Thursday, February 5, 2009

Nancy and The Kitties Have a Three-Alarm Fire, and Also A Three-Ring Circus

You know those days when you just want to scream because your life is so booooring? Well, today wasn't one of them.

I was editing photos of "Two Fish" when I noticed that something smelled, um, burny. Which is a word I just learned today, on a forum post about made-up words. Serendipity!

Checked the coffee pot, oven, stove, microwave, hair curlers and the electric mixer. (Even though I hadn't used the electric mixer since I made my father a lemon meringue pie last month for his birthday.) Nothing on, nothing burny.

Checked the automatic litter boxes to be sure the Geek Kitty had not stuffed sticks in the motors. Went outside to breathe (extremely cold) fresh air and came back in to be sure something was burny.

It was.

I guessed it might be the heat pump. Changed the filters I knew about. There are Secret Filters that only Bob, the HVAC guy is aware of. Called Bob, who is never home and returns calls sometime between the time you call him and eternity.

But, when he does stop by to find that you have a busted Rumple Basket on your heater's Strippel, he will know where to find a discarded Rumple Basket behind the Dairy Queen a few towns over. And he will have the heat back on, Rumple Basket and All, for $50. Including the changing of all Secret Filters.

I waited awhile, and wandered the house. Not so burny upstairs, or in the basement. But the main level of the house was now burny, and a bit OH KRAP! SMOKY!!!!

I dialed 911 and spoke with Deborah. After she introduced herself in Starbucks fashion, "Hi, my name is Deborah. How can I help you with your emergency today?" I tried to respond in Calm/Collected/Capable mode, "Hi, Deborah. I have a..."

"This is 9-1-1! What is the nature of your emergency?"

"I smell something burny, and there is smoke."

"You have SMOKE?"

"Yes, Ma'am. Smoke."

"Get everyone out of the house and I will have the fire department respond immediately! I repeat, get everyone out!"

"Yes ma'am. Uh, Thank you."

"Thank you??" It was time to feed the dogs and cats their dinner. And I was supposed to get them out because the fire department was on the way. Where could I put them? The Kitties had never been outside in their LIVES!?!

Son One had left his car in the driveway, and his dog in the house, while he went to Hawai'i and I had a fire. I thought it was fair to use his car as a giant cat carrier. I started grabbing felines and stuffing them into the Honda. But I quickly reached Critical Mass. Throwing one more in would result in the escape of at least one already captured, so it was on to Plan B. Vet carriers. One cat in one, two cats in the bigger one. Hisses, spits and claws. I was bleeding profusely from bites and scratches.

The DOGS! They really wanted dinner, but they followed the biscuits to my car. And they like the car, so they just went to sleep, drooling on the leather.

Then I realized - I hadn't made the bed. In the master bedroom, which was where the smoke was thickest. (There was a good reason for my negligence. Although I had canceled their appointment, the Vietnamese Cleaning team had been on the way; and I was going to have them change the linens.) How embarrassing to have the fire department arrive with the bed unmade...I got it done just in the nick of time.

It must have been a slow fire day. I thought maybe one of those red cars with the flashing lights would show up. In fact, three ladder trucks arrived at about the same time. There were at least 15 people in the house; climbing into the attic, poking around in the closets, scanning with some kind of TV devices. And asking a zillion questions. "When did you turn the heat on?" "Uh - September?" "Did you notice any strange noises today?" "Yes, but I have a very noisy neighbor." "Man, this is a great house!" "It's about to go on the market, you want to buy it?" "That car is, um, moaning?" "There are 3 cats in there."

After a bunch of questions and a whole lot of waving devices about and the arrival of another half-dozen or so other people who had other things to wave around, it was determined that no one had a clue why there was smoke and the house smelled burny. But probably it had something to do with a busted Rumple Basket and I needed to get Bob on the case.

In the meantime, the breakers for the heat pump had been shut off. We had no heat. Bob had not called.


The fire department used gigantimongous fans to blow the smoke away. So the house didn't smell so burny. I added three quilts to the bed. The space heater was blowing in the master; with Kitties camped out all around. Bob would find us a new Rumple Basket behind a Dairy Queen in the morning. And the coffee pot was ready to be plugged in.

All the Kitties survived the Honda and the vet carriers.

Life was good.


High Desert Diva said...

OMG! I'm so sorry your house was burny, but that was hysterical!

Hope Bob gets his ass over there soon to fix the furnace!

Nancy said...

Yeah, I'll do just about anything for a laugh...