Nine Lives

Cat’s medical problems this week have brought me up close and personal with the possibility of his death sooner rather than later.

But hey, let’s look on the bright side; cats have nine lives, right? So depending on how many he’s used up, there could still be quite a lot of life left.

So, time for a bit of accounting.

I’m going to bracket all the sitting in the middle of the street as a car comes towards him as one.

I don’t think any of his fights were life threatening, though he was playing fast and loose with his looks.

Then was the time he fell off the boat, that’s obviously a second.

He’s stood up to foxes, but I’ve not seen any of them go for him.

I’ve had lilies in the flat and they are poisonous, but fortunately he’s not succumbed.

Once he jumped from the window onto the roof, had a lovely time exploring and gazing down at my worried face, and then couldn’t get back in. I rescued him with an improvised bridge made from an old bookshelf. So I don’t think that counts. He wanted to do it again the next night, and I have to make sure that particular window is never very wide open.

He got stuck behind my mother’s washing machine once, but rescuing him only damaged his dignity.

There’s only one other life threatening occasion I can think of, and that’s the time he fell out of the window. This is what happened.

It was a spring day, warm and sunny. I was going out walking, but I’d not long woken up and was lying dozing in bed.

Cat, who’d been enjoying his breakfast, came into the bedroom and leapt onto the window sill. Nothing unusual or inherently dangerous in that.

Unfortunately, I had left a library book with a plastic shiny cover there. It seems it was also slippery, and its height meant that when Cat landed on it he was on a level with the edge of the window frame.

The window was open.

There was a scrabbling noise and a surprised miaow.

I leapt out of bed and looked out of the window.

The block of flats where I live is faux Georgian and has a mansard roof. I am on the top floor.

Cat was hanging by his claws from the gutter some three feet below the window sill. Not a long way, but longer than I could reach. The moment he saw me he miaowed loudly. It wasn’t difficult to translate. Time to get the knickers on over my pyjamas and execute a smooth rescue.

The trouble was, I didn’t know how.

I had an unprofitable Corporal Jones moment running backwards and forwards trying to think how to rescue him before I got an idea.

I looked back out of the window.

Somehow, Cat had managed to haul himself up onto the gutter. A sort of feline equivalent of those macho pull ups male gymnasts do. More loud miaowing.

I lowered my jute shopping bag, a favourite plaything of Cat’s, attached to my dressing gown sash, to Cat’s nose.

I made lots of coaxing noises which increased to a crescendo of good boys, as he first looked at the bag, and then took a tentative step into it.

As soon as more than half his body was inside the bag, I unceremoniously tipped him in and hauled him back through the window.

Amazingly, the only damage was a slight cut by one of his claws.

I’ve been a lot more careful about where I leave books since.

Now, I admit that it’s quite likely he’s risked life and limb at times when I’ve not been around to witness it, but I seems to me he’s still got a few lives left to play with.

I’m hoping so anyway.

10 thoughts on “Nine Lives

  1. Oh goodness, Isobel, I’ve probably lost more lives than Cat, but there again, I’m not a cat! Here’s wishing him many more lives and happy years. 🙂

  2. You’ve written about him falling out the window so well that its very funny but I can imagine it took some time for you both to calm down about it at the time!

    Very inventive use of a jute shopping bag though 😀

    • Thanks Sophie. Glad you liked it. 🙂
      Cat calmed down as soon as he was inside. My adrenalin was still pumping for quite a while.
      Yes the bag was a lucky purchase. I still have it. He used to play with a Habitat thick paper bag which would not have been as robust.

  3. That’s the most drama I’ve ever read involving a shopping bag! Great idea and quite clingy for Cat’s claws to get a good grip on. I hope he was suitably grateful and you had a celebratory drink!

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