In Which I Host a Cat 5 Purricane

We had a hurricane. It was complicated. 

About 2 weeks before, an online friend wondered why no newsy person was reporting on the system way out in the ocean making its way to the Caribbean. I’m always the one that is surprised by things. I’m a terrible planner. I’ve stopped planning because life is going to have its way no matter what you plan. Any time I’ve planned things, I’ve had to unplan them. My unplannyness has reached a sublevel called NotPayingAttention. Some people call this MyGiveADamnIsBroken. 

So there I am NotGivingADamn, when I realize I should be paying attention. Even Sugar’s SuperHurricaneRadarSystem has not alerted me to the system. 

We start talking about GivingADamn, and realize that something very big is blowing our way. Hatches must be battened, because we are not planning on evacuation even though it’s mandatory in some areas. 

I live at the Swamped! Plantation and Cat Colony, but I have a house that I rent out. Oddly enough, I have no renters, and I sort out a mini-plan to relocate the less feral cats to the house, along with myself and Mr. Packett. The last renters had left some damage, so I had the electricity turned on so that Sir Richard of Garnett could make the repairs. I had a supply of water, and candles, and foodstuffs in case the power went out. Basically I wasn’t worried. 

You might notice that it has been almost 3 months since I have blogged. Things have been complicated, and depressing. 

Whatever. There is a hurricane coming. It’s supposed to brush the coast, but who is to say that it won’t hit us straight on…

I wrangle 5 of the cats that I think can get along indoors together. Mr. Butter started climbing the walls immediately. I’m not being figurative. He.climbed.the.walls, and I took him back to the plantation. At this point, there are possibly 15 cats colonizing the Plantation. Five didn’t seem like very many to relocate, but I had to weigh out who could get along, who could tolerate being indoors for an undetermined amount of time, and who could even be handled. 

The first night, as the hurricane grew closer, I kept the cell phone charged and tried to get comfortable on a camp cot. 

Counter-clockwise from the left: Mr. Friendly, Bugsy, Georgia, Sylvia, and Jackie the One-Eyed Jack.

I congratulated myself on watching the approaching storm and making screenshots. See? It shouldn’t be a problem at all. Here we are at 12:32AM. 

Then later at 5:14AM…

If this thing doesn’t turn, it’s coming right over the top of my house. 

I could hear the rain and the wind and an occasional thump, and I waited for a tree to come through the roof. Except there weren’t any trees between the front of the house and the storm. But what if…  

It was clear I didn’t know how these things worked. 

The power went off right about here, but the iPhone was charged. 

Before the power went out, I checked on the hurricane potty. 

The cats thought every time I went into their quarters, they were supposed to be fed. 

Sugar and I talked several times on the phone. He lost power, too, and we decided the storm was definitely over. I determined to get out of the house and head over his way. 

Totally bad and dangerous idea. Trees down everywhere. Power lines down. High water everywhere. Yet I think it is a good idea to drive and record at the same time, because I am Not going to miss an opportunity to record history. 

It usually takes about 10 minutes to get across town from my house to Sugar’s, which accounts for a span of about 4-5 miles. On this day, every way I went was blocked by trees and power lines, and I would have to reroute. Sugar started calling me on the phone to find out where I was and when was I going to get there. After the 3rd call, I was seriously about to lose my mind with him. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be able to get there, and I sure as hell didn’t know when. 

One of the main thoroughfares in a swampy area.

Sugar and I try to get to the Cat Swamp, and were finally able to detour our way there. 

A stress fracture on one of my big pines at the plantation.

Some of my trees in the woods had fallen across the road, and some local folks had hacked off enough branches to be able to drive out. The lot across the road is completely underwater.

Even today, as you’re driving along, you can see many trees down in the swampy areas. Hardwoods uproot; softwoods snap. 

No cats were harmed in the making of this hurricane. Living through the aftermath was worse than living through the storm. All the bridges to the islands had to be tested for strength and safety before evacuees were allowed to return. 

After about a day, we attempt to shop locally. It appeared that the grocery store didn’t have a generator. No eggs, milk, cheese, meat, fruits, or vegetables. Certainly no frozen goods like ice cream, or even ice, which is needed by folks without power who might need to keep foods and medicines refrigerated. And beer. 

I’m used to living pretty lean, so this wasn’t really a hardship for me. I only lost power for about a day and a half, the temperature wasn’t too hot or too cold, and the roads were being cleared. 

Wendy from Wendy’s enjoys her canned food.

But the hurricane​ shenanigans didn’t end here. Look up “stormwater mosquitoes”. 
Hurricanes. Done with them until next year. 

6 Responses to “In Which I Host a Cat 5 Purricane”

  1. Luanne @ TFK Says:

    Oh wow, Ruth. I had no idea! So glad you and the cats were all fine. I had to laugh about them thinking every time you went in by them they would be fed. They learn quick!


    • Ruth Rawls Says:

      I seriously could not write since the hurricane. I couldn’t decide on a title, much less write about it. I am a GrumpyPants.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Luanne @ TFK Says:

        Yeah, I can understand why. It sounds horrible. You must have been so worried about all those cats!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ruth Rawls Says:

          I wasn’t worried about the outdoor cats. They are clever free range critters who had the freedom to survive. They weren’t trapped in an enclosure or a shelter, and nothing fell in on them. I had a feeding station set up inside the shed, plus I left the RV open so they had choices of where to go. There were so many bad stories afterward, and being declared a state of disaster is sobering. Some people still can’t get back in their houses until repairs are made, and some dwellings were destroyed. People that evacuated were terrified of what they would find when they returned.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Audrey Bateson Says:

    Glad you are writing Again! You definitely have a way with words. Glad your cats were all ok!

    Liked by 1 person

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