The lady bug came close to giving us a heart attack25 VIPs have spoken »
Before Mr. C and I had children we had cats. I always wanted a cat as a kid, but growing up we never had any pets. As a mother of three I can totally understand why my mother of six vetoed the idea of a cat or a dog. But it didn’t stop my desire to have a pet.
So about six months after we were married my feline lust got the best of me and I started cruising the local pet store looking for a cat. I liked the idea of saving a stray cat and that store always had a few of them waiting to be loved. The store was just two miles from where I worked and every day at lunch I went to there to pine away.
And then I found her — Chloe — although at the time her name was Cleo and that did not suit her at all. She was all white with one black patch over her left eye and one reddish brown patch over her right eye. And her tail was striped black and brown. How I loved that cat.
Over time we moved from our apartment to our house and then started to have children. And with the children came the toys. Chloe did not like children and she was always on another floor when Katie was awake. I’m pretty sure Katie didn’t realize we had a cat until she was two and a half.
Anyway, Katie had a pull toy that was shaped like a lady bug and had a short string. As Katie grew taller the string became too short for her to walk and pull. So I tied a brown piece of twine to the original yellow string and that allowed Katie to walk around while pulling the lady bug behind her.
It was a win-win.
I felt like MacGyver because I had come up with a handy workaround. Katie was happy because she could spend all day walking upright with the lady bug in tow. And Chloe enjoyed playing with the piece of twine during Katie’s nap time.
This happy trifecta lasted for quite some time. It lasted so long that eventually I forgot about the lady bug and Katie moved on to a new favorite toy. But the lady bug hung out in the living room in the corner.
Until one evening around midnight. Mr. C and I were fast asleep and Katie was slumbering peacefully in her crib with the door shut. I’m sure I was dreaming about eating calorie-free chocolate while working out on the elliptical machine.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, there was a huge clatter like a heavy nine-foot bookcase tumbled down a flight of stairs. Mr. C and I awoke promptly and said “What the fuck?” in unison and then stared at each other in the dark as our hearts galloped wildly.
Then silence. Complete silence. My first thought was ‘Thank God Katie didn’t wake up.’ The next thought was, ‘Is the intruder going to kill us now that we’re awake?’
We turned on the light and silently crept down the stairs, leaving a trail of lights blazing behind us. And we found nothing.
Everything was just how we left it. The doors were locked, no one was in the basement and both of us breathed a sigh of relief as the pounding of our heart beats receded. So we went back upstairs as I noticed the cat was missing. She usually joined us on our sojourns around the house. But she was conspicuously absent.
Back up in our room I got on my hands and knees and looked under the bed. And there she was, pupils as big as saucers. Chloe was hiding up against the wall. And near her, about a foot away, was the red and yellow lady bug.
That’s when it all came together and I started to laugh hysterically. I popped my head up above the mattress and told Mr. C, between fits of laughter, that Chloe had been playing with the twine on the lady bug. And somehow the twine must have gotten caught on her tail.
So she bolted from the living room, up fifteen stairs, to the safety of her hiding place underneath our bed. All the while, the psycho lady bug was in hot pursuit, attached to her tail, as she clamored up the stairs.
Bang, bang, bang went the lady bug until Chloe stopped running.
She must have been able to free the twine from her tail, under the bed there, because the lady bug was sitting near her while the twine was lying askew. And Chloe was licking her tail furiously as her eyes darted back and forth.
Eventually she came out from under the bed after I put the lady bug in the closet and shut the door. While I rubbed her ears, she released a couple of plaintive meows as if to recount the hellish experience with that lady bug.
And then we went back to sleep, Chloe no doubt hexing the red and yellow lady bug of terror while the bed shook intermittently with my giggles.
I really miss that cat.