So today my role as Bermudian Cat Sitter begins in earnest. My friend is off to Florida, and it’s all on me. I’ve been giving the one cat, Jack Frost, his pills in a trial fashion (and he now hates me and clawed me good last night), and been warned that the other male, Blueberry, will do everything in his power to escape, get on the roof, and go down the chimney (which would be convenient if he survived it, as the chimney empties out into the upstairs bedroom, but I imagine I’m oversimplifying things as my friend looked at me horrified when I suggested as much.)
At any rate, in preparation, I went out the bathroom window last night and staked out the roof.
I’m truly in no mood to be cat wrangling from 20 feet in the air, but I guess I’ll do what I have to do in the performance of my duty. That or I’ll try to lure him down the chimney with some Fancy Feast. It probably depends on my mood…
Speaking of my mood, I am a bit out of it and slightly traumatized. I got up this morning at 5:30am (having gone to sleep at 1:30am. Ouch.), rode to the airport with my friend, and then drove her car back to her house. In Bermuda, driving without a Bermudian license is not only frowned upon, it is wildly illegal and punishable with a huge fine. I’ve been given no less than three lectures on a) the import of not getting caught and b) what, exactly, to say if I’m caught. In other words, she put the scare on me.
And it worked.
That’s probably why – when I realized I’d screwed up and driven into the city of Hamilton instead of around it, and the gas gauge was on E, and I was probably f*cked – that my heart ripped out of my chest, catapulted itself out my throat, and took off in the general direction of the giant cruise ships. Worse, I almost immediately recognized the all-too-familiar-and-wildly-terrifying sound of police sirens. That was roughly the same moment I realized all the mirrors were adjusted wrong because she’s quite a bit shorter than me, and I had no idea where the sirens were coming from. And then the hallucinations and tremors set in.
In the end, it turns out the sirens had nothing to do with me.
And, as I’d watched my friend get lost dozens of times in the exact same manner when I was here last November , I remembered how to get out of town post-haste. Once out of Hamilton, but still nearly out of gas, I tapped into my Spidey sense and almost immediately and semi-miraculously got myself onto the correct road – and all while driving on the left! (Diminish the accomplishment if you must, but it’s s extra-challenging while panicking.) Soon, I was recognizing things and reasonably certain that I was headed back to Southhampton and even did a big grocery store run before the ordeal was over. I didn’t fill the gas tank. I figured I’d save that harrowing adventure for another day – a little something to look forward to.
Lastly, in the interest of your edification and education, let’s talk about the white roof. This won’t change your life, but it is mildly interesting: as it so happens, Bermuda does not have a single source of fresh water. It’s all rain, baby.
And the limestone roof is how they collect it. By law, every home must collect 80 percent of the water that falls on its roof and store it in a cistern beneath the house. And supposedly “there’s no acid rain here” and it’s good, clean, water and they drink it as it falls from the sky and despite the fact that the roof looked a little dirty to me.
However, at the moment – despite a wet and brutal winter – the cistern at my friend’s place has run dry and we’re using an insipid, chlorinated substitute that’s been delivered, and which I can only assume has been collected at some huge facility owned by an enterprising individual who had the good sense to stock up during a wetter time, which – thankfully for my trip – now is not. And despite the fact that every day Weather.com reports ‘scattered t-showers,’ I have only heard a little bit of rain a few nights ago…which is fine by me. I don’t like rain on my paradisiacal beaches, and I can take some chlorine in my water. I used to be a lifeguard. I’ve ingested worse.