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Chapter Nine: August 13, 2007: The Pest Control NIGHTMARE!

I've just lived out the most horrendous experience of my three years in Las Vegas...the Pest Control NIGHTMARE!

It started when I found a note tacked to my door, dated August 7th, but delivered the afternoon of the 8th; on August 10th, Pest Control was coming to my apartment building, to 'clear out the infestation' (I had no idea I was living amid an infestation of anything, except maybe poor taste in music, but, hey, if the landlord was concerned, that was good enough for me). All my cabinets had to be emptied, and approximately 12" of space had to be maintained, for the spraying. I followed the instructions, and planned to be home on the 10th, until I had to leave for work, at 4:30pm.

I waited...and waited...and waited, but nobody showed up, so I left for work...and found ANOTHER note on my door.

It read:


"Pest Control will be doing a mandatory chemical sweep of all apartments on August 13th.

A 12" space MUST be mantained between the walls and any furniture. All clothing must be moved to the center of rooms; all wall hangings (pictures, photos, etc.) MUST BE TAKEN DOWN.

All cabinets and closets MUST be EMPTIED. All personal property and food must be bagged, to prevent contamination.

The chemicals used will be potentially LETHAL to small animals; arrange to remove them, or place them on balconies, for a minimum of three hours, after the gas is released.

Failure to comply with these instructions, or to refuse to allow Pest Control to enter your apartment, WILL result in a $500 fine. "

I was totally freaked. I was scheduled to work the 11th, and 12th, with no one available to cover my shifts, so how was I supposed to move bookcases, DVD cabinets, TV centers, my bed, chester drawers, EVERYTHING away from the walls? And what about my family? Pi had only been away from the apartment once, when she was groomed, and Kit, twice, when he was 'fixed', and when he fell off the balcony...Gray had never been been further than my balcony since I brought him and Pi home from the shelter...and nobody would take them for a day, on such short notice, even if I could drag them out! I felt really sick...and I didn't have the $500, either...

Fortunately, my boss' son, Harrison, offered to move everything, for $80, on the night of the 12th. Gratefully, I accepted, and resolved I'd sit on the balcony with my cats, for the three or four hours.

When I got home from work, at 1:30am, the 13th, I was astonished by how much Harrison had accomplished! He'd missed the closets, but virtually everything else was done! I started to breathe easier...maybe everything would work out!

After three hours of sleep, I went to work, emptying the closets, and bagging food that was normally left out. I put a food bowl and water dish on the balcony, but quickly removed them, as they drew ants!

At 9:30, a maintenance guy knocked, and quickly inspected my apartment; he said everything looked fine, but to bag up my glasses, plates, and silverware. "Pest Control will be here in an hour," he said.

I followed his instructions, and waited. Pi, my calico, was being a little angel, staying close by my side; Gray and Kit were napping, between the back of the sofa, and the sofa cover. I was tired, too, but I figured, at least the three-hour wait outside would be up, before the heat of the day REALLY hit!

So I waited...and waited...and waited.

At 5pm, the temperature outside was a brutal 108...and THEN Pest Control arrived!

There were three of them; an older man, obviously the boss; a younger guy, with an attitude, his son; and a Mexican, wearing a mask, and carrying cannisters of the poison.

The young guy took a glance at my apartment, and announced, "You're not ready."

"WHAT?" I said, stunned. "I've done everything posted in the bulletin!"

"The counters must be completely empty. You gotta move everything."


"On the floor, I don't care...but those F*****G counters have to be cleared off!"

The trio stepped out, and I frantically moved everything to the kitchen floor, finishing as they returned.

"You CAN'T put the stuff on the kitchen floor!" the young guy snapped. I reminded him that was what he told me...he shook his head, and snapped, "You gotta move everything someplace else!"

Groaning, I started to move everything again...then the young guy 'helped', tossing things out of the kitchen, and onto the dining room floor.

Then he said I had to get my cats out.

When the three loud, clumsy guys had entered the apartment, all three cats crawled deeper into their 'hiding spots', and, with the temperature so high, I knew getting them outside wasn't going to be easy! Calling and coaxing them, sweet Pi came out, and sat next to the balcony door. Kit clamped his claws into the sofa, however, and Gray, who lacked front claws, wedged himself between the sofa and floor! I began, desperately, to try and pry Kit loose, and begged the three men to give me a hand...I tapped Gray with my foot, and he ran out, between the men, as they simply watched, then ran back to his hiding place, howling like a child!

"You want me to help?" the young guy said.

"Please!" I begged. He walked over to Pi, who WASN'T trying to elude capture, yanked her high into the air, and THREW her out the door, onto the cement balcony! She hit, hard, then slowly rose, limping and crying! My heart was in my throat, seeing my 'Princess' abused...but the guy's next words truly terrified me. "Get started," he called to the Mexican. "I'm not waiting any longer. If the cats die, it's because YOU didn't have them outside, already!"

"It's 108 degrees, and I had NO idea WHEN you would be here! I couldn't leave them out in the heat all day!"

"That's YOUR problem."

The Mexican turned on the equipment. I cried, "Please! Just give me two more minutes!!! I'll get them out!!!"

"I've given you TEN minutes already!"

After sixty of the worst seconds of my life, he finally spit out, "Shut it all down. I'm finished with you. Pay the F*****G fine!"

They stomped out the door, and I collapsed into a chair, tears rolling down my cheeks...then I called the office, explaining what happened.

The secretary could hear how scared and stressed I was, and promised I wouldn't be fined, as I'd complied with their memo. "I'll send Pest Control back," she said.

Oh, God! I thought. Not again!

Moments later, the older man entered. "Are the cats outside?"

"Only one."

"Don't worry about it. I'll just spray your kitchen. It's not as effective as the gas, but we knew from the start some apartments would not get the gas bombs."

He was finished in five minutes...and I gave him $20, as an apology for all the aggravation I'd caused.

Pi limped back inside, when I called her, and gradually the other cats came out, nervously, from the sofa...and I looked at the shambles of my apartment, realizing it would take days to get everything back to how it had been.

It took two days for Pi to return to her normal, sweet-natured disposition (and lose the limp); even longer for Gray and Kit to calm down...

A truly HORRIBLE experience!

Cats truly ARE magical!

Kitty Capers, Spring, 2008!

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