Thursday, September 17, 2009

The journey, continued...

(The first part of this story can be found here)

At 10am the driver of the moving company finally called to tell me he'd be there in an hour! How nice of him to give me a little advance warning. Now the original plan had been to get the cats into the RV before the movers came, but now that Roxanne was in the ceiling, I had to consider that I might have a better chance getting her out while the other cats were still in the house. Plus, with the ESP cats have and my level of stress likely to decline once all the crap had been taken off on its journey, she was more likely to not be terrified by my freakish energy after they came and went.

So now that I could load up the RV and not fear I was going to miss the all important phone call from the movers I proceeded to do the last bits of my part. By the time they arrived at 11:30am, I was so prepared I literally had nothing to do while they slowly went about their business. First they had to catalogue everything, then, as there was only one mover and one driver, the single mover had to move everything into the truck while the driver organized it. Naturally this process took far longer than the hour I'd predicted, I mean I was so ready they could have just loaded it in 30 minutes had I merited more than one moving guy. Even they admitted I was the most ready client they'd run across. Meanwhile, I'd locked Milo (the big fat white male cat) and Piglet (the hysterical, needy, clingy, black and white long hair female cat) in the basement with Roxanne (they don't hide in the ceiling so it was safe. In fact, Milo couldn't possibly launch his fat cat butt up half the distance from the floor to the washer and Piglet, well, lets just say Piglet doesn't have the brainpower to not come when I call.) Well Piglet, being attached to me via emotional umbilical cord, couldn't stand that she was on the other side of a door from me. No matter that big burly men were stomping around the house, her worst fear usually being any man doing little else besides breathing and her usual behavior being to launch herself out of my arms causing lethal puncture wounds in the attempt to escape people of the male persuasion. No, she didn't care about the noise and the chance to get stomped on or have boxes dropped on your head, SHE HAD TO BE WITH ME! Meeeooow! Meeoow! MEAOW! I almost had one less cat to transport after that little scene. Heck it coulda just been me and Milo hitting the road with Roxanne in the ceiling and Piglet suffering from some fatal accident I hadn’t dreamed up yet.

Finally at 2pm, the movers were done, I could get about the business of getting on the road! I pulled the RV into the driveway, filled it full of water (the water tank that is), organized the stuff inside minimally and then went inside to deal with the Roxanne situation. Having given the cats a little time to cool off, I thought maybe they'd realize the movers were gone and come out, or rather Roxanne would. Milo and Piglet fairly sprinted out of the basement. Once Milo ascertained that there was no furniture left, he had enough evidence to convince him that something was going very, very wrong with his day and he retreated to the basement behind the wood stove until further notice. I opened a can of smelly, stinky can food and realized I had packed all the spoons, so I dug into the can with my fingers and plopped some can food out onto the plates. Only Piglet was falling for this one so that wasn't going to work. Typical that she trusted me so much, atypical that Milo’s stomach didn’t win out over his 6th sense, horribly typical that Roxanne didn’t trust me if I so much as looked at her funny. So, I scooped up Piglet, threw her in the RV, chased down Milo (not a hard task chasing and catching an overweight declawed cat) and threw him in the RV, cleared out the rest of the house, threw out the last of the garbage, checked everything once more and tried to figure out what to do about Roxanne.

How the hell do you get a cat out of a ceiling? And if you don’t and have now removed all furniture from the house (because the movers soon came and left with it all) put the house on the market to show and sell and are supposed to leave for California in minutes, never to return again, what is to become of said cat? And how bad would it stink if she stayed up in the ceiling until the house was bought by someone else and became their problem to exterminate? Just kidding.

 I quickly formulated a plan with my friends. D would visit the house regularly, leaving Roxanne food and water, and hopefully earning her trust (not likely) and then once she captured her (hah!) J would fly out to California to visit me with my cat, but probably 6 months later. Meanwhile Roxanne would get to live in J’s house with her two cats. Delightful. If Roxanne really wanted to live in J’s house, which already housed two strange cats and a new human squalling, smelly, crawly baby, she could make that choice, although I could fairly predict that she’d probably spend all her time there hiding in the basement on a hunger strike. If she didn’t trust me, how was she going to trust an unpredictable, drooly tiny version of me who walked around on all fours. Well, maybe she would understand that one better. But, in any case, I had to figure something else out. I went back to the basement, jumped up and hit a few of the drop ceiling tiles with my fingers. They popped up and back relatively easily, although my actions caused a half a pound of tile dust, two years worth of cat hair and probably nasty dead bugs that accumulate on the top of those ceiling tiles to rain down on my head which was not going to be under a shower for a few days now as I drove across the country. But perhaps I could make it feel not so safe in the ceiling for a little kitty cat?
I had one piece of wood left in my wood pile that, when held in my hand, made me tall enough to hit a ceiling tile without having to jump like a basketball player doing a layup. Since there was only one way in or out for her, I decided I could maybe herd her out of that damned ceiling by gently (or not so gently) encouraging her to head that direction.  I started poking ceiling tiles in a half circle pattern, ever tightening the noose around the exit, while ceiling tile refuse rained down on my head like a shower of filth. Suddenly I heard a scramble of claws, two landing thumps, and a scamper of feet up the basement stairs. I dropped the log, sprinted faster than my legs have ever moved before to the stairs, took them three at a time and slammed the door behind me.

Meanwhile poor Roxanne, anticipating a bed or a couch to hide behind once she got away from this monster making the ceiling tiles rattle, was racing around in circles throughout the now empty house terrified. That poor cat could not understand how there was actually not one thing she could hide behind or under in the entire house she’d spent her whole life in with furniture. She had no other memory as she had arrived as a 4 week old kitten and only been out to visit the vet. No couches, chairs, tables, newspapers, beds, sheets, blankets, NOTHING to hide behind, under or between! She finally thought of the refrigerator top, which had an overhanging cabinet that offered a modicum of camouflage, or at least didn’t feel like it was out in the open, and raced through the kitchen, up on the counter and finally came to rest cowering in the corner of the refrigerator I now realized I had neglected to clean of the dust and grease that had accumulated over the two years I’d lived there.  I tiptoed into the kitchen, climbed up on the counter, slowly reached my hand towards her, cooing softly and nabbed that little bitch by the scruff of her neck, threw her into the carrier unceremoniously and headed for the RV. Cursing under my breath I stuck her in the carrier under the blankets on the back bed of the RV. Poor Roxanne stayed in that container, under the covers for approximately 24 hours before she ventured out to pee or eat. What a traumatic day for both of us.

Shall I continue? Perhaps I will...


    I am exhausted after reading this! Calgon, take me away!

  2. I do hope you continue; it is a good read, you tell an interesting story

    very clever on how you got Roxanne to come out of her hiding place

    I bet you were tired by the end of all of this and you hadn't even "hit" the road yet in the RV