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An Unexpected Visitor

19 Jul

I went upstairs… and a cute little rat appeared on the sewing room threshold. It sat there looking around with curiosity, while I stared and let my mouth hang open. I grabbed a cloth bag and started walking toward the rat, so it turned and ran to a far corner.

I called for Vita and Virginia, my two hunter cats, and they came upstairs and chased the mouse. To them, this was playtime; I merely wanted it back outdoors.


The rat sat in a corner, and Virginia slowly approached it. The silly little rat walked up to Virginia and touched noses with her. This cat has caught and  killed countless rats and mice! The rat acted like Virginia was its mommy. She seemed rather shocked and didn’t know what to do, so she backed off.

The cats chased the rat across the hallway, into my bedroom. Urgh. By the time I followed, Virginia and the rat were sitting inches away. I had my cloth bag ready. Anytime, I could grab it by the tail and put it in the bag: I’ve done this with numerous tiny mice. But… I didn’t want to touch it. It was small for a rat, but bigger than any mouse.

The rat saw me coming and ran toward the window; Virginia chased it. The most disturbing part was seeing the rat climbing the curtain. Virginia jumped onto the windowsill. She was fuller alert now. Through the sheen curtain, she tapped the rat, and it squeaked. I noticed it had a white underside and wiggly black whiskers, like a chinchilla. It was cute, but I still didn’t want to touch its tail. It kept climbing, while I tried to figure out a way to catch it without touching it.

I remembered seeing a pair of gloves in my dresser, so I rummaged through a drawer while Virginia and the rat were still in the window. I couldn’t find the gloves, so I grabbed a sock. Still carrying the cloth bag, I approached the rat and, through the sock, began to grab its tail, but it moved, I panicked, and the rat jumped to the floor.

Virginia thought this was fun. She jumped down and stared at the rat. I approached it with the bag again, and it ran across the room, Virginia right behind it.

Virginia cornered the rat on a bookcase. Finally, I used a dustpan to push the rat into the bag. It worked! I held the bag closed, took it downstairs, slipped on a pair of sandals, and went outside, where I released the rat in the bushes at the far front corner of the yard.



Even that was difficult, because the rat didn’t wish to leave the bag; I kept shaking the bag over the bushes, and the rat clung inside with its little hands. I lowered it closer to the ground while keeping my arms outstretched (I kept my distance in case it ran toward me when it got out) and gave it a few more shakes. Finally, the rat slipped out, head first, to the shrubbery.


Annoying Dreams

7 Jun

I kept having dreams based on The Handmaid’s Tale.

In one, I was in this bedroom and painting the walls. It was an early phase, and I anticipated being executed or sent to the colonies anytime.


I dreamed that I lived in a big old house and was out in the garden. My cat Vita was with me. Or her sister, Virginia…or both. There were white metal patio chairs. It seemed rather autumnal, with a lot of dry, dead leaves lying around instead of things growing out of the ground. A lot of brown, not green.

A large white rabbit, bigger than Virginia—at least as big as the two cats put together—appeared on one of the patio chairs. Vita was fascinated and slinking toward it, and I was struggling to get my phone to take pictures of the creature. At first, I didn’t even know what it was.

Soon both Virginia and Vita were on patio furniture, next to each other, and the rabbit had vanished. I approached the cats, and a little white kitten was on the patio, in front of their chairs. The cats were eyeing the kitten, edging closer out of curiosity.

I came up to the kitten and started petting it and found a lot of fleas. I wished I was carrying Revolution with me and remembered that I still need to give Vita a dose. (This is true in this reality, not just the dream.)

Fleas were getting on my clothing. I went inside to get the Revolution and get the fleas off me. As I entered the kitchen (which looked like the kitchen in the house in Indiana), the fleas seemed to multiply, covering the colorful patterned dress I wore. I stood over a trash container and started wiping them off, and they ended up on top of the white plastic lid, so I went to the sink and started pouring water on my dress. There were also gnats buzzing around.

