I'd forgotten how many bugs live in Georgia. And how prolific they are, especially during the rainy season. When I lived in Southern California, people used to ask me if I liked the fact that it was relatively bugless. Having discovered those little blackflies that hang out around water (which is just about everywhere in SoCal), and having been bitten like the dickens on numerous occasions, garnering welps big enough to make me call poison control, I'd look at them cross-eyed and say, "Bugless? You've GOT to be kidding."
HAHA! Joke's on me. How could I possibly have forgotten about the cornucopia of bugs that live, thrive and bedevil those of us living on the East Coast? Specifically, in my case, North Georgia.
Darn basement. It's bringing all kinds of unsavory creatures in to my house.
Back to the illustrious cave cricket. I'm working late hours with the census this week. Supposedly, it's easiest to catch people at home in the evenings. Assuming they have the common courtesy to answer their door. Most don't. (I hope you're not one of them.)
Two nights ago, I rolled in at 9:00 p.m. Bugsy didn't greet me, as he usually does. I found him in his hidey-hole in the closet, loved him up, then let him sleep while I watched the season finale of Brothers & Sisters. Later on, when he didn't come to bed, I dragged him out. He acted droopy and kept licking his lips and swallowing.
Yesterday, it was worse. He was gagging and wretching. He barfs up grass and stuff all the time, so I wasn't terribly concerned. But this was different. So I googled. He wasn't exhibiting the signs and symptoms of distemper or any other scary cat illness. It didn't seem to be a hairball attack. His appetite and thirst were intact. He went outside and chased birds and squirrels, so no lethargy. He didn't seem to have a fever. The only symptom was the gagging every time he ate or drank. So I decided to watch and wait.
Then I told her about his late night cave cricket snack. Aha! That was it. Apparently, they have pincers on those scary legs. She figures he upchucked one and it stuck in his throat. And assured me it would dissolve. So I'm waiting and watching. And feeling empathy for my little kitty. At least I know it's not serious and that he'll live.
I, on the other hand, may not. This census stuff is killing me. In a figurative way, of course. I am NOT having loads of fun. And I'm getting tired of being yelled at by people just for doing my job.
People, please. If a census worker calls you, be nice. Answer their questions. They, too, are just doing their job. If they knock on your door, please answer. Ignoring them is costing you, and the rest of us, taxpayer dollars. When you ignore them they have to call and/or come back. And they're getting paid. Time and mileage. If you're in the boonies, like most of my addresses, you're costing us even more.
This is my message to this morning's screamer.
You don't have the decency to answer my knocks, or my calls, or to pick up the phone and call me back. Yet you scream at me on the phone, like a big, fat baby, when I call you for the fifth or six time. I've made six or seven times trips to your house in the middle of the woods, got out of bed early in the morning and had to stay out late in the evening trying to find you at home. PUHLEASE! Get a clue! Look in the mirror and yell at the person who is REALLY being offensive.There. I've said it. Now I'm done. Do your duty and answer. It's much less painless for all concerned. There are people, like me, coming behind the enumerators. It's called Quality Control. Be courteous. Be nice. Joke with them. Lighten up. 'Cause the fact is, I'll be back. I might even have a cave cricket in my pocket.
To my screamer, I pray that you be blessed this rainy season.
Pictures from top to bottom: cave cricket; carpenter ant; brown scorpion; blood-sucking mosquito; Bugsy with last season's strawberries on his face (ain't he a crack-up!)