04 June 2017

The cat and the hermit

I currently live with three cats, a veritable clowder comprised of my black angel, my mom’s tabby devil, and my brother’s Siamese troublemaker. They can be a handful.

My brother does not like when we let his cat, Lily, into our backyard, because she persistently tries to escape into the dangerous outside world. But I never take my brother seriously.

So today, during a ritual attempt to increase my hermit-status vitamin D levels through sun exposure, I decided to let loose the entire clowder, and then began a game of Bubble Witch on my phone.

Shortly thereafter, I looked up. I counted the cats. Two cats. There were only two cats.

I flung my phone aside and began searching the yard frantically for my brother’s adventurous feline while the other two watched me with wide eyes and narrow pupils. Lily was nowhere to be found.

I snatched up the other two, secured them in the house, and peered into my neighbor’s yard. No visible movement.

I hurried to their front door and asked if she’d been spotted in what I hoped was a calm dispatcher-like tone, but in reality was probably a panicked screech. He let me look around his magnificent jungle of a yard with his son, but we did not locate her.

I thanked them as politely as possible as I began to imagine all the painful ways my brother would kill me. Would he use his knife? His gun? His filthy bare hands?

As I left my neighbor’s yard, I spotted two boys my age sitting on the curb across the street, who had doubtlessly heard my high-pitched panic. I rushed over to them, agonizingly aware of my untamed hair and strictly-indoors clothing. But there was no time for embarrassment.

They told me very kindly that they hadn’t seen her, but they would come tell me if they did. I offered anxiety-ridden thanks and turned to go back to my house.

And then I saw her. Lily’s sneaky Siamese face was calculating as she crept towards the backyard gate I’d left ajar. I dashed across the street and scooped her up. The crafty little demon.

Do not underestimate cross-eyed kittens.