Jeff and I drank coffee Sunday morning. Lily White, the black Lab, lounged by the sliding door.
”Meowwww,” said a cat somewhere. Lily barked and pawed the door to go outside. In she came, a moment later, her search discontinued.
“Meowwwww…” we heard from the front of the house. Lily barked. So did Jeff.
“Is there a cat in this house?”
This surprised me that he’d heard anything at all, because he often doesn’t.
“Nooooooooooo. It’s outside the front. I’ll check.”
But cats scat fast. We resumed coffee and reading.
Sunday was one of those “get stuff done and finish tired” days. Jeff left for work and onto the duck camp.
7:30 p.m.: “Meowwwww.”
“Holy baldy! There IS a cat in this house!” How’s this even possible with an 85 pound hound in residence? Okay, she’s old. Her patrol isn’t what it was, but when the pizza guy comes, Lily goes bananas. I frantically searched the house.
There, staring at me, all comfy-like on the basement barstool, was the neighbor’s cat. I’m not sure who hissed first. Since this house was built (‘71), there’s NEVER been a cat served at this bar before.
It ran for safety, right under the back bedroom bed. I broom-poked it. It didn’t budge. Reality check: this cat had been in this house since morning. No, wait! It was yesterday. It all returned…
4:00 p.m.: Saturday, after work and errands, I threw the slider open for Lily. I changed into walking clothes. Being a nice day, I left the slider open. BIG mistake. Apparently, the cat entered.
I recognized the this cat and looked across the street to the neighbors. They weren’t home I phoned a friend, Michele. She has cats.
“HELP! I can’t get a cat out of my house!”
“Not funny. What can I do?
“Do you have any cat food?” Michele asked.
“Now, why in the hell would I have cat food? What about dog food?”
“Yes! We have tuna.”
I served the tuna bowl, hoping to coax the cat out from the bed.
“How’s your day?” Jeff texted.
“Great, but got a cat in the house!”
“GET THAT DUCKING CAT OUT OF THE HOUSE!”
It was almost funny he’d hit “d” instead of “f”. Almost.
“Figure out where it pooped and peed!”
I texted the neighbors, who were minutes away. Soon, Sara (not her real name) raced over and on her pregnant belly, peered under the bed. I couldn’t recall if baby bellies should do this maneuver.
“C’mere Ryan! C’mon Buddy.” She kissed the air, coaxing the cat. “He’s probably scared,” she said. So was I, of ensuing messes.
Finally, Ryan crawled out and into her arms. She apologized profusely, ran Ryan home, then returned to help search for his deposits.
“Nice watchdogging!” I growled at Lily.
“Are you allergic to cats?” Sara asked.
“No, we’re just not cat people.”
(Don’t judge us; we won’t judge you.) We discussed that they try keeping Ryan closer to home and off our deck, which drives Lily nuts. Through all of this, I remain puzzled as to why people own cats, only to let them run amok 24/7. As I said, I’m a dog people, but I’m open to explanation.
No nuggets or puddles were discovered while searching. Still, we’d launder all bedding. She offered to have carpets cleaned. This helped; a CRNA student (nurse anesthetist) was moving into the bedroom for a five-week rotation.
Soon, bedding and carpets were restored to clean…just in case. Abby, our student, arrived the following Sunday.
Upon entering, she asked, “Is that your cat out there?” He’s baaaack.
Worn out from a week of cleaning, straightening and searching, I started and couldn’t stop laughing long enough to tell Abby the story.
In an ironic event, for Halloween, our work staff decorated yellow tee-shirts with favorite emojis. I helped a co-worker, who was busy studying.
“Which emoji do you want me to make?”
“The grinning cat!” She said.
But, of course. And I did- make it. And it was – grinning. And the slider will stay shut, because that’s what ducking screen doors are for. I hope your Halloween was as happy as the grinning cat emoji! Bw