Sunday, February 18, 2007

Besieged and Beleaguered my own home, by strange events last August. Here's what I wrote about it at the time:

We never know what hazards await us when we step out of doors. The simplest, quickest little errand can lead to unimaginable hazards. Say, for example, taking out the trash after dinner.

Usually, we keep our big trash can in the garage, but on Saturday night, it happened to be outside in front by our garage. Alan took our kitchen trash out in the front. A purely innocent errand that put him in the path of the perilous and shadowy creature that would change the course of our near future.

I mean, of course a smoky, streaky black and gray ball of fluffy cuteness typically referred to as a persian cat.

Cats are usually very harmless creatures, but they have the rather disasterous effect of weakening both the heart and the spine my husband and me. Alan discovered the cat was a friendly one, and called me out to make its aquaintance. When I opened the door, the cat ran inside, which meant we had to catch it, and I ultimately picked it up. Now we were both ensnared. The cat was adorable. It would, in the friendliest cat fashion, allow us to pet it, talk to it, and even pick it up. When I held it in my arms, it would actually wiggle and maneuver itself into a comfy position, an extreme to which many cats never go, so that it could be nuzzled and cuddled as much as possible. I was hooked. Assuming the cat was on its way home somewhere, despite the fact that it was quite thin, we walked down to the end of our driveway, told it goodbye, set it down and expected it to be on its merry way.

But cats, as we all know have a will entirely their own.

This cat trotted happily back up the driveway to our front door. When we didn't follow, it trotted partway back, and looked at us as if to say, "What's the holdup? It's time to go in our house now!"

"But you don't live here."

"I do now."

"We'll give you a BATH," we warned it.

The cat ignored this and wrapped itself around my legs.

We figured we could go inside and it would get the idea.


The cat sat outside our door crying loudly enough to wake the California...for an hour and a half.

We wondered if it was hungry. We hadn't dared to feed it yet, because it was already getting ideas, and we knew that if you feed a cat it's like, well, giving a mouse a cookie: to do so would set a chain reaction in motion that would lead the cat to want more. Like, maybe to take up permanent residence in our house.

But, when the hour and a half of constant yowling had gone by, despite the fact that we had turned off the lights, turned down the TV and tried to look like we weren't at home, we began to grow frantic. The cat was peeking through our front windows, making enough racket for five. We began to want desperately for it to quiet down, whether it went away or not. Out came the can opener and the tuna.

While the cat munched, we turned off all of the lights in the front of the house, and retreated to our bedroom, where we lit only one bedside lamp. We watched our bedroom TV at very low volume, hoping that the now-not-quite-so-hungry furball out front would at least quiet down. We had our wish for about two hours. At around midnight, while we were watching Conan, a familiar voice began to sound outside. Right outside of our bedroom window. The cat had found us. She was alerting us, and probably half of our neighbors, to her presence, and continued to do so until around SIX-THIRTY AM SUNDAY MORNING!!!!!

We went to a later mass that day.

Sunday night, guess who showed up promptly in our window at nine o'clock (right around when we had fed her the night before)?

After some deliberation, we reluctantly decided to feed her again when the volume of her cries reached that of nails being run down about 50 chalkboards simultaneously, and we could no longer handle the pathetic pleas of our famished feline visitor.

It was Salmon on Sunday night. Most cats don't eat that well two nights in a row.

Like we did the night before, we retreated to our bedroom, this time with the lights lower, hoping not to be kept awake by a small, crying being of unimaginable cuteness (Let's save that for when we have kids.)

Listen....Silence! She is satisfied! We can sleep!

Cut to seven AM Monday, when we are roused by a new little furry alarm outside of our bedroom window.

Alan couldn't take it anymore. We had to do something. We were running out of canned fish, and have only one working car at the moment. Not being prepared to take in a stray, and having no clue as to her origins, we reluctantly decided the humane society was the best option.

We put her in a box that Alan prepared, and I kept her company while Alan got ready for work. She was surprisingly calm until we placed her in the car (she is obviously familiar with cars as well as houses) and he dropped her off this morning after a long car ride into the city during rush hour. The, cat of course, voiced her disappointment the entire way.

So ends the saga of the fluffy shadow beast who for two days laid siege to our small fort, and made off with our food and a bit of our hearts. Spoils of war, I guess.

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