The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

"It's More Afraid of You...."

No matter how challenging the week, you can always find someone who has it worse. For instance, Ed was just wanting to come inside for a little rug-attacking (a favorite hobby of the Edster) and found himself quite unable to meow around the new friend to whom he was thoughtfully providing a ride in his mouth:

And even worse, because I am a terribly unreasonable person, I wouldn't let him bring his new friend inside anyway. Clearly, Ed has it rough. Then again, I'm pretty sure the salamander isn't having a terrific day either. It seems like a day that involves hanging out in the mouth of a cat who's trying to meow around you would probably qualify as "one of those days." Mind you, I don't know what would constititute a good day for a salamander....but I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve sharp pointy things, and the smell of Friskies Salmon Platter in Sauce. You'll notice that, somehow, the salamander was unharmed. Ed gave up trying to meow around him and dropped him, whereupon Mr. K bravely took the little guy to safety

while I acted all stupid and girly and said things like "well, don't bring him over toward ME!!" Yes, I am all too aware that the salamander is more afraid of me than I am of him, and that there is really nothing a 2 inch lizard looking thing can do to harm me unless he has heretofore unrealized pyrokinetic powers (never thought of that, didja?)'s a visceral thing for which I have no logical explanation. Somewhere, my little primitive brain looks at it and says "Lizard thing, BAD. Run." And, when you consider all the giant dinosaurs that could have crushed New York had there actually been a New York, it is just possible that my hindbrain is quite wise, if several thousand years behind the times. (Yes, I do know that man and dinosaurs didn't live at the same time..but it sounds better than "I'm just a goofy, shrieky girl"). In any case, Ed was far from amused at the theft of his new best good friend.

Now, a good question is this: why do people always try to tell me that the icky, pulsating spider with malevolent eyes/nasty, slimy-looking salamander/very long slithery snake appearing out of thin air and appearing 1/4 inch away from my sandal/hornet armed with bayonet of startling proportions/filthy plague-bearing rat is "more afraid of me than I am of him"? I don't believe it for a minute. I mean, I've never SEEN a nasty hairy pulsating spider running frantically through the house, waving all 4 of its arms (I'm assuming the other 4 are legs), shouting "EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!! Knitter!! Knitter!! Someone KILL IT!!" Neither have I seen a mouse perched on a chair so as to avoid my running over its foot, a bat dodging frantically to avoid what it is sure is my rabies-infested bite on its neck, or a snake running hell bent for leather (what does that MEAN, anyway??) through the yard until running headlong into a tree so as to avoid the nasty human knitter in its path. (Yes, I did run into a tree trying to escape a vicious garden snake; no, we shall not speak of it.)

Moreover, I'm willing to bet good wool that anyone uttering that damnable phrase really has no accurate way of judging the level of my fear and is underestimating exponentially. I once climbed up onto a bench to try to kill a spider on a ceiling before it plopped down on my head while I slept and sucked all my blood out and ate my hair and, when the horrid thing actually moved approximately half a frog's hair in my direction (most likely a twitch and not the vicious charge that my hindbrain interpreted from the half-dime-sized arachnid), I leaped backwards in complete disregard for the fact that I was on a bench, fell on the floor, and brought the edge of the bench down soundly on my toe, breaking it (the toe, not the bench. Or, sadly, the spider.)

I'd also wager that there are no spiders who have managed to sit in the dark with a full bladder until completely awake so as not to run sleepily into me on the way to the toilet. And certainly none of them have ever had strands of my house wrapped around their faces on the way out to the garbage at O'Crap O'Clock in the morning. Oh, and I've never clattered around in THEIR bathtubs on little spider hooves and then refused to be washed down the drain in any sort of civilized fashion. I put to you that not only are the spiders NOT as afraid of me as I am of them (which would be well-nigh impossible, I think) but they would actually be thumbing their noses at me if they had noses. Or thumbs. Nope, not buying this one. Next time someone offers the "more afraid of you than you are of them" thing, I'm going to ask for proof.

Now, while the salamander and Ed might not be having a great time of it at present, my week turned around quite nicely. Not so much when I found out about the 4.0 (although that didn't suck) but when I read all your wonderful comments wishing me success and offering complete faith in my ability to succeed. Seriously, I teared right up and the last several messages were quite blurry (but still wonderful). It's amazing to have all these people out there who mean so much to me, but whom I haven't actually met. Somehow, I feel like I've sat and knitted at least an hour or so with each of you. Thank you doesn't quite cut it but the language doesn't offer me anything else. So thank you. All of you mean the world to me.

Marti, you are so sweet. And the flag is proceeding slowly. The flag, for the rest of you, is the chunk of linen stitch I started in a self-striping yarn and which somehow resembled nothing so much as the flag of some unknown foreign country. I, of course, waved it aloft and proclaimed myself the rightful heir of the throne of Elbownia. (In my defense, this was mere hours after the testfromhell, and most of my brain cells had run away yelping in terror.) In any case, the fact that it took two hours and 60 rows to create a piece of knitting the size of a deck of cards did not encourage me...the flag is now being alternated with other, more cooperative pieces of knitting. I'll put up a photo if it ever gets to the size of something lofty, like a bookmark or a slice of American Cheese Product.

