11 August 2009

The Mystery of the Disappearing Cat

This afternoon, one of my daughters came to me and said, worried, "I can't find Kitty!" To which I replied: "She's a cat. She's hiding somewhere."
"But I've looked everywhere and I can't find her," said my daughter. "Maybe she got outside." (Our cats are indoor cats; they are not allowed outside.)
"She can't have gotten outside," I told her. "We haven't opened the door all day."
"But she's gone!"
I decided it might be wise to look for Kitty, not so much to calm my daughter but because of the fact that this particular Kitty is a quite resourceful and naughty little creature. There's really no telling what clever little tricks she could pull if left to her own devices long enough. I'm not talking just shredding rolls of toilet paper or other normal cat antics. No, Kitty is much more creative. (That being said, she is not above shredding rolls of toilet paper when the mood strikes.)
Now rather worried myself, we proceeded to look in all of Kitty's favorite resting spots---the window perch, on top of the bunny cage, under the sofa, in the bathtub, in the pantry behind the cereal boxes---but we found no Kitty.
By now, my daughter had calmed down. Apparently having thought through the situation and deciding it could be to her advantage, she asked, "If we can't find Kitty, can we get another cat?"
"We have another cat. Kitty #2 is nice, most of the time."
"But I need 2 cats and we can't find Kitty, so we'll need another cat." This coming from the girl who is a cat magnet. It isn't even funny when we go into a pet store. ALL the cats want to come home with my daughter, and of course she's in total agreement with them.
"Kitty is here," I told her. "She'll come out when she's ready to play." I fervently hoped she was napping, and not involved in more creative endeavors.
"Maybe she's in my room," suggested my daughter.
Oh, not a good thought. Kitty is banned from her room because Hamster resides in that room, in a pink plastic cage shaped like a princess castle. On the rare occasion that Kitty manages to get into that room, she can be found gazing into the castle with a longing, hungry look in those cat eyes. With a hard enough swipe at the tower part of the castle, Kitty might just have herself a furry little snack.
We searched the room, but no Kitty. We searched the other upstairs bedrooms, which we keep closed during the day because the cats are not allowed in there. (That, of course, is why they can often be found lounging outside the bedroom doors, awaiting the opportunity to get in.)
We went about the rest of our afternoon and evening. My husband came home about 9 and my daughter tried to sweet-talk him into another cat. (Wrong person to ask---he detests cats. Kitty once held a staring contest with him and he thought she was about to attack.) When he learned she was nowhere to be found, he looked pretty nervous. I imagine he was picturing her lurking around in our room, ready to pounce on him in the middle of the night. She is, of course, mischievous enough to try something like that.
Just, then, who should come prancing into the room? Kitty. The white part of her face was gray with dust. I have no idea where she'd been all day, nor do I care to know. It's like my Mom always says---some things you're better off not knowing.

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