Hello friendlies! Lulu here, with a tale of my recent grand adventure! It started during the pandemic, when Mama and Dada started noticing tiny little round brown and black deposits all over the laundry machines in the garage. The laundry machines are white, so it was pretty obvious that these little pellets weren’t supposed to be there. It turns out these pellets are termite poop. Here’s a visual aid:
It’s important to make sure you’re not attempting to brew termite pellets in your Keurig or sprinkling them on your scrambled eggs.
Now unfortunately I was never given the opportunity to inspect the termite poop myself, so I can’t provide any information about whether or not it’s the kind of poop that’s suitable for rolling around in. (It probably is.) Since it was in the middle of the pandemic, and they knew that getting the house treated meant that we would all have to leave for a while, Mama and Dada just sort of sat on this information for a few months, until after they got all their shots from the human vet; after that, the first thing they did was … go to the dentist. But the second thing they did was call the termite people and make an appointment to get an inspection and a treatment plan, because they knew that the inspection was not going to result in the inspector saying everything was fine. It was one of those “foregone conclusion” type things, like the fair trial followed by a first-class hanging in that old western Silverado:
Mama and Dada figured the house would need to be tented—covered up like a circus tent and filled up with poisonous gas, and also, potentially, a meth lab, if Walter White were still in business.
Tenting the house would have meant we would all need to move out for several days—including the fish, which would have been pretty complicated, since the fish need water to breathe. Mama and Dada figured that to take care of the fish, they would need to remove every decoration from the tank, catch all of the fish, and bring them to the pet store for boarding, and before putting them back in, completely drain the tank and wash it out to get rid of any lingering chemicals. Which is even more work than taking care of fish usually is.
Chaplin: “We could have taken care of the fish for Mama and Dada. All they had to do was ask us.”
Lulu: “I don’t think that’s the kind of solution they had in mind.”
However, fortunately, the report from the inspector was that there didn’t seem to be a structural infestation, but rather spot infestations in some garage rafters, attic rafters, and outdoor fascia boards, and so the house was a candidate for a different sort of treatment, where the rafters could be sprayed with a penetrating borax solution, the fascia boards with a spreading foam insecticide, and the rest of the house with something called an “electro-gun” where all the walls and studs in the house are zapped with a long stick attached to a backpack that generates high-voltage, low-amperage electricity. Or maybe it was low-voltage, high-amperage electricity.
Mouse: “It seems like low-voltage, high-amperage vs. high-voltage, low-amperage might be an important distinction.”
Lulu: “Hey, I’m not the one who has to operate the equipment.”
Anyway it’s basically the Ghostbusters, except instead of treating your ghost to a proton-pack toast, they treat your termites to … um … electro-zap night-nights. And with this treatment, although we did have to clear out of the house, it was only for the day, rather than for two or three days, and the fish got to stay in their watery home. The main thing with the zapping treatment was that all the electronic devices in the house had to be completely unplugged from the wall. Every. Single. One. Which turns out to be a lot of stuff, these days. The day of the treatment, Dada spent about an hour going around making sure everything was unplugged. And then the cats got bundled up into their cat carriers and whisked away to spend some time hanging out at a friend’s house.
Charlee: “We weren’t ‘hanging out’. We were being kept prisoner in a bedroom. I spent the whole time hiding under the bed. It was horrible. Right, Chaplin?”
Chaplin: “Eh. I hardly noticed, to be honest.”
Lulu: “Don’t you two have any sense of adventure?”
And meanwhile, I got put into my harness and bundled off to the car to spend the day away from the house. I didn’t know where we were going and I didn’t really care, just as long as it was somewhere, and, of course, there were humans with me.
Are we going somewhere? Where are we going?
It’s the harbor!!!
That’s right! For the first time in about a year, I went to the harbor! And this time I spent the entire day there! Tune in next week for my report on the state of the harbor after a year in lockdown. I’ll give you a preview: There was a lot of peemail to catch up on. But for now, this is Lulu, rolling over and out!