Cats

Hide and Seek

I had a message on the answering machine this afternoon from Scratchy’s veterinarian – his blood work came back and while he’s not back to normal, his numbers have improved remarkably (the Dr’s word). 

I’d had a long day, I was tired, headachy, and verging on weepy-for-no-reason.  Then I got that message and suddenly I felt better about things.

It’s funny how Remarkable Improvement goes hand in hand with Really Annoying.  Case in point – yesterday’s post

And there’s the new fun of Scratchy suddenly racing away when I uncrimp the end of his feeding tube.  Sometimes there’s a noise that comes out of the tube – his stomach growling, perhaps, or water sloshing.  The noise spooks him and he springs to his feet and tries to run away.

While I’m holding the tube.

And it’s kind of a reflex to hang on.  But it was just for a second until the smart voice in my head told me to let go of that tube that is inserted in his esophagus and sutured to the side of his neck.

He didn’t used to do that when we first were feeding him through the tube.

Nor did he go all Bruce Lee on veterinary technicians…

But I digress.

I attribute his impatience with the feeding tube (because once I get him back and get him hooked up to his various syringes, he is still poised and ready to spring, no matter how much he enjoys the under-the-chin scratching) with improved energy and an actual opinion about what his humans are doing to him.

The other day I had to feed him and he did that spring away thing just when I was about to put the water syringe into the tube.  He took off toward the basement doorway while I gathered up the adhesive tape, both syringes (water and food) and the extra water.  I headed downstairs and looked in all his usual hiding spots.  Not behind that rubbermaid tote under the work table.  Not in the cupboard.  Not on top of that other tote, or between it and a third tote.  Not behind the couch.  Not in the boiler room where the litterbox is.  Not in a carton behind the bar.  Not on the blanket under the dart board.

Drat.

He must have run around past the basement door and gone upstairs instead.

So up I went.  Checked the kids’ rooms, under their beds, in their closets.  No luck.  I closed the doors so he couldn’t dart inside.  Not in the bathroom (he likes to sit on the towel/bath rug thing on the floor).  Not in Bill’s and my bedroom (or under our bed or in the closet behind my shoes).

Annoying cat.

I closed all the doors upstairs and went back to the main floor and checked the few hiding spots available to a cat.

No luck.

Back downstairs to the basement.  Maybe I missed a spot.  Or maybe he’d waited for me to go upstairs after I checked the basement the first time and was now giggling to himself in one of the places I’d already searched.

Nope. 

Where the heck could he be?  I poked around in the boiler room, peeking into dark corners, hoping to see something furry and mostly white.  Nope.

Back into the main part of the basement, where our couch and big chair and matching ottoman are and the fish tank and the one and only tv in our house.

The ottoman.

I dropped to the floor and looked.

There he was.  Crouched under the ottoman.  I know I anthropomorphize too much sometimes, but I would swear he’d been giggling only moments before and was now trying to keep a straight face.

I hauled him out and fed him.

That was yesterday.

Tonight I had just started making popcorn (in a pot on the stove) when Alex and Julia started hollering for me.  Their voices sounded harmonious, so I answered.  (If they sound like they’re about to start complaining about each other, my hearing doesn’t work so well any more.) 

“Mom, come see where Scratchy is!  Bring your camera!”

I’d just started the popcorn, so I figured I could run downstairs, snap a picture or two, and get back before anything burned.

And there he was:

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See him up there?

That’s usually Softie’s roost, and I’m really not sure why Scratchy leapt up there, unless it was just because he could. 

Softie wasn’t too happy about the invasion, and Julia shooed her away, at least for the moment.

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I really hope Softie doesn’t do something territorial like jump up there and try to chase him away.  I have visions of my whole fabric storage set-up crashing to the floor.

I don’t think Scratchy’s worried, however.

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