes.) I was scurrying around trying to move things out of Hercules’ way, while swatting at the flying menace, and pretty soon it looked like a tornado had moved thorough the room.
Realizing the towel wasn’t enough of a weapon, I ran downstairs, grabbed a section of the prior day’s newspaper (no cracks about good uses for print news, please!) and ran to face the enemy once more. The "fly" had made it into the bathroom by then, hovering at the top of the shower.
Aha! It likes water, I thought, so turned on the shower, but the blasted insect wouldn’t venture near the stream. So I strained and swatted while Hercules stood on the sink, wiggling his behind and preparing to pounce.
I chased the fly from the shower to above the sink where he landed on the side of the light fixture. With visions of shattering glass filling my head, I gave a controlled downward swipe. Success!! The “fly” fell into the sink, right beneath Hercules’ twitching nose!
Did my cat attack like he was supposed to? No! He crouched there peering at the black blob in the sink while I screamed, “Get it! Get it, Hercules! What are you waiting for?!” But I knew what he was waiting for--a sign of life so he could play with his prey. This was no time for fun!
Just when I was about to unleash what I hoped would be a knock-out blow, Hercules reached down with one paw, plucked the offending “fly” from the sink and popped it into his mouth. Crunch. Then he licked his chops.
I was too glad to be rid of the fly to be grossed out. Nature is cruel. Survival of the fittest and all that.
Here is Hercules, lying on my wrecked (antique) dresser following his successful fly hunt, apparently wiped out and ready for a catnap. Either that or the fly gave him indigestion.
As for me, I’ll think twice before I open that patio door in the dark again! I mean, a fly was bad enough, but things could have been worse. I could have let in a spider!
Leah writes stories of mystery and romance, good and evil and the power of love. Visit her on Facebook where she occasionally posts photos and videos of Hercules, favorite quotes and more, and see her favorite images, recipes and more fun stuff on Pinterest. Learn more at leahstjames.com.