Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Lightening, Kenya, Alex & the Nose-Hose Holes

A few minutes ago I was sitting here at my computer just beginning the draft of this post when thunder crashed so loudly that I came up from my chair. Simultaneously the electricity flashed off and on. I think the house was hit by lightening. Thank God for lightening rods!

I left my chair and checked around the house to see if any damage had been done. I found none. I also found no Alex and momentarily panicked at the thought that he might be playing outside. Then I realized that it is raining very hard and my water-phobic furball did not go out when I opened the door for him after he got my attention by clawing my thigh.

I searched for Alex, but didn’t find the little fellow until I returned to my desk and found him hiding beneath it, shaking. I have never seen him shake before. So I convinced him to come out from beneath the desk and allow me to pick him up. It took at least fifteen minutes of Alex snuggling in my arms before he calmed down and began purring. At the moment he is beside my chair with his furry body touching my left leg.

When I returned to my computer, I saw the SEVERE WEATHER ALERT warning flashing on the screen. I clicked it and was rewarded with this message:


A second warning stated to expect flash floods this afternoon. Alex and I decided to both remain indoors.

An email from Rimshot reminded that I’ve not written about my Kenyan pastor friend and his family for some time. I don’t know what’s happening with them at the moment, but a week or so ago I received a message another pastor who received a letter regarding them. It seems that when the rioting in Nairobi appeared to be turning into a civil war, my friend’s wife and kids left Kenya for South Africa. He remained in Nairobi with his congregation. All that may have changed by now. I still don’t have email contact with him.

Do you see that gray stuff wrapped around my nose-hose in the above photograph? That’s duct tape, the all purpose repair stuff. Monday Vaughn, the young man who has replaced Tasha since she had her baby, and I spent 45 minutes finding the holes in the nose-hose and wrapping duct tape around them. Those holes came from Alex’s claws and teeth as he chased, attacked, and killed my nose-hose. I don’t know how much oxygen was seeping from the 50 feet of hose before it reached my nose, but once the repairs were made I found myself breathing much, much better.

As for Alex, who has now moved from napping beside my chair to the safety of napping in a corner of the bathroom, I see no way of preventing him from chasing, attacking, and ripping my nose-hose.


  1. I'm glad that you got at least a little information about your friend, and I'm happy to hear that all of your leaks are plugged up.

    What can we do? We develop love for our animals and then we have to accept the things like holes in our nose-hoses that come along with it. Thank God for duct tape!

    I hope that you and Alex stay safe and warm while the storm blows over. Our next little snowstorm is on its way here and the wind is announcing its arrival.

  2. I wonder if anybody ever uses duct tape on ducts anymore?

    I've spent a small fortune on cat toys over the years, but Alice's favorite toys are still rubber bands and little crumpled up balls of paper. I guess we can add rubber tubing to the list of things cats just can't get enough of!

  3. Quite a few years ago during a bad thunderstorm my family were all sitting in our TV room. All of a sudden this huge clap of thunder sounded...the same exact time as a bolt of lightning. To this day I swear it hit right outside of the room we were in. There was even this spot in our neighbor's driveway that looked like it had been hit by something. I don't think I will ever forget that little incident.

  4. Poor Alex! I get very scairt of loud thunder, too. I usually hide under the bed until it's over.

  5. I wonder if there is something like the sour-apple spray they have to keep doggies from chewing up things but made for kitty-cats. Perhaps it's worth a trip to the local pet store?

  6. Duct tape is my favorite tool. Course, all us Okies feel that way.

    My youngest son, Menace (age 2almost), has just discovered that our cat Alley will chase after a string or a straw when he's holding them and running. I love to hear him giggling and see her chasing after him.

    Oooh...I like rimshot's idea of keeping Alex away from the nose hose.

    Glad to hear your breathing better, tho! Did you find the hole by putting the hose in water?

  7. ohh, glad you didn;'t get struck by lightning!.. and poor little Alex.. I bet it did scare him so much.. I'm glad he has calmed down now. He looks so peacful..
    Boy, he did some biting on your nose hose, didn't he?.. Yep...Can't beat ducttape. works ever
    Bunches of hugs...

