Return of the Black Cat


The black cat was gone. Maybe she had run away. Maybe she had hid. Maybe she thought she could stir up a better deal. But she was gone, and I was worried sick.

Later we found her crunched up behind the living room drapes whose lengthy hem I had so artfully puddled on the floor.

“We need to close her up in an area until I can make friends,” I said.

My husband John rolled his eyes.  I sensed I was on my own in this endeavor.

I fixed her water, food, and litter box in the hall bathroom.  Then I attempted  friendship bonding, which did not work. The Kubota lady didn’t tell me until later that putting them in the carrier was the first time she had ever touched them.  This grown cat was mortified.

For two days I tried frequently to bond.  The cat was in some degree of shock and not having it.

On Saturday morning I snuck into the bathroom.  No cat.

I quietly opened the office door.

“John, can I bother you just a sec?”

He stared at me.  “What.” A statement.  Not even an eyebrow arch of interest.

“The cat isn’t in the bathroom.”

He didn’t believe me.  But I could tell he didn’t care.

“I think it’s in the wall.”

“What?” I could tell I had piqued his interest.  He could see the future in an instance.

“That new cat is in the wall,”I stated.

“How in the ____(but he stopped himself before he spat out a profanity) can that____(almost another profanity) cat be in the ____(another almost) wall!”

“There’s about three inches under the lavatory where the stupid builder didn’t put tile all the way up.  Actually I’ve never even noticed it myself,” I chatted.  “Ha ha, you can tell how often I clean the tile under the sink.” But I could tell my light jesting was wasted.  He flew right past me down the hall and had his hands stuck in the gap before I could get in the bathroom.

“How in the hell (no shrinking from profanity now) am I supposed to get this friggin cat out of the damn wall?  I”m not knocking out the tile.”

“Well,” still in my chatty voice, “I’m sure you would’ve thought of this in just a sec; we could cut out the wall in the closet.  Would you like for me to get you the saw?” By the way I’m taking her back to the Kubota lady as soon as you get her out.  Where would I look for the saw?”

When I returned to the hallway, he looked just like a dog digging a grave, his rearend was sticking up in the air as he flung coats, hangers, maps, the United States flag, an ironing board, and vacuum cleaner into the hallway.  His voice was muffled under all the coats and stuff, but I think I understood him to mutter, ” I don’t know how she can get so much junk stuffed in here.  Every closet in this house is this way.  I can’t even hang my coats in here.”

I whispered behind his ear, “I Iove you,” and in my sultriest voice, “Here’s the saw.”

Once we returned the cat, he immediately blocked up the holes on both sides of the wall.

A year later I walked into the office and announced,  “I’m getting a couple of cats, well, kittens from the shelter.” I turned on my heels and exited before that “What the hell …” look could be verbalized.

“How do you love me, let me count…”



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