Bed Bugs and the Making of a Feline Hero (The Old Draft I Now Have an Ending For)

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 up (herd) our several cats in the basement.

Plus, not forget to safely transport my daughter’s hamster to my father-in-law’s place.Only, 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 of what was going to happen.

It was noon, and we had three hours to find the hamster to ensure it would not be exterminated. It seems, though, that 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 hide 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. We needed drinks and dinner, which would pass the last hour before we could return to our house without getting bed-bug-vaped.

All of the 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 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, dropping it onto the carpet. It was alive and seemingly uninjured.

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

Update

It did turn out to be The Big Sleep.

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