The other day, I noticed a few ants in the kitchen. I wasn’t concerned and disposed of them pretty quickly. The next day I was slightly alarmed to see two more surveying my cat’s food bowl. Disposed of those as well, and cleaned the bowl.
Yesterday morning, I came downstairs and was horrified to see that my cat’s food was now moving and wriggling. The call had gone out and the buffet had begun. A steady stream of visitors were marching through my kitchen and my entryway looked like Grand Central Station for Disgusting Insects.
Of course, this discovery came right when the baby and I had to rush to get to his bus stop and mine, so I did the only rational thing I could think of and grabbed a hand vac. I sucked up a good hundred ants or so and dumped them outside, then ran back in to throw some kind of lunch together for my kid and put some kind of clothing on me.
When we came back downstairs to get our shoes on and leave, I was extremely upset to find that the ants’ cronies had replaced their predecessors with a vengeance. For reasons I won’t get into now, I had a box of unopened potato chips in my entryway and worried that they had somehow attracted the ants. With three minutes to finish getting ready and out the door, I grabbed the box and tossed it onto the basement steps. My cat, constantly curious about the existence of Basement Cat, zoomed past me. Once he gets down there, he doesn’t emerge for hours. Flustered, I yelled after him, “Well, I guess you’re staying down there all day, then!” and closed and locked the door, not realizing until later that I could have left the door open, since I lock the door to keep the cat OUT.
I was upset all day, feeling shame and disgust with myself that I had ants, and worried about leaving my cat to his own devices all day without food or water. Maybe he’ll make himself useful and kill a mouse or something, I thought.
I burst in the door that evening on the way to the baby’s Little League game, certain that my entire house would now be made of ants and that my cat would have managed to kill himself in the basement. I thought of the husband, returning home from his Chicago trip on Monday to an ant-house and a dead cat and a frizzy-haired wife shrugging and saying, “I dunno. It just went all wrong,” and how he would realize that I can’t be left to my own devices.
I turned to the MamaPop distro for advice and heard about cinnamon sticks and talcum powder and traps. I pictured my entryway and kitchen looking like something out of The Blair Witch Project with a cinnamon stick man seated on a boric acid trap surrounded by a circle of powder while I stood nearby chanting. I opted to go with the basic ant traps and warned my cat to not manage to kill himself on those, either.
This morning, the situation was still…a situation, but seemed to have improve somewhat. I went about packing the baby’s lunch and wanted to slice a peach for him. That’s when I remembered my lack of ability when it comes to stone fruits. I slit all around one peach and tried to pull it apart, but I was too forceful and it became mush. I grabbed another that felt firmer but the same thing happened. With time running out before we had to leave, and my neurotic need to never waste food, I stood over the sink and ate both mangled peaches. “Get your shoesh on, dude! Come on!” I shouted, mouth full of peach and spitting juice everywhere.
Husband, don’t worry. Everything’s under control.