Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Houdini reincarnated

When I was a kid, I had a cat named Houdini, a beautiful black tortoise shell short hair. She was named that because of her adeptness at hiding. Well, there has been a reincarnation of the feline Houdini.

The cleaning ladies came yesterday. I love that one day a month when the house smells lovely, fresh and clean. The ladies are very friendly but they don't understand felines very well but that's not their job, right?

Phenix on the other hand, hates cleaning day. She despises the vacuum. She runs away from it when it is just sitting in the living room, unplugged and off. You can imagine what she does when it gets turned on. There's usually a flash of orange and she's gone. I blocked off the kitty door of our baby gate and put the cats in the basement when the cleaning ladies come. That usually keeps the feline members of the family curtailed and out of the way of the vacuum demon....usually.

Life hasn't been usual of late. We have been cat sitting for a friend who had a house fire. Smokey, our feline visitor, has taken up residence in the basement. While Gryffin has gotten used to Smokey (a little bit), Phenix hates having guests. She hisses to no end then goes and hides. You see where this is going, no?

So back yesterday. I got up really late (T was up crying at 4am so it caused a chain reaction resulting in me over sleeping), like 20 minutes before the ladies were to arrive. Its always a bad start to the day as I didn't get a chance to have a shower.

I rushed around, blurry eyed having not had my shower, trying to tidy up a little, get my morning cafe au lait and rustling up the cats and put them downstairs before the ladies arrived. That last item on my pre cleaning to do list proved a challenge.

Phenix decided she didn't want to stay in the basement with our visitor. She went so far as to try to get the 3 inch space between the bars on the baby gate. Let me paint you a picture, 14 lb. cat's hind quarters stuck in a 3 inch gap between metal bars = a snarling, hissing beast.

I got her out of the gate safely but then she took off down the hall for our bedroom and hid under the bed. T had been awakened by the hissing so I had to get her up. I no sooner got her dressed and started on her morning sippy of milk and the ladies arrived. I tried to explain to the ladies about the cat under our bed so I couldn't put her in the spare room in order to try and save her from the vacuum. My cat speak is a little rusty I guess. T and I went downstairs and hung out with Gryffin and Smokey.

When the ladies left, we went upstairs and I got my much needed shower. After my shower, I went about trying to find Phenix. T and I broke out the treat can and started going around shaking it. T enjoyed this part greatly. She loves feeding treats to the cats.

I searched what I thought was every inch of the main floor for Phenix. No Phenix. I got out the flash light to make sure I hadn't missed her somewhere. No Phenix. Panic sets in. Could she have gotten out?

Now for a cat who started out living on a farm and eating mice, Phenix has settled into the rather pampered life of living with us. She is not one to go exploring unlike Gryffin. She knows how good she has it and she ain't leavin'. But maybe the vacuum chasing her changed her mind, you just never know.

So, outside I go in freezing temperatures, with a wet head of hair, winter boots slipped over bare feet, pants hiked up over my slopply thrown on boots and a winter coat. I must have been a sight. I walked around the front yard, yelling, "Here kitty kitty" while T stood in the doorway, looking out the front door shaking the treat can - her contribution in locating the cat. No luck. I then did the same thing in the back yard as the ladies clean both the patio door and the front glass door when they clean. Thankfully we have privacy fence in the backyard so my humiliating traipsing around and hollering was only viewed by the neighbours in the front.

Still no Phenix. T did her best by following me around the house yelling Me! Me! (that's her version of P, Phenix's nickname). I went so far as to call the cleaning service office to ask them to call the cleaning ladies (who must think that this gringa is nuts at this point) if they had seen Phenix. The last they had seen her, she was under the bed...well, she wasn't now.

I called S at work and he said she's probably hiding. Yes, thank you I thought of that but I've checked everywhere I said. Just then I tried looking in the built-in cabinets where we store T's toys one more time.

Curled up in the bottom cabinet, back in the shadows, was guess who - Phenix. The little bugger had sat there, knowing full well we were hollering for her, shaking the treat can and she just sat there.

Isn't that just like a cat?

No comments: