We both woke up bleary. My first night at home wearing a BiPap mask for my sleep apnea wasn’t terrible, but I woke up four times and had trouble getting back to sleep. Nicole was pestered by Tux, who can be a night-tyrant, as well as a few cat-scrambles by the others. We trudged through our Friday morning ritual (coffee, meditation, school prep, writing this, breakfast, hauling out the trash and recycling), and she was off. The rest of the morning appeared to be a rather sedate affair for us.
It was not to be.
About 10, I realized that, for several hours, I hadn’t seen one of our cats who is usually a pronounced midmorning presence. At first, I didn’t worry; they famously can tuck themselves away. Maybe she’d escaped outdoors, but she wouldn’t have gone far–I just didn’t see her anywhere on the house perimeter. But by the time Nicole got home, I still hadn’t seen her.
Increasingly concerned, we turned the house inside out, even searching the rafters of our partially finished basement with a flashlight: nothing. Suddenly, Nicole reminded me that she’d left a trash bag open in case I needed to put any remaining junk in there, I remembered that I was very sleepy when I finally tied it up and took it to the curb–had the cat climbed in without my knowledge…and been trash-compacted?
We felt sick to our stomachs; we had indeed looked everywhere in the house thrice, and eliminated every other scenario. Seriously bummed, we skulked around for an hour. In the bathroom, Nicole made one more reflexive check of the cabinet under the sink, which is seldom ever opened or left open. Out she sauntered, like she’d just come out of winter’s hibernation, with a sleepy “What’s up?” look on her mug. She had been compacted–into a tight ball in the back corner of the cabinet, with all the bottles of cleaning chemicals, apparently recharging after a night of mischief.
We screamed in relief, as we had pretty near accepted the fact that we had become unintentional cat murderers, even trying to rationalize it to ourselves by muttering, “It’s not like we are out of cats.”
The rest of the day paled in comparison.
Streaming for Strivers:
Philly-born and -bred, and sallying forth here on multiple instruments.