Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Life on the farm 071811: Near Cat-astrophe

We arrived home early after a chill morning and oppressively hot afternoon vending at farmer’s market.  Some of the windows in the house were being replaced while we were away, so my husband Dan was eager to return and check on the progress.  

As we pulled into the driveway he exclaimed, “There’s Max!” as something long, gray and furry darted around the corner of the garage.

I thought to myself, ‘that’s impossible, it must be a barn cat’. 

Our super-sized Maine Coon Max has never been outside, ever – and I was certain he had been eating kibble crunchies in the kitchen when we left.  

I went inside to confirm the worst, and sure enough, there was only one very confused Smokeycat running back and forth between the windows, because Dan kept calling,  “Here kitty, kitty, kitty” from various locations around the building.

I don’t need this kind of stress.

Within minutes, the two of us had worked our way around the perimeter, searching under the shade trees and picker bushes; finally reaching the conclusion that the only place left unchecked was under the enclosed-bottom porch. 

There was no way to access it, so Dan ripped boards off the south side with the master plan of forcing the cat to exit at the north end...and I was supposed to catch it.   

(I rolled my eyes upon hearing his plan, because there’s no realistic way for me to get the jump on a ten-pound scaredy cat running full-out without a net and the peace of mind that a better health insurance plan brings.)

Dan retrieved his whacking stick from the garage just in case there was more than a housecat hiding under there; got on his hands and knees, crawled into the claustrophobic hole, and started thumping around in the half-light like a tiger-hunt-beater flushing out game.  

(Those peripheral characters (a.k.a. red shirts) always get killed, don’t they?)

“Can you see him?” I said, wondering how the rescue crew was going to pull Dan out if something attacked him - I surely wouldn’t be able to manage an extrication without some come-alongs, another brother, and some super-lube.

“Get ready to catch him!”  

To give credit where it’s due, his plan worked – up to that point.

I saw the cat briefly, all wide-eyed and twitchy-tailed under the bay window, completely out of my reach.

Then he was gone like lightning.

Dan hollered that he had seen Max run into the garage.  Fair enough.

We shut all the doors, leaving the cat to decompress in the basement.

About an hour later, a disheveled and sawdust-covered Max was scratching at the garage door to be let in to the house.  He ate, fought with the other cat, and ran upstairs to hide. 

And that my friends, makes things officially back to normal.