Every season has its rhythms and humans like the animals in nature tend to respond to them. The crisp, cool nights and mornings are made even more sharp and chilly when the house has no heat. What began as an Autumnal choice to snuggle under sheets and fluffy comforter Sunday morning turned into a necessity when I realized the heat to half the house went out sometime overnight. The Skipper called the company that services our heating system but said no one answered the phone. Surely, they have an emergency number, I said. The Skipper said he didn’t think our lack of heat was an emergency. Every season has its rhythms. The day will warm and heat the house and we’ll be fine. Yarn Rascal sneezed twice.
The day did become tepid, like a cup of tea that is neither hot nor cold. The house remained cool. I reintroduced the idea of calling the emergency number. The Skipper said we have a fireplace. This isn’t the 1700s, I said. Yarn Rascal sneezed some more. Our attention was then diverted. Although the day was lukewarm, the temperature of the air behind the outside shutters of the bedroom windows upstairs must have been positively Caribbean. Suddenly Stink Bugs seemed to buzz everywhere inside the room. Yarn Rascal had playmates. The Skipper said it’s that time of year when they (the Stink Bugs) come indoors looking to winter over where it is warm. Well, aren’t they going to be disappointed, I said. Yarn Rascal sneezed and frolicked.
The Skipper has a number of shop vacs that he loves. If there is a problem with anything functioning in the house his go to items are duct tape and a shop vac. While trying to gather Stink Bugs put them outside and keep the sneezing Yarn Rascal from putting them in his mouth, The Skipper returns lugging one of the bigger shop vacs. The Skipper said, I’ve got this. Tell me you’re not going to massacre all these bugs. It’s bad karma, I said. Just when I was warming to my explanation of bad karma, out of the corner of my eye I caught the flash of white that is Yarn Rascal with what looked like a blue head.
Focused on Yarn Rascal now I ran down the stairs after him, which immediately violated three rules I learned from my obsessive watching of Dog Whisperer episodes: Don’t chase the dog. Remain calm. Remain in control. As I stumbled on the last two steps, I saw Yarn Rascal round the bend like a Ferrari and disappear into the kitchen with what looked like, but couldn’t be, strands of blue yarn fluttering around his body. From above, I heard the shop vac roar into life and I was caught between save the bugs or save the dog. Yarn Rascal has had two hospital stays because of stomach problems, and I am desperately trying to teach him not to put everything in his mouth and eat it.
I captured Yarn Rascal in the corner of the back room beyond the kitchen. I had closed every door I had gone through so there was no escape. None of it really mattered. Yarn Rascal had tangled all four legs and his body in the skein of blue yarn. I calmed him down and began extrication. I don’t know where he stole the yarn from, I don’t even recognize the yarn. Now it lays a snarled, twisted mess of mystery yarn on the kitchen table.
This morning the man came to service the heat. It seems the wires leading into our thermostat were nibbled on and hence disconnected. I hope whatever it was didn’t electrocute itself, I said, then went upstairs. I picked two Stink Bugs off the windowsill and placed them outside as The Skipper called up to me that he was heading to the hardware store. Make sure they are Have-A-Heart traps, I replied. I know exactly what he is up to. In the meanwhile, I am calling the vet. Yarn Rascal is still sneezing. Yes, it is all the rhythm of the season.