So, I had an interesting evening last night. A line of thunderstorms had started moving through our area just before I left for the genre book club I attend once a month at a (the only) local pub. The scene as I drove wasn’t as bad as the image above, but it was a possibility.
As I pulled into the illogically jammed parking area (I resorted to stalking a guy who had just come out of the pub back door, until he fiiiinally got into his car and left), the rain had started, and I was definitely eager to put up my umbrella and make a run for it.
On my way inside, I crossed paths with the librarian (head of the club), who was bringing in stuff from her car; she told me that we’d be meeting in the back (in the actual brewery), as the pub itself was — obviously — rather crammed.
So I made my way through a virtual traffic jam of customers to the brewery.
When the librarian returned with books, she also had a furry guy very similar to this with her:
His name is Zeus, and he’s scared of thunder and lightning (poor boy!), so his human mom didn’t want to leave him home alone right before the storm hit.
MY EVENING OF ADVENTURE WITH A DOG:
Now, despite being a cat whisperer, I have this interesting situation with dogs: Dogs, for whatever reason, love me. It creates awkward moments with Toby, when I come back from an unexpected encounter with a canine and he smells it on me. And sometimes the dogs are just a little too happy to see me for my physically sensitive comfort. (Between the nails, the breath, the panting in your face, and possibly getting licked in your eyeball, a spontaneous intimate visit from a dog is not my autistic opinion of a fantastic experience.)
But Zeus is awesome. He took to me right away, not only letting me pet him but also keep my own space; he also followed my instructions, and didn’t resist when I had his leash.
And I went to rescue him, more than once. He wasn’t in a sit-still-with-head-on-paws mood. He was under the table, visiting the next table over, trying to wander upstairs, trying to go deeper into the brewery, and even running out into the rain. I dove after him, and, yes, got wet, but it was worth it. (He thanked me by staring soulfully into my eyes and panting adorably while I stroked his head.)
See, we were in a space similar to above, and the “loading dock” door (like a huge overhead garage door) was open, so we were discussing books while the thunder rumbled and the lightning streaked in the distance, and the rain pelted down and the wind sometimes tilted it sideways. Poor Zeus did a lot of whining and sticking so close to people that his tail accidentally whapped some legs and backs. All (four) of us readers helped keep an eye on the poor furry lad; it was a small gathering this month, based on the weather, and the fact a lot of people are out of town this time of year.
We had fled to this part of the pub before, when the noise in the general interior got to be too much. It certainly is one of the most unique settings I can picture for a book club meeting. But last night the added element of the enthusiastic storm and Zeus’ presence took the atmosphere to a whole ‘nother level.
AND THEN THERE WAS THE STORY OF THE BAT:
So, while we’re in this environment, the librarian tells us that there was a bat in one of the library restrooms earlier that day.
Yes, a bat. The flying mammal kind. And it was in the toilet.
One of the patrons noticed when she went to wash her hands. This is a kid (yes, it was a teenager) that White Fang knows, and nothing fazes her. So she calmly reported this turn of events to the assistant at the checkout desk, and went back to what she’d been doing.
The assistant went…well, would it be too awful to say “batcrap”?
The librarian had gone to run errands, and after receiving an…important call on her cell, she returned to the library, to find her assistant Googling “bat exterminators.”
Upon investigating the bathroom in question, the librarian found one poor wet bat, wings folded in close, ears drooping. (Yes, this is just how she related it to us. I was torn between feeling so bad for the bat and wanting to laugh hysterically.)
She proceeded to fish the bat out (yes, out of the toilet), and rushed it to the bushes outside. She spread the sodden animal out in the bush, hoping it would dry out and fly away.
(Also, while she was telling us the story, I couldn’t help but think of the time my uncle found a bat in his house, and fashioned a net from items in his garage to catch the bat and then release it. His reasoning behind this approach was, “What would Macgyver do?!”)
The librarian was pleased to report that later, when she checked the bush, there was no sign of a bat, wet or otherwise. (I was also satisfied with that outcome.)
Eventually, having chosen our books for next month, we all bid good night to Zeus (and the librarian, of course).
The rain had abated for my drive home.
And, yes, Toby was somewhat miffed when he smelled grateful dog on me.
He got over it.