So I had a more exciting Saturday this last weekend than I had wanted, and I imagine it's a tale--or, um, tail-- my fellow pet-lovers will identify with.
I was eagerly awaiting a curio cabinet I'd bought from a local furniture store which was the perfect size and style for my dining room. As you may know, I pick up inexpensive but pretty late-Victorian plates and bowls at thrift shops and antique malls, and I wanted to be able to display my favorite pieces. Here it is in situ...
So I had gotten a phone call the day before from the furniture deliverers that I would be getting it between 11am and 2pm. Excellent!
I invited my friend Scoobie over to hang out and have lunch and see the new curio cabinet. I had a couple of recipes in Fanny Flagg's WhistleStop Cafe Cookbook I'd wanted to try, and thought this would be a great opportunity to make decadent homemade mac and cheese and some fried green tomatoes (never tried 'em before, but was curious.)
Now, regular readers might remember, I have two cats, Harry and Alice. (Harry-- the little bugger that this story will be about-- is on the left.)
So when the delivery guys came early, their truck grinding loudly throughout the neighborhood, I wasn't quite prepared. My cat Alice, who fancies herself the congenial hostess of my house, ran right to the door to greet them as they were propping open the front door.
I grabbed Alice to put in a safe room, and planned to go back for Harry. He had run under my dining room table, (his favorite hiding place), as he's initially a bit shy and sees no need to steal Alice's social thunder.
Well, the deliverymen had the curio cabinet in the house lickety-split, before I even returned from closing Alice in. I signed for the thing, and away they went.
That's about the time Scoobie and I discovered Harry was gone.
He was no longer under the dining room table.
He wasn't under the beds.
He wasn't hiding under or behind sofas, hadn't gotten into cabinets, and wasn't in the kitchen.
He didn't come when his name was called-- unusual! He didn't not apparate when food was poured or tasty treats rattled.
No one had seen him make his grand exit, but a second search of the house, calling his name and rattling those treats, well, it seemed to indicate the very worst.
Harry had pulled a Houdini!
Now, by this time I admit, I was freaking out. Harry has never been an outside cat and I adopted him when he was a teeny kitten. With the many dogs and stray cats and speeding cars in the neighborhood, I had every horrible vision that there was coursing through my mind.
Scoobie and I went on a cat-hunt.
Around and around the neighborhood we walked, calling for Harry and rattling the beloved treats. We asked neighbors. We checked backyards. Harry was nowhere to be found.
So we returned to the house. Alice was there waiting and pacing by the door, and I resigned myself to calling all the local animal agencies to let them know Harry was missing. It was hard to even imagine my buddy-- the goofy little cat who fetches and chases his own tail and can't let me sit in a chair without being in my lap--might no longer be such an integral part of daily life.
Part of me began to rather irrationally wish I didn't even have the curio cabinet, if it was going to cost me one of my great furred friends.
Two long hours had passed by now, and I was sitting in the living room trying to post Lost ads on some pet websites--thoughts of mac and cheese well-forgotten-- when out of the corner of my eye...
...The pillow on the windowseat moved.
I honestly thought I was seeing things. I think I might have even asked Scoobie, as a more reliable witness. Yes, yes, she saw, too. We paused, waited.
The pillow moved again.
I seized the pillow, and like a flash emerged Harry... zipping upstairs and out of view. It took me a moment to even realize I'd truly seen him and this wasn't all just wishful thinking for a happier, yet less likely resolution.
But Harry had apparently gotten scared by the truck noise and the large moving men and somehow found his way from under the dining table, unseen by any, to the livingroom and was hiding so long, he fell asleep. He never heard me calling.
So Harry is home now, though he never really left. He got hugs and a little extra kibble and me, well, I felt like I needed to be shot with a tranq gun before the day was through. :)
I'm enjoying the curio cabinet a lot more now. There's probably some great line out there about curio-sity and the cat, but I don't think I'm quite ready to try to find it yet. :)
I hope you all have a great weekend-- and for my pet-adopting friends, that all your fuzzy and feathered buddies stay safe.