Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Feed a feline, starve a cat?

A couple of days ago, I had the pleasure of having to enter the crawlspace to change our furnace filters. It's a job I thoroughly loathe. We own a split-level, so at least our crawlspace isn't a two-foot space, but it is small, and lined with fist-sized gravel. Being a rather tall fellow, I get to shuffle and grouse as I try to alternate between shuffling and crawling across the space.

I usually shut the cats and dogs out from our utility room, since they want to follow me up under the floor if I do. This time, I forgot to do so, and our alley cat went in. Rather than chase him around, I left the door open and waited for him to come out. Unfortunately, our other cat went in.

Sue-y (yes, named for Steve-O's dog) is our oldest animal. She appearantly was tormented by kids before we got her, and then our kids and dogs (including Psycho-Terrier) were aggressive in playing with her. Now, she hides in the house unless just Paula and I are awake.

Sue-y has that singular abilit y to go into a space and disappear. One writer described cats as multi-dimensional creatures that could phase themselves in and out of our existance at will, which explains how they can enter a room, you can be sure they've left, and then they'll be in the room again.

Well, Sue-y phased out of our crawlspace the same way. Yesterday, it was too cold to leave the crawlspace door open, so we had to try to get her out. Number 1 Son and Little Miss took flashlights and went around the furnace while I waited to corral her out. No luck. Then I crawled the furnace. Still no luck. I finally crawled up to the furnace and looked around. No Sue-y. She was finally in a spot that absolutely no one would pester her, and there she was staying.

I knew she hadn't eaten much for a couple of days, so I finally had to commit to a siege approach: I emptied the cat bowl. She wasn't eating until I saw her out. Fortunately, when the dogs got up at 3AM this morning, she was out. I shut the door t o the crawlspace and fed the cats again.

She isn't happy though. This morning she was under Number One Son's bed, meowing softly in annoyance. If cats could cuss, I'm sure that's what she would have been doing.

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