Well, She did it again.
Mummy absolutely wreaked havoc at the old homestead this week, incarcerating innocent kits without their consent yet ultimately denying she was to blame!
You see, Dear Reader, there is a room at the top of the stairs (not Dad’s study which has full and ready access via the balcony – Dad and Mummy’s feeble attempt at preventing kit entrances by installing a door is, at best, laughable).
But I digress…
This alluring space, known as The Spare Room, is full of nooks and crannies and fun-looking boxes and general “thingies” - the kind of stuff that simply begs to be explored! Unfortunately, Mummy has an official (albeit UNposted) rule about this room: to wit, that no cats are allowed to venture within a 12 mile radius on penalty of death, citing some mindless chatter about cats destroying Dad’s study and not getting a chance at this one. I am sure I do not know what she is talking about. I would point out, however, that the house is, er, not far enough away to meet the 12-mile-radius rule but with the Mumster it would hardly be any good. All must obey or face her wrath!
The point of this monologue is to stress how calculating Mummy can be, as in the case of our unlawful imprisonment just a few nights ago. What happened was this: Mummy is allowed to enter The Spare Room, no doubt a ruling of her own device. So in she went those few nights ago, closing the door firmly behind her to ensure we fuzzikins were left out on the dark landing, only able to listen to the fantastical sounds of digging and shifting and opening things up (as opposed to being the makers of such joyful noises). We are confident she enjoys tormenting us in this fashion.
After much combing through things and unstacking then restacking boxes, Mummy emerged with an armful of goodies, some of which I was secretly hoping would be left out for my later perusal. In the meantime, her arms were a bit overloaded which I, being the astute observer of motherkind that I am, quickly realized meant that she could not see goings-on beneath her feet. Furthermore, as she exited the SR, she gently pulled the door toward her then be-bopped down the stairs, confident she had once more teased us and left us hanging.
Only some of us were a bit too clever for her this time. I don’t like to boast but old Gussie can move pretty stealthily as the situation requires, and this situation DID require! You see, Mummy, I also noticed, had failed to close the door completely. And it was with me the work of a moment to dash in and begin exploring before Mummy could say, “Where are you?” I mean to say, you can’t expect a cat to ignore the potential of such an environment - it isn’t human nature!
What is more, Poppet was apparently of the same mindset. So in we went, with one quick backward glance to ensure we had eluded notice, then settled in for an hour or so, we thought, of fun.
After a while, the two of us grew a bit tired from all our exploring [we managed to unwrap two new down pillows, shred a roll of paper towels, and topple a stack of boxes, spilling the contents across the carpet], so we settled in for a quick nap before Mummy came back to get us. Poppet chose one of the down pillows for his snooze while I opted for one of the [now-empty] boxes (it always pays to be safe, even in the Storage Room). I melted into sleep, dreamily thinking of having a nice crunchy snack in a few minutes….
I woke to the sound of someone’s tummy growling, probably Poppet’s, then realized it was really dark. Who turned out the lights, I asked myself. My Self responded with a sense of panic and chattering teeth. It appeared we had been hoodwinked – no doubt the old Mumster had discovered our fell deed, came all the way back upstairs, opened the door softly so as not to disturb our rest, switched off the light, then slithered back down the stairs to enjoy her evening without us. A bit odd, I thought, as she normally would have unceremoniously tossed us out on our ears under the circs. Still, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and decided she was trying to teach us a lesson.
After a while of waiting and listening, I grew a bit apprehensive that this lesson was being carried a bit too far. After all, I am a quick learner – it had already sunk in that I was missing out on my midnight snack. This time it was my tummy growling!
The predicament, of course, is that I was unable to say anything on the off chance Mummy actually did not know we were harbored in The Forbidden Place. So it was for me to settle in and wait.
Mummy had to come back in this room eventually.
I am pretty sure she does so at least once a week.
Poppet was not so easily sated. He determined to remove us from this dreadful situation at all costs. And his determination paid off! After poking around a bit, he discovered that the door was not even closed all the way, just sort of pushed to (I had to admit not recalling either of us shutting it…).
This was the best news ever!
I was truly excited to realize my worst fears were highly exaggerated and we would be eating tuna in no short order….
To my mind, it was merely a matter of reaching a paw under the door (I have done this a bazillion times when investigating the pantry) and sliding the door open while making our way to freedom. Only Poppet thought trying to reach for the knob made more sense - never mind that he does not possess an opposable thumb. So as I slipped my oversized clod hopper beneath the door, he simultaneously raised up and reached for the knob….
Do you know what happens when an overly rotund cat leans heavily on an open door?
I will tell you!
The door closes.
As in shut.
The house was all quiet. My head hung low as I slinked back to my box; it was going to be a long night.
Next morning, Poppet was bright eyed and ready to go with another clever plan: annoy the bajeezies out of Mummy with his infamous “door scratching” (it is successful downstairs, rousting her out of bed at any unfashionable hour to quell the incessant scraping). Here is how it works: Poppet stands against the door and moves his paws in rapid succession up and down the door panels until that “claws on a chalkboard” sound can no longer be tolerated. Then appears Mummy with that reproving tone and Poppet sails to the other end of the house, well out of arms’ reach.
He waited until he heard the delicious sounds of tuna being dished out in heaping spoonfuls to the other cats, then he let loose with a raucous scratching that could no doubt be heard in China.
Nothing at first. He paused, then resumed the beloved annoying action. Then it came – the first sign that Mummy was actually paying attention: she yelled at Poppet (for she knew it was he) to “Stop that infernal racket!” He paused again to refresh then once more went at it, picking up the pace. By this time it had become apparent that Mummy was now exploring to rout out the offense, and ultimately made her way up the stairs after smartly tracking the sound down.
The door burst open, flinging Poppet backward into a niche behind, where he stayed, crouching in abject fear as he was certain Mummy was on a death mission (he only has a couple of lives left, I think). I, on the other paw, oddly had just lowered my head below the edge of the box at the moment she entered the room (Mummy was sure I was hiding but actually I had just noticed a small movement in the box and wanted to ensure it wasn’t a creepy spider or some such creature).
To make a long story short, we were falsely accused of breaking and entering, then predictably unceremoniously tossed out on our ears. I tried to explain about the [potential] spider but she wasn’t having any of it. I glanced at Poppet, fellow prisoner and realized he hadn’t an ounce of care.
He appears to be feeling quite smug about the whole thing.
And Mummy just noticed the collateral damage in the SR so I think it best to drop the matter and slither back down the stairs to where dinner awaits!