This is "the look" Hubby and I have been getting all day today from Thomasina! Why? Well... I'll tell you...
At about 11:30 p.m. last night, Hubby went into his office to shut everything down before we retired for the night. From my studio next door I heard, "Uh-oh... Honey?!?!" I hate those words.
It took a while for me to get Hubby to respond to my nervous "What?" replies. Then he said, "The 'thing' next to the air conditioning unit is pushed aside." I knew what that "thing" was. He was describing the accordion-pleated plastic that closes off the rest of the window opening where the air conditioner is installed.
I also knew that I hadn't seen a couple of the cats for awhile and that could mean only one thing.... JAILBREAK!!!!
As I launched myself into action, I called out to Hubby, "Time to do a kitty cat headcount!"
I ran upstairs to account for any kitties up there. I noted that potentially three cats were missing. And those three are the ones that always have an interest in going outside (escorted or not)--Dexter, Tom Tom, and Thomasina.
Hubby accounted for Dexter immediately. Apparently, Dexter had been laying right by the opening next to the air conditioner that seemed barely big enough for a kitty head to fit through (however, I know better). Dexter had probably witnessed the whole "criminal" act and had decided against it because of his uncertainty as to what he could jump down onto outside the window. Smart cat. There's a bunch of thorny wild lemon shoots growing from a stump we can't kill. Not a great landing spot if you ask me.
My mind was replaying events from the evening as I quickly counted up kitties. I remembered a weird meowing about an hour before outside the living room window and had chalked it up to a neighborhood cat. I also had noted to Hubby that the neighbor's dog had been barking particularly loudly about that same time. It was all adding up!
We both donned footwear and stepped outside into the 40 degree night air to witness Thomasina go shooting past the front porch in wild adrenalin-fueled glee (the little turkey!).
She is NEVER allowed outside because of her lack of common sense, but her semi-feral kittenhood always beckons her out into the wilds of the Rosehaven Cottage gardens whether we like it or not. That's why she wears a bell on her collar, so we can hear her approaching the door inside the house and also so that we can hear her outside in case of escape. The only way to get her back inside is to lure her in with canned food and a cat leash. The leash works better than the food because as soon as she sees it she thinks that I'm going to hook her up and take her for a walk (not a chance Chicky Poo!).
And that's exactly what I did to get her to stop darting around the front garden and come to me so I could scoop up her shivering body and get her into the house. The silly thing has no body fat reserves to speak of and shivers after only a few minutes of being outside in a chill. I wasn't thrilled that she was out tearing around in 40 degree weather.
After depositing Thomasina inside, I went back out to call Tom Tom. His bell came jingling from around the garage side of the house, as he was probably coming to look for his cohort in crime to play some more. As soon as he saw me, he halted in his tracks and started rubbing on the nearest surface, the garbage cans. As an old tomcat of many years, he is more savvy outside and more reticent to come when called if he's not done with his "toot" (that's what we call Tom Tom's escorted walks). It took some coaxing, but I got Tom to come to me for the stinky cat food which he was not allowed to eat until he was inside.
What bratty little jailbirds! Hubby's worst nightmare was realized last night, and he was not happy about it.
This morning, Hubby holed himself up in his office with the tape gun and cardboard. Thomasina cried and cried outside the office door. She could not be cajoled or distracted. She wanted in that office so she could use her "secret" escape hatch again. Once Hubby had the opening secured, he let Thomasina in to see. Thomasina was not happy about the alteration. Neither was Tom Tom who discovered it later in the day.
Very little cat napping was done on the part of the little "black terror" throughout the loooooong day. After an entire day of plaintive meowing and carrying on , Thomasina started resorting to bribery. One-by-one she would go and get one of her prized toys from the kitty toy box and then drag it to us in the living room. She did that three times in succession, hoping that each one was valuable enough to constitute an equitable trade. She's done this before, so we knew what it was all about. We praised her for each prize, and then told her "no deal". Finally, very put out, she ceased and is now quiet for the night! Thank goodness!
It'll probably be weeks before she forgets about her foray into the "wild", and we're not looking forward to the caterwauling in the meantime. Anybody got any tranquilizers? (just kidding)
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