The Stuff of Nightmares

I got home late last night and dumped my stuff in the hall. I had been following the Blackhawks’ Game 7 via Twitter and wanted to watch the final period live. As usual, I walked through the mostly dark house to grab some water in the kitchen.

When I walked back through the dining room (the center of my main floor – you have to walk through it to get to any other room), I finally turned on the light. And then I saw the cat puke.

It wasn’t a huge deal, as the cat does occasionally hairball, especially as she sheds her winter coat. And she has a knack for doing so on the dining room rug, just inches from the much-easier-to-clean hardwood.

I grabbed a couple paper towels and the pet stain spray, knelt down, and recoiled in horror.

There were scores – nay, HUNDREDS – of ants crawling in the puke pile. Beyond the pile, the conga line of ants extended at least 3 or 4 feet into my home office.

I had seen a couple scout ants over the weekend and made a mental note to put down traps and shake some of the powder outside, if it ever stops raining. (I’ve been down this road before.) But this meant war.

I corralled the cat and locked her safely into the upstairs portion of the house. Then I went to work, killing the conga line mid-step and scrubbing away all the evidence. I sprayed a bit between the back door and its storm door, and as soon as it stops raining and dries out, I’ll go hunt for a hill in the backyard.

But when I laid down to sleep, I kept picturing the swarm, pulsing and undulating across my dining room. Shudder. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.

This morning, there was no evidence of the ants. I’m pretty good about keeping food wrapped up, and they seem to mostly ignore the cat food. Hopefully with some vigilance and the right outdoor chemicals, there won’t be a repeat.

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