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Cat's in the Cradle, the bed and the fish bowl

Sleek and sophisticated, our outdoor cat has the uncanny ability to slip into the house unseen. And he remains elusive to capture as he prowls our home.

Just this past Friday the cat slipped in as we departed for a weekend sojourn. Why he would want to spend the entire weekend alone in the house, I do not know. What he does while we are away, however, can be pieced together through subtle clues.

Day 1: As soon as we exit the driveway he dashes upstairs and draws himself a hot bath with moisturizing bubbles. After a rejuvenating soak, he applies lotion with antioxidants to his delicate paw pads. Then he puts on my terrycloth robe and reclines on our bed to read my husband's Sports Illustrated, the swimsuit (actually swimsuitless this year, but that's another story) edition.

Later that evening he pours himself a glass of my best red wine (none of my wine is that great, but he's a cat and it's better than his wine). He turns on the gas logs and settles down for a marathon of his favorite movies: Aristocats, That Darn Cat and Risky Business (did I mention his excellent Tom Cruise impersonation?).

Day 2: Subsequent to licking clean the interior of a yogurt container he finds in the trash, he helps himself to a refreshing drink of his favorite beverage: fish bowl water. Eventually he grows disinterested with trying to drink enough water to strand the fish on the bottom of the bowl (at the mercy of the cat), and heads off, making a mental note to try again later (evaporation might be on his side). In the meantime, he decides to taunt the dog through the window.

Suddenly it occurs to him that he can't find the litter box. He's an outside cat who decided to indulge himself with a weekend vacation at what he thought was a luxury resort and is stunned by the lack of bathroom facilities (he decides not to leave a tip). Quickly, he constructs a makeshift latrine in the nearest houseplant.

Much better, but now getting lonely and wishing he'd thought to sneak in a lady friend, he fixes himself another glass of wine and cracks open a box of saltines in the pantry. He checks the level of the fish water ... the fish is still swimming.

In the den he puts on Cats In the Cradle and croons along (When you coming home dad, I don't know when...), which attracts some of his feline associates to the front porch.

Day 3: He awakes on my pillow regretting all the catty thoughts he had about me regarding that litter box situation and wonders if we will ever come home. His mind races, thinking of the horror stories he has heard about home owners dying or deserting and health department inspectors arriving to find cats living in the walls. He contemplates his own fate.

Soon he begins pacing. He can't take it anymore: The agonizing loneliness; the unbearable monotony. Pacing...pacing ... pacing. The room starts closing in and he must get out, but how?

Just then his ears prick up as he hears our key in the lock. He races for the door and is out as soon as he sees a sliver of daylight.

What was that? Oh my goodness, that cat was in the house the entire weekend!

Free at last.

Web posted on Thursday, April 29, 2004

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Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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