|When are you ever going to let them out?|
I was listening to galumphing of tiny little elephant feet coming from the two residents upstairs. Free from the confines of their safe-room, the kittens were racing up and down the hallway. Louder thumps went unexplained. Ray, curled on his favorite chair, was following their movements with his eyebrows.
I had let them out the previous evening to explore but it was day-one of our new family members being mainstreamed into the family. Although the safe-room was still available for use when I needed to go out, it was my plan to get the cats out and about as soon as possible.
|I sense a presence. |
You let them out, didn't you?
|Here kitty, kitty, kitty|
|I'm sensing that there's something not quite right with this dog|
Then, I woke up with an IDEA fully formed in my head. The IDEA, which involved a kitchen cabinet, was most probably inspired by a cat from my childhood that we fed inside a cabinet on a shelf. Wellington, an orange tiger cat, knew how to open cabinet doors and would jump up on a shelf above the cat food boxes, put a paw in, and drag his kibble up and out of the boxes piece by piece until somebody got a clue and fed him. Eventually, we moved his food dish to the shelf. Whenever Wellington was hungry, he would flick open the cabinet door and jump up on his shelf to eat. It was convenient and there was never a visible mess.
|Harvey, demonstrating the cat walk to the proposed feeding-station|
|See? I'm just another cat. Only bigger.|
|OMG there's a DOG in my room.|
|Oh come on, you guys! Please play with me.|
|Dog, you are treading on dangerous ground here.|
|Me and my peeps are just going to hang out here.|
I picked up Harvey first. Juno, seeing the dog behind me, crouched a little lower in her spot so as to be cat-invisible but didn't dart away; she just watched as I pulled Harvey to my chest and bent over a bit so that Ray could sniff the little guy. Harvey hissed as the big dog-nose touched his but didn't struggle, didn't tense up, and more importantly, didn't try to shred me or bop Ray.
Ray pulled his head away at the hiss, and obviously misinterpreting the noise, wagged his tail.
I crooned sweet nothings at my good little cat and turned to get Juno who was interestedly observing me trying to feed her brother to the dog. I scooped up the little pudge and headed to the feeding station.
|Ok, I'm done.|
|Now, how do I get out of here?|
|Um, Harvey, I don't know if it's a good idea |
to leave right now. That big dog is out there.
|Oh, what the heck, nothing ventured, |
I called to Harvey and after a minute or two, the little guy nervously appeared from behind the furnace. I picked him up gently and carried him back up the stairs. Ray, ears deployed in Dumbo mode was standing on the landing alertly. I sat on the step with Harvey against my chest. Ray reached his nose out to sniff and Harvey gave as menacing a growl as a four pound cat can. Ray pulled back his head contritely, and without me saying a word, instantly sat.
I laughed. Obviously, Ray knew he had screwed up.
Impressed that Harvey was not struggling to get away from the big dog and did not even feel particularly tensed, I carried him up to his safe room where I turned him loose.
Juno, who had been watching the dog from under the futon, saw her brother back safe and sound and ran for the safety of the room where she once again dove under the bed. Ray laid down on the landing looking nonchalant.
I went to my invention and lowered the top shelf so that the little cats could reach the floor easier, then, fairly well convinced that the cats could hide form the dog if need be, I went off to take a shower after all my exertions.
I was just stepping out of the shower when I thought I heard a plaintive little meow. I quickly wrapped a towel around myself and ran for the cat room.
Juno was on the top tier of the cat tree, Harvey was in the hole in the bottom of the tree, and Ray was laying full length as a sphinx in front of the hole. Obviously thinking that Harvey had shown how amenable he was to play, Ray was trying to engage the little guy again. The hound extended his head toward the little cat relaxing inside; Harvey hissed. Ray drew his head back and theatrically tossed it from side to side, snapping the air. Again Ray extended his head, again Harvey hissed, again Ray showed his theatrical side.
After watching the show repeat itself, I intervened. I put my hand on Harvey who started to purr. I put my other hand on Ray who stopped his theatrics and put his head on his paws, ears fully deployed in Dumbo mode. I petted both for a second, then getting kinda cold, led my dog from the room, closed the door, and once again left the cats to recover.
|Still life with Cat and Iron|