Thinking the sound could be an animal in distress I leap (literally) out of bed and grab for my glasses. I am on full alert as I exit the bedroom, turn off the house alarm and then stand perfectly still so I can determine where the sound is coming from.
Newt the cat rubbed against my leg greeting me to the cat frolicking hour which cause me to gasp and bump into the wall behind me. Okay, Newt is not the source. That leaves 199 more animals to check.
I heard the sound again. It is not on this level. I dash downstairs to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs I open the garage door and cat number two comes slinking out of the garage hoping for a fur-rub or food. As far as she is concerned either would be acceptable.
Attention to the cat must wait. I walk through the garage looking for an unfortunate mouse the cat may have caught, played with and it's not dead yet -- hey, that is why the cat is in the garage. No body. No sound.
Leaving the garage and entering the gecko room I go terrarium to terrarium looking at any gecko large enough to make the distress call. All is fine.
I hear the sound again and it's in the direction of the garage. Off I go.
I stand very still in the garage waiting for the sound again. Both cats are in the garage with me when the distress sound happens. Both cats look quickly at the garage door. The sound is coming from outside.
Completely disregarding that I am essentially in my undies not suitable for a walk through the neighborhood I head outside. I stand perfectly still in our drive way, one minute, two minutes, three minutes....
I give up. I am standing half naked outside the house in my mismatched night gear (sleep is about comfort and not style), my hair is probably sticking straight up and dry spittle is probably sticking to my chin. Anyone seeing me would NOT think they were looking at a nice lady looking all smoldering and attractive. No, my neighbors would call the police thinking they've spotted the first zombie in Alabama.
I go back inside, lock doors, turn off lights, go back in the bed room where my hubby is sitting up in bed. He says, "Well, I'm wide awake now."
"Sorry." and we try to go back to sleep.
He falls asleep pretty quick while I lay awake thinking of morning chores like making breakfast, mowing the backyard lawn........!!!!!
It hits me like a bucket of ice cold water! Frankie! I didn't check Frankie!
I repeat the whole jump out of bed, lights, doors and run at top little-old-lady speed to the yard. I spot the neighbor's black cat and yell at her to get out of the yard. Okay, black cat is not the source of sound.
I open Frankie's cave, slide the top over, open both plywood covers to the inner cave. There is Frankie. Now I gotta poke Frankie to see if he is alive.
Then I see it. What in the name of shells?! How did this get in here?!
Sitting next to Frankie is his umbrella stand which he humps endlessly in the yard, only it's not in the yard, it's sitting next to Frankie in his cave. Frankie has somehow rammed or pushed the umbrella stand into his cave and into the back corner where he sleeps.
Umbrella stand is a distraction. I am here to see if Frankie is alive. I can't locate his back foot so I have to lean over the umbrella stand to poke Frankie on the front leg. Frankie hates people touch his front feet. Frankie quickly pulls the foot away from me and makes the whoooooooosssssssssss sound that sulcata make then the pull fully into their shell. They aren't hissing. They are expelling air quickly so they can create space for their limbs and head.
Okay...Frankie is fine. I drag umbrella stand out of Frankie's enclosure, close up the cave and secure the outer door.
I stand in front of Frankie's enclosure looking at the umbrella stand and the very small tortoise door and wonder how in the world he got that in there. Then it dawns on me that once again I am standing outside inappropriately dressed in the yard. I wonder if the Frankie Cam is pointed in this direction. If it is the folks at Weather Underground may catch a glimpse of what may be the second zombie sighting in Alabama.
The discovery of the umbrella stand distracted me from the distressed sound. I haven't heard it in about 30 minutes. At the least I am glad all of my 200 animals and husband are accounted for and that is my main concern.
The Good Caretaker responds to any possible indication of trouble no matter the time. One must live with the possibility that emergency responses in the wee hours of night could override regard for personal appearances creating the possibility of a Zombie sighting in Alabama.
Now about that umbrella stand.
|Frankie & His Umbrella Stand|