I’m at The Electrician’s house, growling at the keyboard on his laptop: I miss my MacBook: stupid PC keyboard. I really should have just packed it, weight of my luggage be damned. Anyway, this is a post about everyone’s favorite dumb cat.
Saturday night I was a sassy package of Martha Stewart, Betty Crocker, and that woman from How Clean is Your House? all rolled into one, but with better hair. I cooked. I cleaned. I did laundry. I wrote a blog post about it. About bedtime, well really about two hours past when I should have been in bed, but the kitchen demanded more of me, I decided to feed Leroy a little extra so he wouldn’t wake me at 6:30 in the morning by pawing at my bedroom door. He never uses his claws, just whisks the pink pads of his paws against the door until someone wakes up. It’s really annoying.
Normally, when I toss a little food onto Leroy’s plate, he comes racing into the back bedroom where all his kitty luxuries are housed. I thought it was strange that Leroy ignored the pitter patter of little kibbles. Since Leroy is the equivalent of Paris Hilton –all looks, zero brains, the whole world served to him on a platter, except Leroy is a natural blonde– I didn’t get too worried when he didn’t immediately appear.
I started running my bathwater, fully expecting Leroy to appear, purring and winding himself against my ankles, for the ritual in which I bob in the bath with a book and he sits on the edge, purring away, with the tip of his tail dunked in the water because he’s too slow to know any better. Still, no cat. This was the point when I started to get worried.
I went downstairs, where Leroy is not allowed to go but manages to Houdini into now and again, and checked the laundry room. I looked in the basement spare room, including under the futon, thinking perhaps Leroy was jealous of Sherman’s recently acquired treadmill and wanted to see what all the fuss was about: he is mildly sensitive about his pouchy tummy, after all. Then I killed two spiders, which ensured all our survival for the time being. Leroy was not in the basement.
Upstairs, I looked in all the kitchen cupboards (Leroy loves my potato bin, after all) and under the art deco cabinet next to the fridge that he somehow manages to squeak under and get himself stuck. See previous notes about Leroy’s intelligence. I called and called him, and there was no response. With a fellow like Leroy, calling him even a little garners an immediate streak of hair, ears, and tail, with the familiar “brrrrrrptt” he makes when he’s headed somewhere in a hurry. By this point, I was getting really concerned about Leroy. Where could he possibly be?
I looked under, in, and behind all the furniture in the main floor of the dollhouse, including my bedroom where Leroy is not allowed to be. I kept calling him nicely, even though panic stalked me just a few steps behind. There was no sign of my cat.
I put on my flip flops, searched the back yard and checked in the garage, thinking perhaps Leroy managed the only covert maneuver of his life and snuck through when my tenant went out for the evening. Both spots were feline free.
Then I panicked, and checked everywhere I’d already been all over again. This time, I plead with the cat, making promises I knew I’d never keep (hey, I was feeling desperate).
“Leroy, where are you Leroy? Momma grilled you a side of wild Atlantic salmon with a lemon thyme glaze. Come on out and eat before it gets cold.”
“Leroy baby? Italian Vogue is here for your photoshoot. They’d like to shoot you by candle light to bring out those baby blues. The director assures me they can add your testicles back in with the magic of photoshop.”
“Oh Leroy, come see me, baby. I’m wearing a black cashmere sweater, and matching pants, and I need you to come snuggle on my lap and shed all over this cozy new outfit. Please? I also have a new sardine perfume.”
Whatever I tried, obviously the
stupid poor cat was no where to be found in the house, and it was clear he had headed for adventure outside. If Leroy ever gets outside and cannot immediately find his way in again, his lack of orienteering experience and dealing with the “big” world puts him at a serious disadvantage. A million horrible thoughts ran through my mind. What if Leroy ran into the street and was flattened by a pickup truck? What if he went with a friendly stranger who offered him a cuddle (a very real possibility). I was sick when I realized he wasn’t wearing his collar, since Sherman has removed it every time they play, which is about seven times a day, and we just started leaving it off since he stays inside anyway. I thought about him as a tiny kitten, and recalled how I aplauded and sang “We Are the Champions,” complete with improvised electric guitar sounds, the first time he pooped in the litter box. My mind went back to the time I paid the emergency vet eleven hundred dollars to save Leroy’s life. I love the cat, I really do.
There was a moment when my frantic brain started thinking about who would give the eulogy if this was the end of Leroy.
I checked the backyard again. I also looked for him out front, dreading a glance at the road where he could be squashed. Nothing at all. That was the moment I had to put on my big girl panties. I talked sense to myself as best I could, and informed me that if Leroy was outside, hopefully he was hiding somewhere and would stay there until morning. I also realized that I was outside in a t-shirt, pyjama bottoms, and flip flops, and it was just barely above freezing. Clearly, the sane thing to was warm up in the hot bath I’d run for myself, go to bed, and get up early when it was light outside and searching the neighbourhood could actually be fruitful.
Heavy with worry, I went to get in my bath and realized I had no towel. I went back into my bedroom, where I keep the towels in one of the giants drawers that pulls out from under my IKEA bed. When I pulled the drawer out to grab a fresh towel, which I’d washed and folded earlier in the evening, there was Leroy, curled up and napping on my clean towels.
He lifted his head as if to say, “Do you mind? I was in the middle of a really good dream about chicken.”
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