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Last night the air conditioner died. Kaput. Zip. Nada. It was 80 in my bedroom, then 81…82…83…84…85…skip ahead to 90.

Holy Batman, Robin! Guess who didn’t sleep last night? Me, plus Stanley. 

This morning at 8:01 am I called my A/C company and they said they could get someone out here this morning. 

Okay, then. I took another shower and dressed, went into the office and tried to work. (Note to self: you’re a goofball with no sleep, honey chile.)

So, I was sitting there waiting for the air conditioning guy, sweating like a Longshoreman, when I heard this gawdawful sound coming from the office closet. 


I opened the closet and the sound increased. Claws, scrabbling, something heavy. The back of the closet backs up to the fireplace so I left the office and went to stand in front of the fireplace. Yep, something was in there. Something big, like a squirrel or raccoon. 

Not the day to mess with me, honey chile. (Note to self: you’re also a little bitchy when you’re hot and sleep deprived.) 

I started walking into the kitchen to get another cup of coffee when I saw the telltale signs of an ocular migraine.  I get these from time to time. I normally don’t have pain, but I do go blind for an hour or two. It’s a white blindness with my vision obscured by these silvery rivulets. Today, however, it was accompanied by pain. I’m sure it was because of the sleepless night.

The critter sounded like it was still in the fireplace. I called the critter removal company and they said they could be out here in the afternoon. Okay, then. 

The air conditioner technician came and told blind little me that the A/C  wasn’t the disaster I feared it would be. It was only some kind of core that, for the low, low price of a few hundred dollars could be replaced. Okay, then. Please. For the love of all that’s holy, make it cool in here. 

I have one of those laser thermometers. It was blowing 108 from the vents because he had to turn on the heat to defrost the brand new coil. 

The critter was still scrabbling around in the fireplace. Critter company called to verify that I still wanted their services. Did I know that it would be between $700 – $1400?


I was still, essentially, blind but NOT stupid. I weighed their charges with having a squirrel or raccoon in my house. (I’ve had a raccoon in my house before and it was NOT a fun experience.) I decided that I didn’t need to pay $1400 right now, thank you very much. When my vision came back I’d call other companies. 

Stanley was a nut case. First, because of the night we had. Secondly, because of the critter. Thirdly, because there was someone in the house. I put him in the office and closed the door. Poor thing whined/barked/complained the whole two hours. Migraine was not happy.

As I saw the technician out I realized that the critter sounds had stopped. The critter either died or found a way out. I guess I’ll find out in a day or two if there’s a really foul odor coming from the fireplace.

Stanley was released from his office prison and decided that he didn’t hate me after all. 

My vision gradually returned and the migraine got better. 

Stanley and I adjourned to the bedroom, closed the door (just in case the critter returned and escaped from the fireplace) and took a nap in the comfy white chair. 

The air conditioning is chugging away. It’s 74 in here right now as I’m working on my laptop on the couch (in front of the fireplace). No critter sounds have been heard for hours. Stanley is next to me and if he was a cat he’d be purring. 

I might have been the statue today, but that’s okay. I can feel my pigeon feathers growing. And if you’ll pardon me for channelling my inner Scarlett, tomorrow is another day.