I lost my cat on Saturday night. You know the one.
After our movie finished, The Electrician dropped me off at the dollhouse at about midnight. He still had a trip out to the airport to pick up his brother from a late-night return flight from Cancun, so he smooched me goodnight on the doorstep and drove off into the night. Since I was planning to put my sorry carcass to bed and pass out solidly, I fed Sherman and put him outside, then scooped a little bedtime snack for Leroy so he wouldn’t wake me up at the butt crack of dawn Sunday morning.
Granted, I did think it was strange Leroy didn’t greet me at the door, howling like mad because his late-night meal was overdue. It’s unusual to walk through the door here without tripping over a very needy feline. Considering the time of night and how bleary my eyes were by that point, I didn’t think much of it.
After half an hour of sitting on the couch, during which I was not covered with white and red cat hair, I started to worry. I went back to my office (Leroy’s bedroom) and rattled the kibble on his plate. No cat. I checked under the duvet in my bedroom, which he likes to weasel his way under whenever he can, despite being forbidden to even be in my room, much less in my bedding. No cat. I called for him as loudly as I could without waking up my tenant. No cat.
Leroy lacks basic survival skills. When I could not find him anywhere in the house, I truly started to panic. He’s the kind of guy that would assume an speeding SUV wanted to cuddle, and throw himself unafraid in its path. There is a snarky, snarky dog down the block, and I am certain Leroy would try to befriend her in the moments before his unceremonious disemboweling. He reminds me of a child with special needs who believes everyone is a friend and greets everyone with a hug. It’s a blessing to know someone with such a loving heart. The problem, of course, is that Leroy has zero concept of the fact that people exist who might harm him.
A while back, Leroy went suddenly missing in much the same fashion and I found him hours and hours later, fast asleep in a dresser drawer where I’d put away warm laundry earlier in the night. Remembering his last Houdini move, I checked every drawer and every cupboard in the this place. I even checked my spare bedroom downstairs, where I hadn’t been in two days. Finally, dejected and very seriously concerned Leroy was a goner, I went to bed thinking I had somehow let him sneak out the door when I left for my date. I checked the front and back yards (three times each) and resigned myself to bad news Sunday morning. It was a tense night.
Sherman woke me up with his cold nose at 9:30, a full hour later than usual. I threw on my ratty hot pink housecoat and let him out the backdoor. As I stood there, disheveled and half-asleep, I heard my tenant call, “Hey, me and your cat hung out last night. He sure is, uh, friendly.”
I opened the door to the basement, and Leroy came trotting out of the basement suite and up the stairs. “How on earth did he end up in your suite?” I asked the tenant.
“Oh, he was crying and scratching at my door, and I felt bad so I let him in. Poor guy. There were no lights on upstairs, and I didn’t want to wake you up. I just let him stay.”
The kicker is that Leroy isn’t even allowed downstairs. He must have snuck down, gotten himself trapped down there (there is a locked door from the top landing into my kitchen) and looked for any lap available, his usual M.O. If he hasn’t covered someone in hair in the past three hours, Leroy starts to get anxious and needs to find a person to snuggle. He’s a cuddle junkie. I guess that’s what happened on Saturday.
Sadly, now Leroy knows there is a person in the dollhouse who doesn’t mind sharing a bed with a cat. I have a suspicion the new game around here will be called “keep the cat above-ground.” No more subterranean slumber parties, mister kitty.
Leroy is the last guy I expected to spend the night with a man he just met, but everyone is capable of surprises.
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