liveonearth (liveonearth) wrote,

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The Cat Chronicles: Minor Demolition

Finally a slow day for me. It was about time. My list of things that I wish I had finished already is growing longer, while I deal with the daily stuff of work, school, feeding and exercising the machine.

I finally got a digital camera, after a 10+ year hiatus on photography. I still haven't installed the software on my computer, or begun to sort out how to download the photos. I used to shoot a lot of slides, but when my last camera died, I didn't buy a new one. I knew I wanted to switch to digital, but I didn't want the first generation of cameras. I waited until they started coming out with what I wanted. The one I got has high image quality, and is shockproof and waterproof. It comes from Olympus, who made the last camera that I carried all over the world.

The first picture I took was of the kitten, of course. I can't show you the picture yet because I haven't learned how to download them yet, but I will.

This morning I didn't make myself get up and do anything. When the sun was good and high, I went for a walk in the forest. It was a cathartic walk for me, because I thought about my life and my dreams and had clear intention when I returned. After the walk I returned to my small Barn nest and drank some tea, and sat down to meditate. I don't know how long I sat--I haven't been paying much attention to the clock lately--but it was long enough. As I returned to daily consciousness I kept hearing something scrabbling away inside the wall. I thought to myself "the mice are getting bigger".

But then gradually it dawned on me that the wall-bound creature sounded about the size of Shakti the cat. I meowed, and she started meowing back at me.

It took some sleuthing to figure out exactly where she was. I went into the attic a couple of times but couldn't hear her from there. I went to the far end of the hall, Leslie's territory, to see if she was locked inside Leslie's nearest room. No sign. I went back inside my place, and cleared the stuff from under the sink where the kitten must have gone into the wall. She wasn't behind the sink. She was somewhere left of there. Every now and then she would meow. I put my hand on the wall behind the stove. She started clawing at something inside that wall, and shaking the wall. I could tell just where she was.

I shouldn't have, but I called the landlady (Z) and told her the cat was stuck in the wall, and I was contemplating some minor demolition to get her out. She told me she was going to call the landlord (Pete) and have him get back to me. After I hung up the meowing was incessant and there was no way that I could do anything but try to get the cat out of the wall.

Gently I nudged the gas stove out from the wall, checking to see how much give was in the line. There was enough line for me to pull the stove most of the way out of its slot, and to see the hole in the wall behind it. The meowing got more frantic and I cleared the counter and got my headlamp. I inched through the mouse turds into the gap behind the stove, delicately squatted, and peered into the hole. A white paw reached through the hole at me. I petted the paw and it petted me back. I looked and I could see her eyes peering through a hole in a wall behind the wall that was about 1/3 the size that she needed to get through.

I went for my knife. The walls in the Barn are mostly composed of cheap particle board, and you can cut it like butter with a serrated blade. If I had left her in there long enough she might have managed to claw a big enough hole all by herself. She had already made the hole a couple inches bigger. When I stuck the blade into the hole Shakti insisted on playing with the blade, and I was afraid I would hurt her. I yelled at her and finally she backed off and let me go to work. I sawed out a chunk of particle board. I backed off and said "OK, come on through". She tried but couldn't fit. She sounded really outraged as she backed out. I sawed out another chunck and stook back again.

The kitten stuffed her head through, then struggled for a while trying to get her front legs and shoulders through the small hole. Once she had her ribs in there, she slid right out like a snake. She prowled to the middle of the carpet, shook herself off and laid down to clean her fur.

I shoved the stove back in its nook without bothing to clean up the turds and drizzled grease. It was like that before I arrived and it will be like that when I leave. I nailed a board over the small hole around the kitchen plumbing where I think she went in. She tried to get in there again a couple times while I was working, but finally I got the hole stopped up such that she cannot get stuck inside THAT same spot again.

I called Z to let her know that I had gotten the kitten out. She sounded alarmed that I had done "minor demolition" and was going to send Pete to check on what I had done. I reassured her that my demolition was truly minor, and that Pete wouldn't even be able to find what I had done. She didn't trust me. Being a renter stops you from trusting anyone. And I did dump her champagne in the snow.

Now I'm at work, doing laundry. It's a windy dry day and I am glad that I don't have to go anywhere. I do want to go downtown for some more beading wire. I saw Tom at work, getting ready to leave for Lee's Ferry, and we talked for a while about the eagles and otters on the Verde. He's a good river running buddy. Wish the kitten was a river runner too, but that's too much to expect. I used to take Loki the dog on rivers, but it only worked because he was very intelligent, obedient and agile. The kitten is lesser in two of those departments. But I like her.
Tags: cats, destruction, photography, renting, shakti, walking

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