Monday, December 05, 2005

Cat Burglar!

Some of you may remember when SHPOSes burgled my apartment.

Not to be outdone by mere subhumans, an actual non-human staged a full-on home invasion of Litak Keep.
That is, a cat named Lexi sneaked into my apartment on Thursday evening and hid there until four nights later when I discovered her presence and, with some help from a little girl and her mom, rousted her from her hidey-hole!




So. Last Thursday evening. I've just started training a little at a well-known boxing gym in Brooklyn called Gleason's, and I wanted to get some sleep so I could wake up early and train.

Around midnight, while I pondered weak and weary, something started making noise on my fire escape. It was a cat meowing pitifully.

I'd seen a cat on the roof before-- the lip of my roof is across from the 4th story windowsill of the building next to ours, where I figured it came from.

To get onto my fire escape, this cat pretty much had to jump down off the roof. But now it couldn't get up, and it couldn't get down, and its window next door was way out of reach.

Suddenly, I was its new best friend. And its me-owed at me while I lay in my bed by the closed window.

So I tried to go to sleep, hoping it'd find its way home. No luck.

I turned on the lights and opened a window to try to coax it in. More meowing, and sticking its head inside, but it'd shy away and run onto the fire escape stairs when I came near.

"I wanna come in, I don't wanna, well, maybe if you asked the right way..." this was clearly not a guy cat.

I decided to try the neighbors and see if they were home. I don't really know my neighbors, except in my building. Sad to say, because they live 12 inches away, on the other side of some brick and plaster.

Anyway, I went outside and tried the buzzer on the only unit with lights on, but there was no answer.

I looked up at the fire escape, and the cat had come down to the second story from the third, and was staring at me and shivering.

I wondered whether I'd have to watch curiosity kill her.

I went upstairs and closed the window, tried to go to sleep again.

Around 2 a.m., I heard her again, climbing up the screen on my window, trying to get to the roof. Clearly, that wasn't going to work.

So I tried letting her in a different window, but it was more coy feline ambivalence.

I think at this point I went to the bathroom, and when I came back, she'd gone down the fire escape or something. I closed the window and went to bed.

Woke up early, and the fire escape was empty.
Good-- she'd jumped down and gone home.
Gleason's was great-- jumped rope, shadowboxed, did some calisthenics. I had a productive day at work.

That night I went to my parents' for dinner, went out for a drink with my little sister (Doodles) and a friend of hers who plays poker for a living (I was really excited to pick his brain).

The next morning, I went to meet with a trainer at Gleason's. I noticed a cat hair on my bed, but figured it was just one from my parents' cats, who live to rub up against anything that's taller than it is wide.
I briefly considered that the cat might have gotten in somehow and called to her, checked under the bed and in the closet, then left the house.

I worked with a trainer at Gleason's-- worked on the "super heavy" bag, hit pads, speed bag (that's hard! Like chasing a fly with a baseball bat.), &c. Came home.

Then the cable guy came and installed my cable broadband in the office. I had to get a screwdriver out of the toolbox under my kitchen sink to remove the pullup bar in the office-- so he wouldn't crack his face open on it. He moved around, popping little fasteners all over the eddge of the walls to lead the cable into the office from the living room.

Hey, broadband cable is nice! I'm using it right now. Much better than creeping along with my neighbors' wireless connection.
Earthlink has a decent deal on cable broadband without making you sign up for phone and TV, too, which is good for someone like me who doesn't want TV and needs to do some work from home.

That's right-- if you want to hear the inspirational cat story, you have to hear to every stupid thing I did for the past 4 days.

Next, I visited my ex-roommate a few blocks away. He and a friend of his were playing with his new Xbox360 hooked up to an obscenely large flat HDTV.
It was awesome.
We played some Perfect Dark Zero, which looks more real than what's in front of my face most of the day, and has particularly satisfying gore and explosions and guns.

I walked over to my Dad's and helped him with some stuff (are we getting to the cat yet?); went to a restaurant in Manhattan for a friend's birthday dinner (is the cat gonna figure in somewhere?); then back to Brooklyn to meet Tenderfoot at yet another friend's party (we played Taboo! and roasted marshmallows).

