Today's grand idea was to take one third of two of the clumps of tropical grasses up near the street and add them to the struggling third one so they looked similar and would continue growing relatively the same. The poor wee one on the left is about 3" tall compared to its brother and sister who are 18" and 24" tall. All were planted at the same time. The landscaper said if the sickly looking one didn't survive to call him this year and he'd replace it. Okay .... that's one option. It is 3" tall. It did survive. It seems only fair it continue to be given a chance to catch up with the others. Today The Mate called it, "The Charlie Brown one," and that is exactly what it is. Its tiny self should not be dug up and unceremoniously tossed over the hill for a replacement one when it is trying so hard to grow. Yes, this is the level of my insanity.
The tropical grasses - they are like the most close-knit family you have ever met. They would prefer to DIE over being separated. I could have dug them completely up and untangled their roots, but that seemed excessive even by my standards. I tried various tricks and garden tools to release some of the fronds from the group to no avail. I put the dirt back in place, re-smoothed the mulch and said, "Not all good ideas are feasible."
Yesterday's idea was both good and feasible yet ultimately useless. After a couple of hours of doubting my hearing and sanity it became obvious that yes indeed something was not only stuck in the furnace but it was managing to get into the cold air return portion. Both the cat and I could not be so crazy as to have imagined the same sounds at the exact same time. Well, FatCat may indeed be that crazy, but I've yet to get him to complete the Rorschach's test to prove it.
It was decided that whatever it was must be a rodent since even a bird would chirp at least once. OlderBoy felt compelled to inform me as I was freaking out trying to figure out how to get it out and not have it disappear into the recesses of the basement that likely said rodent had already been in my basement. For days.
I thought removing the electronic air cleaner was the best way to release the trapped resident mouse or possibly a chipmunk who'd fallen down the chimney, slid down the flue and landed unhappily inside the furnace. The furnace is not running this time of year, but for a few days the A/C was. Every time it came on the scrabbling noises ensued. Until I would go down to the basement to find the source. Then there was utter silence. Sneaky bastard. Finally while prepping BagelDog for a bath the noise happened while I was present. The cat went on alert and eyed the cold air return with hunger. The dog was elated at her reprieve and the plotting began.
I decided to build out of the many boxes in the basement a maze-that-was-not-a-maze, but a runway with one sharp turn leading to the outside through the basement door. Maze was easier to say so I shortened it to that. I was very clever in making certain there was no escape route. I stacked books between the cold air return and the floor so there was no back door. I was proud. I pulled off the front of the air cleaner and laid it on top of the boxes. I pulled out the first unit with all the "I will shock you if you're alive, but only attract dirt if you're not" panels. I waited. And waited. And waited. Not a sound, not a movement, not a shadow. I stepped to the other side of the maze and could see the entire bottom of the cold air return. Not a thing to see except sheet metal.
I glanced down at the front of the air cleaner unit (which is about two and a half inches thick and has electrical components in it mixed with I am now guessing ample empty space) on top of the boxes and saw two small holes, about 1" by 1 1/2" and wondered. I picked it up and set it upright like it was on the furnace in the middle of the maze. I waited some more. The holes in the unit were opposite me as I had it pointed toward the door and I was armed with a broom to assist the rodent to the out of doors if needed. I saw a wee head stretch and peek around the edge at me and I had instant recognition and exclaimed, "You're a fucking bat!" My brain denied it and told me there now existed a bat-faced mouse in the world. I reached for the unit to carry it outside and in that infinitesimally short period of time the bat freed its other wing from the tiny hole and took off. It headed straight for the open door and the very second it hit sunshine it made a sharp u-turn and bee-lined for my forehead. I yelped and shielded my face with the broom and hit the light fixture and Mr. Bat gracefully dodged and sailed past me to disappear in the rafters. If only I'd thought to make tall walls of boxes!
There ensued many rounds of hide and seek. Mr. Bat won. Giving up I moved the necessary cat items upstairs, opened the the door that adjoins the basement and garage, opened both garage doors, and turned out the lights to let Mr. Bat recover from his trauma. When dusk came and he awoke hungry he would follow his senses to the outside, find his bat friends he usually sleeps the day away with, feed, and tell grand stories of his time away. I hope he portrayed me kindly to his friends.
Sometimes good ideas that are feasible are still not enough.
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