I got a pet back in November. It was very small. Actually, it adopted me. And it wasn’t a cat.
Let me start over. I don’t have a cat because I’m not allowed to, in this little apartment that I rent. Poor me—my family has had pet cats ever since I was, like, six, and we had dogs before then. I thought about getting a small dog instead, to keep me company—somehow dogs do not present the same problem to the landlords that cats do. But I couldn’t in good conscience get a dog because I’m not around nearly enough to cuddle with such a people-loving animal. A cat wouldn’t care.
My dilemma was solved one November night as I sat typing away at my novel-in-a-month. Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap, I heard… and it wasn’t me! For once I hadn’t started clicking my toes against the floor or snapping my pen onto whatever noisy surface was at hand. The tapping came from the ceiling.
It sounded too close to be the tenant upstairs, so I glanced up, and seeing nothing I returned to my work.
At first I figured the tap-tap-tapping was just some new noise this old house had started to make as the weather got colder. It wasn’t constant. But it was more persistent than the old-house noises usually are, so I looked up again, and noticed a tiny dot bumping up against my ceiling. Aha!
The little bug then started flying in circles around the fluorescent bulb lighting the room. Round and round and round, like it was running as fast as it could while hanging on to the chain on an old playground maypole. I felt like warning it not to skin its knees.
It landed on the lampshade, just for a split second, and I saw it for what it was—a round insect, orangeish with black spots. I call them June bugs. Several years ago, one of the little critters flew a kamikaze mission right into my forehead, smacking me between the eyes during church youth group and thereby disrupting the lesson. This new little bug had apparently decided I need to adopt him as a pet and had taken up residence on my ceilings. What am I, a June bug magnet?
I saw him in the living room regularly and occasionally in my bedroom, hanging upside-down from the ceiling tiles as if watching me go to sleep. I’ve heard of cats watching you sleep, but not bugs.
Then, one day, he landed on my glasses and tried to take a field trip into my hair. I swatted him away. I didn’t frighten him much; he decided to investigate the mirror instead, and hardly noticed when I stuck my camera in his face for a (very blurry and unpresentable) photograph.
He was apparently a tame bug, so I named him Dionysius. Doesn’t that sound cool?
Unfortunately he abandoned me not long after. Such is the life of a June bug. Its interruptions no longer grace my evenings.
Maybe I should get a bird. I hear cockatiels are lovely things.