Wednesday, December 04, 2013

"I have supped full with horrors"

The title of this post is a quote from Macbeth - appropriately enough, since Macbeth is known to Bertie Wooster as the "cat chap" - reflecting that Jeeves had quoted to him the line where Lady Macbeth refers to "letting 'I dare not' wait upon 'I would,' like the poor cat in the adage."  The horrors of which I write here do indeed relate to a cat.

For the last 15 months, our household has been brightened by these two adorable little fellows, littermates whom we adopted in September 2012 at the age of somewhere between 6 and 8 weeks. In the picture, Sylvester is the one on the left, and Gary is on the right.  Among the rituals that they eagerly endorse (besides knocking things onto the floor, following us around the house if something fascinating, such as watering plants, is afoot, swatting at loose yarn, and playing vigorous rounds of Friskabout) is coming downstairs for breakfast, after having starved all night once their food from the evening was gone.

But yesterday, no Gary at breakfast or thereafter.  We didn't see or hear him, and couldn't find him anywhere.  We then recollected that we hadn't seen him the previous evening (which can happen with a cat - it's that air of mystery which they never entirely shed), and that there had been people in our house the previous day doing repairs, which the kittens hate (both the noise aspect and the strangers aspect).

Sherlock Holmes says somewhere that, when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.  We were struggling to apply this precept, the problem being that we couldn't distinguish the impossible from the merely highly unlikely.  Could he have gotten out of the house?  It didn't seem possible, but then again cats can have ways.  Had he found a hole somewhere (a radiator seemed to have one) and disappeared into the wall?  Were there human fist-sized openings and passageways behind the walls, which he might be able to navigate and then perhaps get lost or stuck?  Did he get sick or injured and hide?  If he was still in the house and conscious, why wasn't he scratching and meowing?

This went on all day, and it would be an understatement to say that there were long faces in the Shaviro et al household.  But then at around midnight, a family member heard some scratching and meowing sounds.  It turned out that he was in one of the drawers of a little-used dresser.  He is now out and about, and evidently none the worse for having spent perhaps as much as 30 hours there.  We, by contrast, remain a bit the worse for wear, our immense relief notwithstanding.

Remaining mysteries, which I don't imagine we will be able to solve, include (1) how did he get into the drawer, which one would have thought was closed, (2) how did it re-close once he was inside, and (3) why didn't he announce his presence sooner, especially once the workers had left.

But after spending a full day thinking we might never see him again, or that perhaps in a month we would detect a skeleton stuck behind the wall, we are not complaining.


Mike M said...

Nice cats. Your gray cat looks like our cat a little (a Tabby or an Abyssinian?) -Mike M.

Daniel Shaviro said...

Just a tabby so far as we know. We once had a Somali (basically a long-haired Abyssinian), who was beautiful but didn't live long.