Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Stealth Cat

It was obvious that I needed to take my cat Guinness to the vet. I wasn’t sure about Herbie but I thought he should be checked out.

After confirming that the cats were elsewhere, I closed the doors to my bedroom, the study, the TV room, and the guest room. I hauled the cat carriers up from the basement. I enlisted my neighbor to assist in capture and transport.

About half an hour before our appointment, my neighbor, Eldon, arrived and we began the capture process.

Predictably, Herbie was easy. I lifted him into his carrier and closed it.

Now for Guinness. He had run upstairs when Eldon arrived. Since all visitors spook Guinness, Eldon went upstairs to herd him to the first floor. But Guinness was nowhere to be found upstairs. The only open room was the bathroom and Eldon checked behind and in every possible hiding place.

In past searches, Guinness has been found in the laundry room cupboard (the cupboard door doesn’t latch so he paws it open and slips in before it closes). He wasn’t there. Not in the floor level cupboards or the ones above the sink.

So we checked the kitchen cupboards. They don’t latch either. He wasn’t there. We checked the pantry and all its shelves. He wasn't there.

He wasn’t under the couch or in the fireplace nook in the living room. Sometimes the cats slip behind the books in the bookcases. We pushed all the books back. He wasn’t there.

We re-checked the upstairs bathroom – the downstairs bathroom – the kitchen – the pantry – the laundry room. He wasn’t anywhere. We checked again. We even checked the rooms that had had closed doors. He wasn’t there.

Herbie was crying. I let him out of his carrier. We told him to find Guinness but I don’t think he was interested. Anyway, he didn’t.

I called the vet to say that we would be late. I called my Pilates teacher to say I might not make it to class. We re-checked everything. Guinness wasn’t there.

We kept asking ourselves, “How can one cat outsmart two relatively intelligent humans?” We gave up. I offered to make some tea. Eldon helped me hang a picture. I served the tea.

We were sitting at the dining room table sipping tea when there was a resounding thump in the laundry room as Guinness jumped down onto the dryer. He had been inside a cardboard carton on the top shelf in the laundry room.

But now he was out in the open. He dashed toward the stairs. I caught him and, with Eldon’s help, got him into the carrier. Then I retrieved Herbie and put him in his carrier and we went to the vet.

We were only an hour late.

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