Love to all of you. Truly.


  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger Marianne said…

    Jeezelouise, Ed, I can't imagine it had a taste decent enough to keep it in your mouth. In fact.......
    I just love the image of spider hooves...and the little clomping sounds they'd make...put little taps on them...heeeee.

  • At 11:34 PM, Anonymous MonicaPDX said…

    Aww, Mrs. K... Of course we had to give you cheers and congrats and encouragement! It's what friends do. We know you'd do (and have done) the same for us, and so what if most of us have never met in person. The Net and blogs are the modern version of ye olde penpal, and people sure did tightly bond that way. Why not through a blog or emails? We've just updated it a little. Love ya, babe! ::hugs::

    And oh god...this is gonna be long, but I have to tell you this one. ::snicker:: Ed is such a thoughtful cat, really! He was probably trying to give you something in honor of your accomplishment.

    The reason I say this is my Lu Ahng did something similar once. On my birthday, yet. I opened the front door for her to come in that night and she shot in, giving me a rather muffled "MrrrrrPPP!" as she went by, then scuttled right under the living room coffee table. I thought I'd seen something dangling from her mouth, so got down on hands and knees and peered at her under the table. She looked innocently at me. I looked suspiciously at her. A mouse tail was in distinct evidence. Then she came forward and dropped the (live and undamaged) mouse on the floor right in front of me, giving me one of those cheerful Siamese vocalizations, with quite a proud look on her face. Which I took to mean, "Happy Birthday to you, my dear human!"

    What ensued was like something from a Mel Brooks movie. I blocked off the kitchen door with a handy board (giggling madly), while Mom and Dad ran around the living room following Lu Ahng as she play-chased the mouse. Things ended up with the poor mouse cornered under a small bookcase with about 1" clearance underneath, Mom on one side, Dad on the other, on their hands and knees. Lu Ahng crouched in front, tail lashing, not even trying to reach the mouse, giving them impatient looks when they failed to flush the mouse for her to chase some more. Obviously humans were lousy game beaters in her opinion. I, meanwhile, was still laughing like a loon in the kitchen doorway.

    We finally shooed the mouse (and Lu Ahng) back out the front door. Upon which I completely collapsed into hysterics of the enjoyable kind. Mom and Dad were a tad peeved at first, but when I mentioned my birthday present theory, they saw the humor and we all ended up in hysterics. We finally let Lu Ahng back in a few hours later, sans mouse, albeit with a very satisfied look on her face. Personally, I was quite flattered. She was a Mighty Hunter, but she'd never presented me wtih a live mouse before. That was the only time she ever did it, too. So really, I felt quite honored, and that she had indeed meant it for a birthday present.

    Of course Mom and Dad weren't quite so keen on the whole event... But once I got to bed, I thanked Lu Ahng for one of the best presents ever, and we had a lovely conversation about it. I'm not quite sure what she said, but I know she got the idea that I'd appreciated her thoughtfulness.

    Even though I didn't eat the mouse.

  • At 12:44 AM, Anonymous angie Cox said…

    100% correct Florence no spider ever jumped up on a chair at the sight of me ! I have never ( thank God met a snake ) but reptiles repeal me . I once recued a frog from a busy road but after I picked it up my brain was shouting at me to let go the cold , slimey thing .I managed to hold on but it was horrible. Poor old Sal , much as I love cats I always took my cat Treacle's gifts away and set them free . I guess she thought I was a mad and ungrateful swine but she persisted "knowing" one day I'd want to tuck into House-sparrow.

  • At 6:11 AM, Blogger Holly Bernice Cox said…

    Ohh I love the Idea of Salamanders screaming. And the spiders! Umm I'm not sure their scared either. Just Pretending to wind up gullible humans

  • At 6:28 AM, Blogger Jo said…

    I'm obviously tired as whilst attempting to write a humourous limerick about a Salamander in the oppose to a frog in the throat...I was cogitating over a Salamanders accent and decideing on him being very well spoken english,

  • At 6:31 AM, Blogger Kitty Mommy said…

    Awwww...poor Ed! Losing a best friend is always tragic. However, lizard or not, I think I would trade Ed's best friend for Bug's best friend. I'm pretty sure the smell of a lizard wouldn't make me throw up!

    Now, wasps are another story! They may not like me and be completely ticked off that I am disturbing them, but they are NOT possibly more afraid. Spiders, too. Ick.

  • At 8:12 AM, Blogger Karen said…

    The only thing our cats brought home were dead glad it was never a live salamander, I would have freaked too. Congrats on the test results (see, you worried for nothing).


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