Bed Bugs and the Feline Hero

A few days ago, my wife found a bed bug. This threw her into a panic. Me too. The only bed bug stories are horror stories.

We made an appointment with a bed bug specialist for the next day. We had to bag all of our clothing and linens to throw them in high heat dryers for an hour. We had to lock our cats in the basement so the guy could give our house the old poison vapor treatment. And, we planned to bring my daughter’s hamster for safe keeping to my father-in-law’s place.

The next day, as we prepared, we discovered the hamster cage was empty! My daughter had gone on vacation with her friends, and left one of the blue plastic plugs off the cage. I spoke to her to set the morbid expectation: She would not be seeing her rodent companion when she returned that night.

It was noon, and we had three hours to find the hamster to ensure it would not be exterminated. Unfortunately, hamsters are nocturnal and really good at hiding. Wherever that little guy was, he was not in any drawer, box, closet, cupboard, bag. His ability to obscure himself and penchant for daytime sleeping would be his demise.

The exterminator arrived on time, and I explained that I would throw him extra cash if he were able to catch the hamster. And with that, my wife and I headed to the laundromat to heat treat all the clothes and linens we owned, with imminent hamster destruction looming in the air.

Folding the entire wardrobes of three people is backbreaking. Afterwards, we needed drinks and dinner, which would pass the last hour before we could return to our house without getting bed-bug-vaped.

As expected, all our furniture was overturned, with cushions everywhere. White powder adorned each crevice: the stairs, the baseboards, even the bed frame. My daughter returned home and slept on the floor. I curled up on a coach cushion. My wife wisely chose the fold-out bed. The hamster? Not found.

The next day, I set the furniture right. We had three weeks of living out of laundry bags ahead of us. In this whirlpool of misery, our cat, Moe, sauntered out of the basement with the hamster in his mouth and dropped it onto the carpet. It was alive and seemingly uninjured.

Terrified but back in his home, the hamster ate and drank as much water as hamsterly possible, then slept the little sleep.


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