If I Had a Cat . . .

would it eat or kill or at least chase away all the spiders in my house? Would it? Does anyone know? Tis the season and I’m infested. Huge freaking beasts. Victorian aged. They think they’ve got every right to be here. More than me. But I will show them what’s what soon as I can haul my ass to Home Hardware and get me a big old can of Raid. Damn things.

Tonight, getting ready to go meet a new writer friend for coffee, naked in my bedroom, I pull my blue shirt from the closet . . . notice something black on an inside seam . . . think it is a tag . . . notice the white tag on the other seam as I go to slip an arm in . . . think I must have a stain . . . examine the black spot . . . jeezless big assed spider!! INSIDE MY SHIRT! Scream. Jump on the bed. Throw the shirt on the floor. Spider runs for it. And so do I. One giant leap over the spider from the bed into the living room, snatch the handy dandy yellow fly swat, pivot and face him head on. Can’t see him. He’s freaking disappeared. I’m running late because Sherry called, I don’t have time to mess around with this fat bastard. Think he must’ve gone into hiding in the shirt. Pick it up and give it a good shaking out. Nothing happens. I don’t see him. Dammit! Where’d he go? Drop the shirt. Look around. Under the dresser. In the closet. Shake out a dirty pair of jeans lying on the floor. Nothing.

Back to the shirt. He’s in there somewhere. I can’t leave the house until he’s found. Fold back the shirt with the tip of the flyswat . . . slowly . . . nothing. He’s either on the other side or in a sleeve. Start beating the crap out of the shirt with the flyswat. Whack! Whack! Whack! Into the floor with all my force. I imagined the headlines — Brain Aneurysm Slays Ugly Naked Lady, Foiling Shirt Murder. I whacked it good then whacked it some more. Surely the beast would have to be at least a little stunned. I get a little braver at the thought, pulling the sleeves wrong side out . . . and there he is! Little bastard makes a run for it but I’m ready for him. The first blow knocks him off his feet but he’s a big one, not to be fazed by a single crack from a flimsy flyswat. He keeps running and I strike again. And again. And again. Until he’s a soggy blot on my shirt. (I hope the stains come out.) My anger carries me to Tim Horton’s in record time. I’m too hot to even have coffee when I get there.

I can’t help but have this spider phobia. I know I shouldn’t kill them. I usually catch the little ones and take them outside. I tell the big ones I don’t mind co-habitation as long as I don’t see them. Out of sight is fine. It’s when they make themselves known to me that I freak out, lose it. I just can’t stand them . . . and here’s why — when I was a wee lass I didn’t like spiders. My father thought this a foolish fear because I was bigger than them, they were more afraid of me than I should be of them. But this reasoning with a six-year-old had no effect, when I saw spiders in the house I would ask my father to remove them for me. He thought I needed to get over this irrational fear, that if he could just show me how harmless the beasties were, I would be forever cured . . . so one day I saw a spider on the wall behind the garbage can in the kitchen. Our garbage can lived in a cubby hole in our counter that was left open for the addition of a dishwasher someday when my parents could afford one. That day was a long time coming, so growing up that was always where our garbage can stood.

I saw the spider behind the garbage can and begged my father to remove it, but instead he seized the moment to teach me a lesson, shoving me into the cubby hole with the spider and blocking my way out with the garbage can. He didn’t physically hold me in there, he just told me to stay. But I was raised on fear for discipline, so when my father told me to stay, even though I was hysterical, I stayed. For I don’t know how long. Me and the spider in the cubby hole. His lesson failed of course, backfired miserably. My fear quadrupled beyond irrationality . . . and when I got older I seized every opportunity to defy my father. Maybe I would have been the same difficult teenager regardless, but I don’t know, it seems logical that all the hours of wishing for the day when I would be old enough to knock his block off might have factored into the equation.

But I’m off track. The question is, will a cat help the spider situation any? Or do you know of any deterent? You know, like leaving Bounce sheets laying around or something. I mean, I know it’s the season for them and this is an old house . . . but there must be something I can do to at least diminish their numbers, or keep them in hiding or . . . something. Anything? Anyone?

Mood: tortured
Drinking: beer. yes, really, i’m not even making it up
Listening To: shots fired (tis also the season i guess)
Hair: oh blah!

2 thoughts on “If I Had a Cat . . .

Add yours

  1. ohhh! you must have a very damp basement,or the house is ona slab foundation. no the cat will not be of any help, you’ll more likely have to call your landlord to have the place fumicated..also, beware of earwigs..if you have an infestation of spiders the earwigs are not far behind, and they come out in the hundreds and are probably the grosses insect i’ve ever come accross, (David Susuki says the earwig is a cousin of the lobster,I haven’t eaten lobster for quite some time now, just the thought!) and i lived in africa for ten years, i saw some pretty weird and amazing things, but spiders and earwigs are, yuk!
    I own a 125 year old victorian and came accross this problem upon my return from africa, freaked me right out, there’s just something about spiders……gotta go get the wine for tonight..have a good weekend..oh! your dream, fire is a symbol of renewal…Anna


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