We are just fine, thanks for asking.
The wave of thunderstorms, or "supercells" as the weather people like to call them, made for a pretty intense afternoon in the DFW area yesterday. Usually, tornado watches and warnings are short and sweet; by the time I chase down the cats, it's over, and I'm left with a lot of wasted effort and two very pissed off felines. This time, Mother Nature decided to stay and visit awhile.
I had lunch with a friend and got home about 2:30. The sirens had been going off and it was looking menacing. This is a common enough event in our neck of the woods and nothing ever comes of the theatrics, but my neighbor, having recently moved to Texas from Utah, didn't know this. She came flying out of her house when she saw me pull in the driveway, baby in one hand, dragging her toddler with the other. She asked if she should go pick up her other kids at school. I said no, they were safer there. Then she wanted to know where was the best place to take cover. Ironically, the best place to take cover in a tornado is in a basement, but they don't build basements around here, so unless you are willing to shell out a lot of money for an in-ground storm shelter, an interior bathroom is the best place to be. Unfortunately, she had neither. So I told her I would leave the garage door open and if she got nervous, she was welcome to bring the kids and we'd all hunker down in my bathroom. It would be a tight fit, but back in college, I survived an eight hour car ride from College Station to Lubbock in an old VW bug with two male friends who farted the entire time. Riding out a storm in a bathroom with six other people and two cats would be a piece of cake by comparison.
Phoebe, who is dumb as soup, is easy to pick off and she was the first to be confined. Penny knew something was up and, being the more skittish of the two, it took a good five minutes of feinting and wheedling before I was able to grab her by the scruff. The poor cats remained confined for the better part of two hours until I deemed a personal "all clear" and let them out. I enclosed them in the shower, having learned from past experience that just shutting them up in the bathroom doesn't work; they will turn into hairy Houdinis if you open the door so much as a crack. When I finally let them out, I noticed that one of them, probably Penny, had managed to lift the small metal grate over the shower drain and push it aside. I have a feeling if I had been a few minutes later, one of them, again probably Penny, would have been tunneling her way to China through that drain opening.
I turned the news on in time to see footage of 18-wheelers flying through the air, hail as big as baseballs, whole neighborhoods shredded. All this hell breaking loose around me, and it was just as calm as it could be where I was. And I do mean CALM. Not even a breeze to stir the leaves on the trees. Even when it started raining buckets, it stayed calm. If it wasn't for the news, I would have thought it was just a spring shower, the kind that April is so famous for.
My husband texted to say he and his co-workers were huddled in the stairwell; three times they were evac'ed to the stairs. My older son, bless his heart, was in the middle of a job interview, which is nerve-wracking enough, when he had to take refuge in a stairwell. Of all of us, he was the closest to an actual tornado. He said he thought his interview went well despite the interruption, and joked that maybe they will give him points for showing grace under pressure. (Update: he got the job!)
Other than a thorough soaking, something we needed anyway, we were spared that other stuff. Phoebe has forgiven me, probably because she's forgotten all about it, poor simple-minded cat. But Penny...well...just take a gander at the photo below. I am obviously numero uno on her enemies list. Believe me, it is not easy typing this while she perches just above my head staring at me with those laser eyes and plotting my messy demise.
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