  8. It speaks great things about his love for you that he will come to you and allow himself to be petted when he's so scared.

  9. your pastor friend will be safe here in SA, long way to travel though, hope he arrives safely!

  10. Lightning can be terribly dangerous, particularly if you are working near electrical equipment. I always turn off my computer and disconnect it from the mains just to be on the safe side. Your cat is adorable. I have a black and white female who sounds very much like Alex. She has a wonderful sixth sense when it comes to weather issues and stands at the back door "watching" the gales that we often get up here in the far North of England (Northumberland) whilst I try in vain to encourage her outside. Cats are certainly the boss in their own home.

    Crystal Jigsaw xx
    p.s. found you via David McMahon.

  11. Isn't it amazing how cats can sleep just about anywhere? I sure as hell wouldn't be comfortable where Alex is!

    Glad to hear you're breathing better. Perhaps a weekly fixing of the nose hole should be on the agenda? hehehe

    My dog used to be terrified of thunder. He would shake, shake and shake some more. I'd have to cuddle a fully grown border collie to get him to stop. Thankfully Cape Town doesn't have many thunder storms!

  12. Duct tape is the Handy Man's best friend. Corky hates storms. She hides under the covers. Cheers!!

  13. How about a spray bottle of water. Every time Alex goes near the nose hose, zap him. That cured my sister's cat of wanting to be on the kitchen table.

  14. CAROL: Thanks. Yes, I love Alex and put up with him, even when he’s hassling me as he is this morning. We made it through the storms, but our warm weather has again disappeared: the temperature now is 33 F.

    THOMAS: Use duct tape on ducts? What a unique idea!
    Alex ignores his cat toys. What he’s into at the moment, besides my nose-hose, is a cardboard box and one of my hats that he somehow knocked off a table and bats around the floor.

    SILVERNEUTROTC: Seeing the results of a lightening strike can be sobering. While at my mother’s house last year a large tree in the yard across from her house was split in two by a lightening strike. I was looking out the window when it happened. I’ll never forget that sight.

  15. DAISY: I’ll pass your words on to your feline friend, Alex. I think he now sees himself as a scaredy cat, which isn’t good for his cat-esteem.

    RIMSHOT: There probably is something like sour-apple spray I could put on the nose-hose. Unfortunately, I think that most of the damage Alex does is with his claws. Unlike dogs, he doesn’t chew on this, he captures them with is paws and then guts them with his claws, as he did with that little mousey a few months ago.

    DAY DREAMER: My oldest son once lived in Oklahoma so I know what you mean about Okies and duct tape.

    Menace has made a great discovery about cat psychology: cats with chase anything that moves and seem to lose interest when it stops moving. I believe that more than one mousey has made good use of that fact.

    We found the holes by running out fingers down the hose and checking each rough spot we found. There were a lot of them, although the hose was cut at all of the rough spots where the furball had grabbed it.

  16. MISSISSIPPI SONGBIRD: I really think the lightening struck the house’s lightening rod, which is of course why the ting exists. Alex doesn’t like loud noises; last New Year’s Eve when the idiots were outside firing guns in the air (which is illegal here in the city) and setting off fire works (also illegal) Alex was terrified.

    BITCHTASM: Alex does like to snuggle when he’s frightened—or cold. It did take me a few minutes to convince him to come out from under the desk and leap into my arms.

    SWEETS: I’m sure safety was a big consideration in sending the family to South Africa, plus that English is spoken there.

  17. CRYSTAL JIGSAW: I’m so glad that you dropped by from David’s blog. I have a great respect for electricity in any form and much prefer being safely in a building equipped with a lightening rod when the thunder comes. Like your cat, Alex has a sense about weather—however, he still thinks that if it is raining outside the front door in may not be raining outside the back door and demands that I open both so that he can check the weather.

    THE DIVINE MISS M: Yeah, Alex can sleep anywhere and in the weirdest positions! The only time that that “anywhere” concerns me is when it happens to be on my face. I have already added “check nose-hose” to my weekly To Do list. I also have an extra 50 feet of hose, just in case. My dog, Muffin, was also terrifed of storms. However, she never wanted to be held or cuddled during a storm; she seemed to be much happier beneath a piece of furniture.

