Oddly enough, the cats are becoming more accustomed to strangers in the house. I don’t understand this. But yesterday, there was no mass run of cats. There was some, but cats like Jackie and Lonee stayed put. The doors were opened, so they could go outside if they liked, but they liked it where they were, thank you very much.
Brian had stressed to the owner, that the front door must remain closed, as the cats are not allowed out front. Both of the guys who showed up knew this (one was the owner). Things seemed to be moving along (well, the darned screen door occasionally doesn’t latch when it closes and it would be pretty easy for a cat to just push its way out) pretty smoothly. The furnace closet is in the entry way, probably four or five feet away from the front door. This door was left open for the work.
Well, one of the guys tells me “one of your cats is in the attic, the spotted one”. A cat? One of my cats? In the attic? A spotted one? One of my cats is spotted? And it’s in the attic? Huh? I go to the furnace closet, look up. Rory? Rory is in the attic? Rory isn’t spotted. (Hey, the mind doesn’t have a set formula for what goes through it.) Okay, Dianne, don’t panic. “RORY!” I call her. I get the flashlight, I look up. She’s gone. Damnit!
I call Brian. Remember, I’m not in panic mode. “RORY IS IN THE ATTIC!” He’s as cool as he usually is. “I can’t come home right now.” But but but….RORY’S IN THE ATTIC!
I go into the garage and get the big ladder. Carry it to the hallway and position it under the attic opening in the hallway. Climb the ladder, move the cover and climb up some more. “Rory?” I look around. See nothing. “Rory?” A flashlight would have been a good idea. I climb back down, move the ladder so that some other cat doesn’t join Rory in the attic.
I call one of my friends. “RORY’S IN THE ATTIC!” She calms me down. We hang up. I go into the kitchen, open a can of people tuna. Start calling “kitty, kitty, kitty”. The cats come running. “No, not you guys, I want Rory. Don’t you know that RORY IS IN THE ATTIC?”
I go back into the hallway, push the ladder over to the opening and climb up there again, put the opened tuna on the edge. I slopped tuna juice all over my hand, ick, feels greasy. I climb down and push the ladder out of the way, go wash my hand, then get the flashlight, move the ladder and climb back up. I go a little higher. “Rory?” I shine the flashlight around. I see her. “Rory, come on sweetie, come to mama, I’ll help you down.” She just gives me that look, you know, the “what? Should I be concerned about something?” look. I think “hey, I should get a picture of this”. I climb back down, move the ladder, grab the camera, turn it on, move the ladder, climb back up it and look around again. She’s gone. Crap. I call her. I see her walking over to me. Forget the picture, get the cat. She comes close enough for me to pet her, I pull her towards me and hold her. I give her a little peck on the back of her neck and set her on the top of the ladder (one of the kind that has steps on both sides). She makes her way down. I get the tuna, camera and flashlight, set it on the top of the ladder and close up the attic opening. I take my tools and climb down the ladder. I put the camera in the office, the flashlight goes back by the front door and I take the tuna outside and start tossing it out of the can for the cats. I take the can with the juice into the kitchen, pour it in a bowl and add water and give it to the cats in the living room.
And then I wash my hands and put the ladder away. And I sit down and start wondering if there was another cat up there.
There wasn’t, I knew there wasn’t, but I wondered about it anyway.
And until the guys were done with the installation, I stood in the hallway watching cats and doors. Rory, having realized that it wasn’t such a bad adventure, none the worse for wear, hung around, too. Waiting for another attic opportunity.
She didn’t get one.