It's been a long week. It started off with a tie rod on the car snapping off about 30 miles from home in Cumberland, MD. Fortunately we have a good friend that knows a little bit about cars so we called him and he drove all the way to Cumberland, put a new tie rod on the car and followed us home to make sure we got there okay. I hate car repairs of any kind but fortunately this was an easy one compared to other breakdowns I have had in the past. A new wheel alignment and some grease should fix this once and for all (I hope). So okay, we recover from that.
The next day I'm sitting at the computer which is right next to the window when a stray cat jumps up on the air conditioner and starts meowing. It's nothing new to see stray cats in this neighborhood. Unfortunately many folks around here don't have their cats spayed or neutered so the feline population around here is phenomenal. I'd take all the kittens in if I could but I just can't...I'm only one person. We already have five that we have taken in and, in addition to the three dogs, that's about all we can handle. Anyhow, I figured this particular cat must be hungry because it wasn't that cold the day this happened. So I did what I always do when the cats come around meowing, I fed her. Apparently that wasn't enough, she wanted to come inside. I figured that she would get bored with the whole window thing after a while and move on. I was wrong. She did leave for a while but later that evening after dark she was back. And she started meowing again. Not only that but she started clawing and scratching at the window. I thought maybe another animal was after her so I went outside with a flashlight to check. Nope, nothing...she just wanted in. Apparently word has spread in the cat community that we are suckers. I spent the whole evening trying to get her off the air conditioner and trying to get her to stop clawing at the window. Of course all this time the dogs were going nuts, barking at the window. They are really good about leaving our house cats alone but they still react to the outside cats. The cat would leave and then come back. When I went to bed she was still on the air conditioner but had apparently settled in for the night. I figured she would be gone in the morning. She was. I have seen her up the street since then, she must have found more suckers.
The next afternoon it started to rain, and I mean rain hard. Pouring down rain. Some while after the rain started I happened to notice that the window below the air conditioner was dripping water. After looking at it closer I realized that the cat had clawed holes in the accordion panels next to the air conditioner and also in the sealing material around it. Great, water is just pouring in. It was too late to get anything to fix it, all the stores around here close early when they roll the sidewalks up. So we figured the only thing to do would be to just take the air conditioner out of the window. After all, summer's over anyway and we probably won't need it anymore this year. Well, I run it a lot longer than most people do but I figured I could deal with it, especially since I didn't have much choice. Now most people would have gone outside and taken the AC out from the outside but, oh no, not us. My husband has a bad back and can't lift anything very heavy and between my knee and my right arm I can lift even less than he can. So we decide to take the thing out of the window from the inside. In theory, it's easier due to the height of the window from the outside. So here we go. We start wrestling with this thing and pretty soon we had it sitting on a plastic bag in the living room. Of course it's soaking wet because it's still pouring rain outside but at least it's out of the window and the window is now closed.
Now, little did we know that apparently a family of stink bugs had decided that they liked the air conditioner too. I'm not sure where they had positioned themselves within the AC but they were not happy that their little home had been disturbed. My husband and I were both on our hands and knees trying to pick up these little jackwagons and buddy, they were mad. Needless to say that within a few minutes our living roon smelled like the bathroom at the corner gas station. I mean to tell you, those little things STINK! I guess that's why they call them stink bugs, huh? My husband told me to go get the vacuum and just vacuum them up. Uh, I don't think so! I'm not having that stench get into the vacuum cleaner so I can relive this over and over again. We finally got the broom and swept most of them up and into a plastic bag. Then we got the AC moved into the storage closet right outside the door. Once it was outside my husband was able to get the remaining bugs out of it however, for days after that I kept finding one or two bugs in the house. It's been a couple of days now and I have not seen anymore. The stink is finally gone thanks in part to the gallons of Febreze that I have sprayed throughout the house. Fortunately it was contained in the living room for the most part so we could get some relief when we went to bed.
I'm not sure what the moral of this story is however I do know two things...stink bugs like to live in air conditioners and I don't ever want them in my house again. Who knew? Live and learn I guess.
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