    MATT-MAN: I agree. Unfortunately, I had no duct tape in the house and had to send Vaughn out to buy some. Now I have plenty! I think Alex would hide under the covers like Corky if he was near the bed. Otherwise, for him it is literally the closed port in a storm.

    ENOLA: Yep! Alex hates water and I have 2 spray bottle of it just in case I need to get a point across to the furball. Alex has, however, pushed bottles off of my desk and tables onto the floor when he sees them so I am usually looking for them.

  18. We had a huge thunderstorm with vicious lightening Sunday night, was really weird and a little unnerving since we are still buried under the snow too.
    Big hugs Nick, I am just starting to catch up from our weekend.

  19. THE MAMA BEAR: I find the thunder storm/snow combination to be unsettling, too. It just isn’t supposed to be that way.

  20. Maybe you could coat the nose hose in hot pepper sauce or something. Might discourage his little taste buds...

  21. I would have been scared of the lightening, too. Like Alex I would want someone to hold me. ;)

  22. Duct tape. Don't stay home without it.

    Glad you're breathing better, Nick.

  23. So you solved the mystery of the escaping oxygen! Now, how do you solved the problem of Alex the Hunter?

  24. ` Darn cat! I guess that was bound to happen.... I agree that capsecin might deter the furball's instincts, either that or cat repellent like bitter apple.

    ` Seriously. You guys really ought to move out here. I've lived here three years and there hasn't been a single blizzard nor thunderstorm!

  25. I do hope your pastor friend is okay, Nick. It's not so good in that neck of the woods at the moment.

    That severe storm warnings sounds like our summer storms, we don't get storms in the winter...have cold nights and lovely sunny days instead.

    Obviously, your nose hose is just too much for Alex to resist...not sure what you can do about it, either. Cats will be cats...

    Hope all is well in your world, Nick.

  26. Hi Nick ~~ I hope your friends are safe. And I hope the storm has passed without doing too much damage. I hate
    loud thunder worse than lightning.
    I wish you could get some of our heat we are heading for 2 days of 37 C
    just under 100 F. I am tired of heat, just as you are tired of Winter,
    Take care, Regards, Merle.

  27. My Nan always made us hide in the pantry when there was any thunder & lightning about, so of course I'm like Alex should I be exposed to it, problem is I don't get cuddles, just told not to be so daft!!!
    At least you have had a little news about your friends, I hope it has helped.
    Nick I don't know if it would help, but have you seen the cover you can buy to cover your wires? You can purchase it in long lengths and its very stretchable, also its not expensive, might help!

  28. We had gusts of 80 mph here a few weeks a go.. not much lightening though. As for the hose - maybe you could duct tape it to the walls out of the reach of sharp claws and teeth?

  29. Awww, poor Alex. Nick, I'm so glad he has you as his human. Even if he does randomly attack your nose-hose. ;)


  30. I once was tent camping and a terrible storm came in. We did not see the lightening but there was a ton of rain. We were all gathered around the campfire when it happened. I was looking in the one direction and there was an extreemly loud clap of thunder and the lightning hit at the same time not more than 50 feet away. I was so scared. Of course silly me, I should have want and sat in my car for a while but I didn't. I do not blame Alex for hiding. My parents cat they used to have was a scardy cat and she would dissapear for probably 4 hours after anyone come to visit and left or after the loud noise happened. I think it is just netural. Glad you got the hose repaired. Also glad there is some news about your friend. Hopefully all will be well.

  31. Hey, if you wanna keep Alex from attacking the hose you could always duct tape him to a chair.

    I'M KIDDING! Just kidding! Even though cats are the mortal enemy of us bird-types I would NEVER advocate wrapping one in duct tape! Just a little joke there, Alex, so please don't eat me!

  32. Sill human! If you don’t want me to chase and catch your nose-hosie, then don’t make it shake like a snake and follow you all over our house.

  33. wow, alex shaking - he seems like such a fearless cat most of the time. it is cute though, when you see their vulnerable side ... it just never stays for very long!