Random Dreams

2 Jun

I dreamed I was visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew in Phoenix. They were all walking with me down an urban street, and it was raining steadily. It looked more like Chicago, not Phoenix.

My brother stopped at the end of a concrete barrier on the meridian. It had a scooped-out, bowl-shaped end filled with rainwater. A cute talking fish, about the size of one of the larger coi at the chiropractor office, was splashing around in there. It was chatty and animated. He may have found it somewhere else and put it there. I knew the water would dry up, and the fish would die, so I decided to take it with us. Now I forget what I was carrying, but I guess it was a bowl. I managed to scoop up the talking, friendly fish and some water and take it…to an apartment or hotel room where we were staying.

I asked them about a container I could use, and my brother handed me a plastic basin, so I used that for the fish. I was thinking of placing it in a prominent place, the center of the coffee table, when I woke up to a bunch of noise from outside.


I don’t know if this was the same dream, but there was a couple with a baby boy, and they were maybe divorced. They set up an apartment just for the boy–actually, he was a toddler by now–and it had a room with dark burgundy walls. Observing the family in this room, like from an omniscient perspective, I was confused, because I didn’t think the kid was old enough to have his own apartment.


Before that, I kept having dreams set in the world of The Handmaid’s Tale. Not nightmares: just quiet, domestic scenes, such as Serena Joy in her garden and Nick polishing the car. Scenes that I read just yesterday, when I started rereading the book.

A Skunk, an Armadillo, and a Sloth

28 May

I dreamed I was a student and couldn’t remember my schedule. Some stuff happened to make me not attend classes–now I can’t remember. Everyone ended up with denim jackets that they decorated in different ways. I don’t remember why, but I tore mine straight down the center back near the entrance to a classroom (I was in the room with many other students). I then put on a different jacket with big pockets and put on a hat, maybe my Himalayan hat, before I went into the hallway.

When I was finally done with all that, I was walking around a wide hallway and passing random people and, still walking, reached for my schedule in my pocket. I had a Dachshund in my pocket or tucked under my arm, so it was hard to get to my schedule.

I stepped through glass double doors into a hexagonal room from which there were various corridors branching off. Other students walked by, and someone may have been doing construction. I realized I had to stop walking if I was going to look at my schedule. So I started reading the piece of paper from my pocket, but it didn’t say anything about my schedule for the rest of the day. I thought I must not have any classes that day.

Next, I was outdoors, in a park. I was approaching picnic tables where students I knew sat. I sat down at one bench, and a friendly little black animal walked over to me. I petted it once–and noticed the white stripes of a skunk on its back. It was definitely a skunk and even smelled like one. Startled, I got up, saying, “Oh, it’s a skunk!” The person sitting at the same table, to my left, got up, and we both walked toward another table, where more people sat. People were laughing and exclaiming about the skunk.

I talked about it, saying I didn’t at first know it was a skunk. I added, “It was so friendly.”

One young blond woman peered at me suspiciously. “You touched your face afterwards?”

Feeling appalled and embarrassed, I tried to remember. “I don’t think so.” I tried to convince myself that I didn’t touch my face after touching the skunk, and I thought about hand sanitizer and didn’t think I had any with me.

Soon a couple of people and I occupied—at least, I stood by it—another picnic bench, just past the first one (where I met a skunk). We were talking, and I put down my bag, jacket, and Indian shawl–also maybe a hat.

An armadillo appeared on the table and started walking toward me.

Someone said, “Don’t pet that, too.”

I backed away, and the armadillo turned into a sloth. It kept picking up my stuff with its long arms, and I kept trying to get my stuff from it. I ended up putting the jacket and all back on.


Great—the armadillo has to do with not letting go, not moving on. That’s tied in with the skunk symbolism, in that I have terrible memories of socially making an ass of myself, and the skunk represents repelling people or being afraid of doing so.