My Quel surprise! moment of the weekend came to me in feline form. It should be noted that I am something of a cat whisperer. I don't even look for kitty company when I'm out for a stroll. They come to me, look up and say, "Hey, why are you not scratching me behind my ears already?" and I am more than happy to oblige.
This weekend I did about 7 or 8 minutes of housekeeping. When one lives in 500 square feet, this short chunk of time can make a big impact. One of the things I decided to do was vacuum the window sill. I even took out the fan in the kitchen window so I could get all the goodies lodged underneath.
But I got distracted on the way to the closet to pick up the Dust Buster From Hell, and I ended up capitulating to my narcissism in the bathroom for a few minutes. To my credit, this was not the narcissism of the practice your princess wave variety. It was more akin to recreational flossing. Sans floss. I wrap things up and grab my handheld vacuum.
So I'm sucking up the gunk in the window frame when I hear-- just barely over the squeals of Dust Buster from Hell-- the unmistakable sound of claws on hardwood. I look over to the left to see a very large, very scared kitty zipping out from underneath my bed. My first thought was, "Kitty, don't be a dumbass. Under the bed is the best hiding from vacuum spot in here." Then I remembered that I do not own a cat.
Seeing an unfamiliar kitty break into your home warms your heart in a way that no other sort of intruder possibly could. If you like cats, that is. I happen to like cats a lot. I like cats in a way that has permitted me to know how to meow in the pluperfect subjunctive tense. This is a story for another time.
But I can't own a cat thanks to a clause in my lease and some gnarly allergies I developed a few years ago. This is a cruel twist of fate. Everyone who comes over to my house tells me that the only thing missing is a kitty. As a retort, I offer that there are several dozen kitties on the Kitty Collage tacked up on the refrigerator even though I am well aware that two-dimensional inanimate cats don't make up for a real one.
So, I have a strange kitty in my house uninvited. He obviously came in through the kitchen window when I was not looking. Window Kitty was on an adventure. He wasn't interested in attention. I didn't offer him any food, so I don't know if he was hungry. He was interested in treading over every square inch of my apartment, including the pile of laundry on the floor of the closet. I followed him closely because I do not own a litter box. Eventually, my itchy, drippy eyes and nose get the best of me so I picked him up and put him back out the window.
I went about my business after kicking the kitty out. But he came back not 10 minutes later with a very insistent claws on glass (think rapid fire nails on chalkboard). I let him back in and I ask him where he comes from. He just ignores me. He's too busy setting up his forwarding address for his new vacation digs. He finds a wayward hair tie and plays with it, still not wanting much attention. I take a Claritin, and put on a movie. Kitty joins me on the couch for a cat nap. I know this is a mistake, but I am enjoying the TV on DVD thing a little too much.
Window Kitty is well groomed, extremely well fed and lacking of one identifying collar. I know he's got an owner somewhere. He obviously likes people when there are no elasticy hair ties to abuse. I'm guessing that he's from the neighborhood and just pussyfooting around in uncharted territory. It should be harmless, right?
No. I take him out, this time out the front door of the building even though I risk being seen by the apartment managers and other residents with a contraband cat. "Goodbye, Window Kitty!" I say. He looks up at me with a distinct, "This was not part of my plan," grimace. C'est la vie, Kitty.
To tie up this story, kitty returned right when I was headed for bed. He meowed at all of my windows. He scratched on the glass. He did this all night long. When I was able to sleep, I dreamt of kitties in my apartment. Just not of that particular kitty in my apartment.