No hiding place?

0626/25th March 2022

Only bitter experience saved me from panicking this morning when Lucy disappeared.

Cats like to keep you guessing. If they have a chance to mess you around, often they will take it.

Such is the nature of the wee beasties.

So you learn their habits and react accordingly.

But they can still throw you a curve ball.

The little buggers.

At breakfast time, our little hooligans are normally all hungry. Unless they have devoured a mouse overnight. But Lucy is not one of the mousers.

Often enough, Madame LaFluff takes breakfast in bed.

If she’s not clamoring in the kitchen, she’ll be on top of her tree in my window…

…or possibly snoozing on her new pillow.

Sometimes, to keep us on our toes, she retreats to the spare room at the end of the house.

But one thing is certain, Lucy will not miss a meal.

Especially not breakfast.

So when we couldn’t find her this morning, we thought it a little odd.

Though not worthy of panic.

Many years ago I lived in a cooperative apartment consisting of two rooms. I got a call at work one day to say that workmen would be entering for some reason.

“Shit!” I thought. Pets were against the house rules.

Nothing I could do about it. I just had to hope little Yeti would hide.

After work I rushed home and entered my humble domain calling out “Yeti?”

She was nowhere to be found.

Not under the bed. Not in the box-spring.

Yeti was tiny but there was no-where else she could fit.

In tears I ran up the stairwell to the roof, though how I imagined she would get there, God knows! Then I ran back down wondering how to put out an all-points bulletin for a cat I wasn’t supposed to have.

In the hallway I ran into Joe, my very nice maintenance man. He knew all about Yeti and quite a bit about me too. He took control.

“She’ll be in your apartment”, he said

“Did you look under the sofa?” asked Joe.

“No!” I sobbed. “She wouldn’t fit.”

He took my keys and let us in, then took two steps over to the sofa which he eased up and out came Yeti.

Many times, over the years, I have had trouble locating a cat that I know cannot have escaped.

They always turn up.

Which is why I know not to panic.

But I often come close.

The problem being that when a cat starts behaving out of character, there is always a reason and sometimes it can be a medical issue.

“She’ll turn up in a minute asking why she didn’t get breakfast!” we said this morning, as we resolutely prepared our own.

While my porridge cooked I checked all the usual places again and also lay on the floor to search under chairs and sofas. Not there.

As I sat down to eat, Grant got up and he had another look.

“Did you go outside earlier?” he asked.

“Well yes, when I threw out the dead mouse!” I knew she hadn’t shot past me. But Grant went to the door and called out. One does.

We quickly finished our food and started all over because now we had visions of Lucy lying somewhere in extremis, suffering and fading away…

Upstairs, downstairs. The more we looked, the more she was not there.

Then, I remembered….

When I leave the house, I always tell Willow I’m going and make a point of saying I’ll be back. I’m not sure she really requires me to, but dear old Panther did and it became a habit…

I know, I know.

Willow can’t always be found and I have been very curious about where she hides.

A few days ago, when I had looked everywhere in vain for my girl, she miraculously materialized and I worked out where she had to have been, given the direction she had suddenly shot from.

The one place neither of us thought to check while grovelling about on the floor.

Lucy was on the chair that sits beneath what is supposed to be a dining room table.

“Well hellooo! Did you not hear your name called? Did madame not care for breakfast?”

“Wot?” she said, uncontrite.

“Can’t I have a wash in private?”

She certainly didn’t appear unwell but there’s always the food test. If they refuse a snack, something’s up.

“Oh, thank you.” she said to the treats I proffered.

“Are there more? I didn’t get breakfast this morning. You really must talk to the staff about it.”

“I AM the STAFF!”

Grant specializes in worrying about animals as opposed to worrying about everything as I do. It means that he actually over-worries. In my view.

“But why would she do this?” he questioned.

Lucy is one of mine. Actually I should re-phrase that. I am hers. She is extremely possessive. Lucy wishes to know where I am at all times.

She doesn’t want to sit in my lap and doesn’t require cuddles. But she also doesn’t want any of the other cats to have that privilege.

It became very noticeable that any time Willow chose a particular blanket or bed that was near me, Lucy moved in promptly to appropriate it.

Willow would take the hint and abandon all claim.

So possibly, Lucy was taking over Willow’s favourite hiding place.

The other possibility is that this morning she was sulking.

But that involves cat psychology which is very complex.

Just take my word for it. It was my fault.

It always is.

4 thoughts on “No hiding place?

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