When our cat said "Woof"
The first two weeks of The Contessa‘s sojourn in our house she spent under our bed.
She was probably traumatized by the four weeks she lived at the animal shelter and needed some time to be by herself.
The hubby and I put her food, water, and kitty litter in our bathroom. It was apparent that she was venturing out that far while we were at work.
Then one evening she made an appearance in the family room where we were both reading. She spent a lot of time inspecting the furniture, bookcases and the warmth of the fireplace. She jumped up and walked across our laps but didn’t linger. Once she spotted the kitty door to the garage, she made a beeline to it and through it. We figured she’d seen one of those before. (The litter box followed her out there that day. Yes!). We were happy that the season under the bed had ended.
The days passed and changes in her demeanor were barely apparent. She would jump if we moved too quickly, she would only let us pet her for short moments, she would hide behind or under things when we came home from work. She even hissed at me when I sat beside her on the couch. (Read why she “was mad” to explain some of that.)
She’d been living with us for two months when she at last began to fit into our routine.
Soon she figured out when breakfast would be served. Dinner was another milestone, and she would greet us with a certain amount of aloof recognition when we came home from work. Her favorite time was when the telephone rang, and she would actually jump up on my lap or the hubby’s and rub her nose against our chins as we tried to carry on our conversations. Now that tickled us, in several ways.
This particular evening, I was lighting some scented candles when the phone began ringing. I found out the call was for me and decided to slip back into the bedroom for some privacy and to have my chin to myself. The hubby was alone with The Contessa.
He was alarmed when he saw her leap up on the coffee table and edge closer to the burning candles. Because she still was so unpredictable when we moved fast, he determined the best approach would be to lean in cautiously and stop her progress toward the flame. He was too slow.
It happened in a flash. The Contessa’s long silver hairs breached the candle’s flame and the hubby saw the first sparks.
That is when our kitty cat went “W O O O O F.” There was a puff of smoke and a nano-second look of horror in The Contessa’s eye matched equally by a look of horror in the hubby’s. She took off like a rocket.
Meanwhile, I was back in the bedroom and I heard the hubby stampeding through the house. The door was open and I saw The Contessa sliding sideways on the wood floor as she turned the corner on the hallway in record setting speed and disappeared beneath my bed. In the time it took me to turn back, there was the hubby sliding around the same corner with a look of a wild man on his face. He landed belly on the floor frantically searching for what he feared would be a feline torch and a house on fire. (He is a retired firefighter, so I’m sure he was following protocol.)
Fortunately for all of us, the flash of fire and smoke just singed the longest and fluffiest ends of her lovely fur coat, and made her stink like a scorched mitten. I guess you could say it was mostly smoke damage.
Since that day, The Contessa has never sought solitude under our bed. Nor have I have I burned any candles.