On the way home, I noticed a guy standing outside the apartment next door.

"Do you have a cat?" I asked.

Well, he did, and she was missing. So I told him the story. He decided to look around the nearby lot, which houses a clan of wary alleycats.

The next morning, Tenderfoot sat in my papasan chair and told me an anecdote about her recently married friend, whom we'll call Guju, and her husband, Bubu.
Tenderfoot had been hanging out with them and put the evil eye on my papasan chair.
Bubu responded with envy, recalling the papasan chair he had owned and loved before being tamed by Guju, who asked him to get rid of it because it took up so much space and he never sat in it.
Man, first you give in on the papasan chair, next thing you have to go watch gospel performances, hold her purse, wear slacks instead of jeans, and see "breakup-and-make-up" and "coming to terms with things" movies.

Then, we were off to brunch to meet Guju, Bubu, and two friends of theirs from college for whom I'm too lazy to invent nicknames.
We went to Jaques-Imo's Cafe on the Upper West Side.
Oh man, that was good.
I even ate some alligator sausage cheesecake, and loved it.
Why will I eat gator and still conscientiously avoid pork?
Because pork is treif, of course.

Today I had to fly out of town for the day for a meeting, then came back to the office, did some work, and went out to Pratt to meet Tenderfoot and another friend (again, haven't made a nickname for him yet) at his sister's photo exhibition there.

The exhibit, which was about her grandmother's 100th birthday celebration in India, was great.

Tenderfoot was feeling sick from some bad Chinese food she'd eaten at lunch, so we walked in the falling snow to the subway and went to Litvak Keep.

Tenderfoot's keen eye noticed an interesting aroma in the Keep.
And a wet spot on the papasan she'd cursed.

The smell was cat pee. I'd stake my life on it.

There was also white powder spread in patches on the floor and on the papasan.

So we searched everywhere.

We checked under the bed, behind curtains, under the sofa, behind shelves, in every nook of the closet, bathroom, kitchen.
I tried meowing. I put out a saucer of milk.
Tenderfoot looked behind the cabinets, in the cabinets. I looked in the cabinets. I looked behind the fridge, in the trash, everywhere.

Tenderfoot noticed a pawprint on the papasan cushion:


Eureka.

I took the smelly papasan cushion out into the hall, and buzzed my neighbor until he yelled out the window.
When I told him his cat was hiding in my apartment somewhere, he said he'd send his wife.

And he did. She and their adorable daughter came by.
I was worried the daughter might be upset if she found her cat sick or starving or dead.

As soon as the girl started calling "Lexi! Lexi!", there was a pitiful meowing from the cabinets.
I mean, Dumbo-when-his-Mom-is-locked-in-a-cage pitiful.
Even then, it took five minutes for them to find her, squeezed into the back of a cabinet under my kitchen sink, with the door almost closed.
Tenderfoot had looked in there!
I had taken a screwdriver out a few days earlier!

The shelf was covered in white powder--Ajax--spilled from a cat knocking the open can around, which explained the powder around the apartment.

Lexi looked healthy, but was more scared than Saddam coming out of his spider-hole, and almost twice as adorable:


What can I say now?
Maybe this is a sign I should get rid of papasan.
In any case, I'm not opening my window for any horses.

2 comments:

TF said...

Corrections:

It wasn't Tenderfoot's keen "eye" that detected an aroma but rather her keen "nose". Tenderfoot's eyes have not yet evolved to multi-sense.

Gujju made Hermes get rid of the papasan because it was UGLY. The space/lack of sitting were just additional reasons/pre-texts. Note that the famale feline expressed its opinion of it by peeing on it.

Gujju's two friends were not from college, but rather from an international high school she had attended/an exchange program in college. But no one cares about that.

The Litvak said...

I wrote "keen eye" to add a hidden pun. Also, I changed "Hermes" to "Bubu" to protect the innocent. ;)