And I didn’t like it – not one bit. Nor, for that matter, did my cat.
I felt the earth move around 3:40 pm on Easter Sunday, an hour or so before my friend arrived for her holiday meal. I had just placed my Kentucky Butter Rum Cake in the oven and was lying flat on my back when it happened. My feet were aching, my fibromyalgia was flaring, and I was trying to stretch out my muscles on our ottoman and gather my thoughts before the big event.
I was staring at the ceiling when all of a sudden, I felt the earth roll, the ceiling ripple, and a wave of nausea wash over me. I felt dizzy and motion sick all at once – that sensation you feel when, without warning, the room spins, you are caught off balance, and you feel yourself swoon.
“Did you feel that?” I said to my husband, who was standing nearby in the kitchen.
“Feel what?” asked my ever alert and always vigalent loved one.
“Feel the movement” I said. “I think we are having an earthquake.”
He pondered this for a moment. He stopped what he was doing – listened – and did his best to determine if he felt any indications of the ground moving or anything else I had described. And then, the survivor of one of the most devastating earthquakes in California history, made the following pronouncement:
“I don’t feel a thing.”
But – a moment later – it happened again. I felt the earth roll. I saw the ceiling shift. I felt another wave of naseau hit me. So, in an attempt to determine whether something was terribly wrong with the earth or terribly wrong with me – I turned to the one other source I could always count on for accurate seismic readings.
I turned to Tsunami, our resident seismologist, to get his take on the situation. And, his face and body language said it all.
When Tsunami first came to live with us, he was the most self-assured kitten we had ever seen. He quickly earned the nickname “The Little Prince” because he always pranced around his kingdom with his tail held high, exuding an air of entitlement. He ruled his world. Nothing fazed that kitten. Nothing, that was, until he experienced his first earthquake.
It was a 4.8 or so – I don’t remember, numbers are not my thing – but it was strong enough to shake the walls and send things flying off my shelves – including a few of my irreplaceable crystals.
Everything changed for Tsunami that day. For the first time, he realized that he wasn’t as in control of his kingdom as he thought. For the first time, he asked himself, what does one do when your whole world is being rocked and there is no place safe to go?
On that day, I saw Armegeddon in Tsunami’s eyes.
So, when I turned to Tsunami to get his take on the current situation, the look of terror in his wide eyes – followed by a few tentative steps to the right, then a few tentative steps to the left, then one panicked bolt down the hall – confirmed for me what my husband could not. We were, indeed, in the midst of an earthquake.
It did not matter that Legend was sitting rather calmly beside me, seemingly unaffected by the events that Tsunami and I were experiencing, focusing instead on how he could get mom to play his favorite chase game. It did not matter that when I asked our dinner guest about it hours later, she was as clueless about what happened as my dear husband. Tsunami and I knew what we experienced and we trusted our instincts.
So, imagine my husband and friend’s surprise when the news confirmed that an earthquake – a major one – had struck one country and rocked another. A 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck the Mexican-California border Easter afternoon and was so powerful that 20 million people (and a countless number of cats) throughout the Southwestern United States experienced it. People in Mexico, Southern California, Arizona, and Nevada felt the initial quake. People in the region are still experiencing the aftermath. So far, over 100 aftershocks have been recorded. Several deaths and hundreds of injuries in Mexico have been reported. Damage reports are high in the Mexican city of Mexicali and the US city of Calexico.
For those of you who have never experienced an earthquake – be glad. For those of you who live in an earthquake zone – be prepared. Here are a few resources that might one day help safeguard you and your family against this terrible disaster:
FEMA: Are You Ready? Earthquakes
Los Angeles Fire Department Emergency Procedures
Medicine Net’s Earthquake Supplies Kit And Emergency Preparedness
Please remember all of the recent earthquake survivors in your prayers!