Arachnophobia

Not too many people like spiders.

To say I don’t like them would be a mild way of expressing how I really feel about spiders. I am on the edge of terrified and certainly have an illogical fear of the dang things. For the 8 years I had Kato I lived a spider free life, he was “spider killer extraordinaire”, he was undaunted in his quest to eradicate them from my world.

He was a great hunter of anything that scurried, or swam; for that matter (he spent one whole summer tried to catch the gold-fish in a pond I built) mice, rats, oh boy! if he caught a whiff of a rodent he was on the hunt.  It was a handy little trait of his because I lived in some hell holes and I would watch Kato’s reaction, if he zeroed in on an area I knew there were mice or rats in the vicinity.   I remember one time JC’s sister had come for a visit, I had Laila’s leash because she was harder to control and D had Kato’s leash. As we exited the trailer Kato lunged under the porch practically pulling D off her feet. When he emerged, tail wagging; he had a rat in his mouth. D dropped the leash and jumped back on the porch and Kato ran with his prize behind the truck.

I screamed “RAT” and Kato stopped and turned to me. Kato and I were at a standoff; standing there looking at each other, him proud as punch wagging his tail and me with my heart in my throat and my mind whirling into panic mode. I wanted to praise him and let him know it was not a bad thing to kill rats but I wanted him to put it down also. I smiled and in a sing-song voice said, “Good boy! now put it down.”

He started to walk towards me. “NO! drop it”

He stopped, looking at me with questioning eyes.

Me :”Good boy, now drop it.”

Kato dropped it and I said, “Good boy, ok now come here.”

Kato picked up the rat and started towards me.

“NO! STAY!”

Kato kinda tossed the rat in the air and then picked it up again.

I started screaming “Rat!! Rat! stay Drop it”

Every time he would drop it but when I told him to come he would pick it up again, mouthing it and nudging it with his nose every time which threw me over the line between calm and rational to total-full-on-panic. I started screaming louder and louder and dancing on the spot which brought all the neighbors outside to see what the hell was going on. The woman next door came around the corner, “What the hell is going on out here?”

Me;” A rat!! Kato has a rat!”

Lady next door, “Kato, drop it” and then she looked at me, “Do you have a glove?”

I threw her a glove and she picked up the rat which got me screaming ” ewww yuck gross!!!” She disappeared around the corner and came back to give me my glove.

Me “No you keep it, really”

It was his obsession with spiders that I admired the most. One time he was sound asleep on the bed beside me and JC flicked a piece of lint from his shirt and said, “Oh shit I thought that was a spider.”

Kato jumped to attention and started searching for the spider, he looked JC up and down and then the whole room.

When I was seeing Colin we were all in bed, him, me and my two dogs when all of a sudden Kato bolted from the room and into the laundry room, there was a bunch of thrashing and banging going on. Laila got up and peered around the corner watching for the longest time. We all waited for the noise to stop but Kato was on a mission and Laila ended up coming back to bed. We all fell asleep before Kato finally made it back to bed.

One night just before he died he was laying asleep on his bed and I was on the couch when he bolted awake and ran to a stool in front of the couch. He looked at me so I pushed it aside with my foot and sure enough there was a HUGE spider. Kato had a bit of a handicap when it came to catching spiders and mice because being a Shar-pei he had a lot of skin and when he bent his head down to catch his prey he was blinded by the skin falling forward covering his eyes. He would blindly cover the area with his mouth trying to catch whatever by feel. He always found it and that night he got that spider first try.

I gather spiders don’t taste that good and probably didn’t feel so good squirming around in his mouth either. He would spit it out, paw at it, get it in his mouth again, spit it out and keep at it until he would have gotten rid of every piece of it and then he would go get a drink of water.

Oh I loved my buddy for his spidey senses. For the 8-9 years I had him all I ever had to do was yell spider and he came running, or limping whatever the case may be if he wasn’t feeling well that day. If I was pulling stuff out from under the bed or storage room I had Kato come and stand guard in case a spider scurried out. My big brave puppy was there to protect me.

Well, last night I was closing the curtains and one side got stuck on the rod, as I gave it a tug it slid on the rod and spidercurtain jerked in my direction and right before me, not 6 inches from my nose was a huge black spider on the curtain. I screamed, the spider ran and Stella looked at me through sleepy eyes. I yelled “Stella spider, spider!!” and pointed but she looked at me like I was crazy and rolled over.

OMG now the spider was behind the sofa, I panicked, sat in the chair across from the couch and stared at the curtain. What was I going to do? After a while Stella, who is used to me sitting beside her on the couch woke up and came to me to get some love because I guess she thought I was mad at her. How do you explain to a dog you can’t sit on the couch because there is a spider behind it ready to pounce if I sit down? after about 1/2 an hour I realized I had to do something so I put on my coat and walked up the street to a friend’s. It was only 9:30 so early enough to knock on the door, she has her two sons staying with her and I asked if they were home. They had just left not 5 minutes before. She had a good laugh when I told her I needed the boys to come and find and kill a spider for me. Doris laughing said, “A little spider?”

Me “NO, it is a HUGE spider!”

She thought that was hilarious!! I almost asked if she wanted to come down to my place and kill it but I thought better of it seeing as she is 85 yrs old. I would feel awful if she broke a hip or something. She asked if I wanted to come in and I said no thanks I had to go deal with the spider. I could hear her laughing as I walked down her driveway.

I got home and Stella was waiting to do our usual welcome home where I sit on the “couch” and give her loves. There was no way I was sitting on that couch. I sat armed with a can of wasp spray across from the couch for a good 1/2 hour and then I saw it! It had climbed up the wall and was in the corner up by the ceiling. I put on my rubber gloves and crept towards the spider, I took aim, and sprayed!!! Stella was watching intently and jumped when I screamed, “Die! spider die!”

The spider dropped, bounced off the corner of the china cabinet and landed behind the couch. “Damn, now it’s pissed off and I don’t know where it is.”

I went back to my chair with the wasp spray clutched in my shaking hand. My heart racing I opened a Mike’s Hard Lemonaide, now what?

Stella started acting all nervous and didn’t want to lay on the couch without me, she started pacing the house, going in the bedroom, and back to the couch. Finally she asked to go pee outside and when I opened the door I could hear the coyotes howling, she didn’t like that. She did her pee really quickly and came back in. She practically climbed on my lap, hiding her head in my armpit. I told her she was ok and she licked my face and sat staring at the door for the rest of the night, alternately checking the front and back doors and then coming and hiding her head between my legs or in my arm pit. I put her to bed on my bed and was going to lay with her for a while and that is when she noticed her reflection in a big mirror I have in my bedroom. She jumped, looked again, moved her head to the left, to the right, up, down, she looked at me and then at the mirror, my reflection was in the mirror beside the dog she saw in the mirror. So now she was staring at the door, the mirror AND searching the room for “things” she sniffed the baseboards, checked under the bed and sniffed the curtains in the bedroom, then stared at the door a bit longer, then she would sneak up on the mirror to see if that dog was still there and damn, sure enough it was there so she would stare at him for a while, moving this way and that. Finally she hung her head off the foot of the bed keeping watch on that strange dog and her eyes got heavier and heavier. When she dozed off I went back to my spider surveillance. I finally went to sleep about 2 am, still haven’t sat on the couch.

I think I will see if the guys are back and if they will come and help me find it. I am sure with 3 of us we will be able to handle spider and Stella seems to have made friends with the dog in the bedroom so things should be back to normal soon.  But I think I may have damaged her for life with my fear of spiders.

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4 Replies to “Arachnophobia”

  1. I really love your blog but I need help to deal with a narcissist sister and a mother who makes excuses for her. Any ideas? Anything would be appreciated! Thanks, Gabrielle

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  2. Gabrielle, thank you for the compliment I am glad you enjoy my blog.
    It’s one thing to have a sister that is a narcissist and a totally different thing to have your mother making excuses for her; it brings it to a much higher level of dysfunction.
    You don’t say what kind of stuff your sister does so it is hard for me to suggest anything.
    The only I can suggest is to stay away from your sister as much as possible and never confide in her about personal stuff and don’t trust her, ever.
    Aside from that I would keep a journal about things she does and/or says so you can keep track of the lies or whatever and then maybe you can prove to your mother that she is being manipulated. It is very hard with mothers because they are loyal to their kids, but in your case I imagine she is being loyal to your sister and you are feeling like she isn’t loyal to you at all.
    To try to get your mom to see the truth might be a waste of time, and cause more trouble between you and her.
    Depending how bad things are, whether you live at home or not, and what your sister is doing there are various ways you can deal with it.

    Some times, if the narcissist is extremely vicious the non narc family member has to disassociate with the family because it is just too toxic for them to handle. It is extreme and painful to do but in some cases the other family members are so blind to the narc’s behavior and the narc is making life so difficult for the person they have to for their own mental health and well being.
    Good luck and please keep in touch and let me know how things are going.
    Hugs
    Carrie

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  3. Ewwwwww. Looks just like the one I killed today as it crept by my foot. I work from home and was minding my own business when he moseyed over. I wish I didn’t have to kill him, but I almost went into instant panic attack mode. I immediately made an anti-spider spray with some peppermint essential oil and vinegar…hope it works.

    Still have the heebie jeebies!

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  4. Kim, you are so brave and kind to spiders, peppermint, at least if he dies he goes smelling good. does peppermint and vinegar keep spiders away? I will wash my whole house in it if it will keep the spiders out! The picture isn’t exactly what this guy looked like, mine was MUCH bigger and blacker, in fact the more I think about it the bigger it gets!
    It was the next night at 9:30 one of my neighbors sons knocked on my door. I pulled him inside so fast he didn’t have time to take his shoes off. I told him, you are not leaving until you find that spider. Then i gave him a Mikes Lemonaid and said “No rush of course, have a drink”.
    He found it behind the couch, it was still alive, but barely, I kinda had a moment of guilt because he probably suffered but I have given up guilt, especially when dealing with my ex and spiders.
    I called my mom and told her and she said “Oh yeah we used to get those Wolf Spiders in the house when you were a kid, I used to find them under my pillow when I went to bed.” I was like “WHAT!, under your pillow??” thanks for that mom. Now I am paranoid to go to bed. LOL

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